The community/complementary currency sector continues to evolve and provides the most creative and interesting innovative initiatives in the industry. They typically issue a physical “scrip currency” that circulates through the system. Complementary currency organizations also have a clear identifiable social purpose, be it to improve the local economies, poverty alleviation, improve volunteer participation and/or youth and elderly services.
Historically complementary currency organizations have focused on providing alternative marketplaces in local and regional areas. Such operations generally did not have a revenue model and consequently were funded by donations and/or grants. Often times the initiatives would last as long as the funding lasted.
New hybrid-type complementary currency models are being developed and implemented that combine a revenue source via transactions fees with traditional non-profit funding sources. The positive result is a more financially sustainable complementary currency based program.
Example(s) of Complementary Currency Organizations:
Money Without Exploitation: An Interview with Bay Bucks Founder Chong Kee Tan
This is the second story in a series, “From the Ground Up,” chronicling community-level efforts to overcome economic insecurity and establish sustainable and just communities. More
Are Community/Local Currencies Also Barter Exchanges?
Reviews the distinctions between community based currencies and barter trade dollars as the relate to the IRS. More
Time Banking and the IRS
Reviews historical rulings regarding the issue of whether community currency transactions are taxable events. More
The Sardex Factor – Financial Crisis in Sardinia – Sardex Currency Solution
September 15, 2015 Financial Times article on Sardex’s local currency model. More
NYTimes.com: The Advent of Artisanal Cash
New York Times Article on Local Currencies. More
Governor Brown Approves California Alternative Currencies Act
On June 28th, 2014, California took a significant step toward further legitimizing the creation and circulation of community currencies and other innovative means of exchange… More