Community currencies (or local currencies as we called them) are something we covered in our book. We wrote
“The idea behind a local currency (technically speaking, a voucher for legal reasons) is to help build a vibrant local economy, keep money circulating within the area and stop it ending up in the bank accounts of large corporations. Rob Hopkins uses the image of money leaking out of a community like holes in a bucket, but the local currency won’t fit through the holes. In the designated area pounds sterling can be exchanged for the local currency, usually at a rate of 1:1. Shops and businesses in this area can opt to accept payment with the local currency – and give it out as change.”
The biggest of the community currencies is the Bristol pound. Launched in 2012 it seems to be pretty successful. About 600 businesses accept it and it can be used to pay local taxes. In theory almost half a million people could use it. This week the Community Currency Knowledge Gateway has been launched by the New Economics Foundation. Its meant to be a comprehensive guide for those interested in setting up their own community currencies. In continuing hard times there has never been a more pressing need for community currencies.