The desire that Túmin be used to help build a social fabric that favours barter and interest-free loans, especially in the face of the growth of electronic banking that came with the pandemic, is central to its creators.
Redistributing wealth or income isn’t a new idea, but what if redistribution wasn’t necessary at all? What if the system that created money did it in a way that was more fair or more responsive to everyone up front?
8 years on, the Chiemgauer attracts over 600 businesses and 3000 users, turning over 5 million per year. And this is only the start. Its whopping growth of over 100% per annum means its significance is only likely to grow in the near future.
The Totnes pound is just one example of the kind of outside the box thinking that has kept this local community resilient in the face of austerity. Since 2010, the pressure on local authority budgets across England has been intense, with a 50% decline in central funding support.
Of course the economic crisis was fundamental to the evolution of alternative economics in Greece. Although some thinkers have long advocated other ways of using and running currencies, most barter systems arise in times of upheaval where trust in the banks is eroded or they withdraw liquidity.
Whatever they are called—vouchers, scrip, credits, certificates or coupons—sound private and community currencies can be spent into circulation by any trusted producer or reseller who is ready, willing, and able to reciprocate by redeeming the equivalent amount as payment for real value.
Enter David Shepherdson and Lisa Bovill, from Kaini Industries, who launched Hullcoin which enables people who engage with charities and community groups across the city of Hull to earn digital coins by volunteering and undertaking activities that benefit themselves.
Co-op coins are not a new concept but the days of trading locally minted coins for a pint of milk or a loaf of bread are long gone. Instead, the rising interest in digital currencies and rapid increase in the number of Initial Coin Offerings looks set to make 2018 “the year of the crypto currency”.
Tools born from the internet, applied across autonomous networks and movements seeking alternatives to capitalism, are providing the infrastructure of alternative societies. In the last of our specials on community currencies and alternative economies, we showcase FairCoop, a self-organized and self-managed global cooperative created through the internet outside the domain of the nation-state.
While capitalism and consumerism dominate the culture of the United States of America and the Western world, community currencies are creating a buzz elsewhere. The radical need for alternative economies and community currencies is becoming more commonplace among societies across the globalized world dealing with the crisis of mass poverty and inequality. In part one of our three part series shining a light on some of these alternatives, we look at the Athens Integral Cooperative.
The staff at the nonprofit organization HullCoin has done something very unusual in the city of Hull in northeast United Kingdom. They’ve launched their own local cryptocurrency — programmed on top of Bitcoin to be issued by nonprofits and social institutions — as a way of combating financial exclusion and other problems that are at the root of poverty. Residents of Hull can earn HullCoins, which can be used at various places around the city. It’s an innovative model. But how exactly does it work?
The Italian government is doing something that challenges our ideas about the nature of government debt and taxation. What if governments don’t need to borrow or tax to pay their bills? In my blog post for this week read why a sovereign currency makes this possible and even desirable: