- Alternative currency
Alternative currency is a term that refers to any
currencyused as an alternative to the dominant national or multinational currency systems (usually referred to as national or fiat money). Alternative currencies can be created by an individual, corporation, or organization, they can be created by national, state, or local governments, or they can arise naturally as people begin to use a certain commodity as a currency. Mutual creditis a form of alternative currency, and thus any form of lending that does not go through the banking system can be considered a form of alternative currency.
When used in combination with or when designed to work in combination with national or multinational fiat currencies they can be referred to as
complementary currency. If the use of an alternative currency is limited to a certain region, it is called a local currency.
Often there are issues related to paying
tax. Some alternative currencies are considered tax-exempt, but most of them are fully taxed as if they were national currency, with the caveat that the tax must be paid in the national currency. The legality and tax-status of alternative currencies varies widely from country to country; some systems in use in some countries would be illegal in others.
Examples of alternative currencies
* In the
Great Depression, people and corporations used gift certificates as a form of currency.
WIR Bank- One of the oldest and most successful complementary currencies, founded in 1934, oriented towards small and mid-sized corporations, with 62,000 members.
* Valun System proposed by
EarthE Moneyis used to reward environmental actions.
Toronto Dollarsis an example of a backed local currency. Also GobeGold a new approach with currency unit backed up by trees [http://www.gobegold.com/ GobeGold]
LETS, an example of Mutual credit, is a type of local currency used in a number of small communities worldwide.
Time Dollaris a state-sponsored alternative currency in the U.S, designed to encourage the independence and productivity of welfare recipients.
Liberty Dollaris a private currencybacked by silver, and is designed to be the nationwide alternative currency in the United States. In 2007 federal agents raided its offices with a warrant [http://www.libertydollar.org/legal/pdf/seizure_warrant_20071114.pdf] charging money laundering, mail fraud, wire fraud, counterfeiting, and conspiracy. [http://www.johnlocke.org/site-docs/meckdeck/pdfs/USAVLibdoll.pdf]
Millennium Dollars is a private currencybacked by US Treasury bills and cash investments, designed to have a constant "real" value and hence act as a hedge against inflation or deflation.
Barterclubs or corporate barter organizations are an example of alternative currency systems.
* [http://cromalternativemoney.org Crom Alternative Money] is a time backed currency, it represents 1 hour of our life.
Fourth Corner Exchange
Ripple monetary system
Ithaca Hours, Ithaca, NY
* [http://www.cascadiahourexchange.com Cascadia Hour Exchange]
* , such as
digital gold currency.
Local Exchange Trading Systems(LETS)
Thomas H. Greco, Jr., "Money: understanding and creating alternatives to legal tender". White River Junction, Vt: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2001.
* M. Raddon, "Community and money: men and women making change". Montreal: Black Rose Books, 2003.
Bernard Lietaer, "The Future of Money". Random House: published January 2001.
* [http://www.altruists.org/ae Altruistic Economics]
* [http://beyondmoney.wordpress.com/ Beyond Money] , Thomas H. Greco, Jr.’s alternative currency blog.
* [http://www.transaction.net/money/community/ Complementary Currencies]
* [http://research.cyber.ee/~lipmaa/crypto/link/protocols/ecash.php Helger Lipmaa's links on electronic cash]
* [http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~roehrigw/suhr/nngengl.html NeuMoNe] (The Neutral Money Network)
* [http://www.gmlets.u-net.com/ LETS Systems]
* [http://www.openmoney.org/ OpenMoney Project]
* [http://www.gobegold.com/ Revolutionary alternative currency backed up with trees The living money ]
* [http://www.polyarchy.org/paradigm/english/money.html From legal tender to virtual vouchers] A critical survey
* [http://www.complementarycurrency.org/ Complementary Currency Resource Center] International Database of alternative, complementary and local currency systems, open library of 350+ documents, image and video center.
* [http://www.appropriate-economics.org/ Alternative, Complementary and Community Currency Systems in Asia, Africa and Latin America ] Complementary Currency Systems in the Third World context.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.