Our economy seems to be given, but in fact is not. Our economic reality is to a certain extent a result of the money we use. Our monetary systems consists of a set of rules that have come about with time progressing; rules like interest, denomination, backing, conversion, redemption and issuance. Money is essentially nothing more than an agreement within a society to use something as a means of exchange, concurrently accepting the rules of this means of exchange. We usually pay with legal tender only. Because legal tender has its own specific design it isn’t neutral: it is more suitable for some socio-economic purposes than others. Our existing monetary system advances competition, globalisation and profit-seeking for example. By changing the rules of the game, we can realise other socio-economic purposes better. Community Currencies are currencies with a design of their own, aiming to realise specific socio-economic goals. Community Currencies try to solve very specific social issues within society; e.g. attracting and retaining customers, increasing the sellers market, decreasing financial instability, improving citizen’s purchasing power, creating employment, relieving the shortage of healthcare provision and education, and dealing with environmental issues. In doing so, community currencies complement our legal tender.
Qoin helps communities to get control of their own economy, where other goals are more central. Creating new money – based on new agreements – opens up new possibilities. However, creating money is something that needs to be taken seriously; that issuing money is strongly regulated by financial authorities has its reasons. The same goes for Community Currencies.
This knowledge centre contains brief descriptions of existing community currencies around the globe. We can learn a lot from existing and historical currencies. We hope this knowledge centre may give brightness and inspiration!
Body of Knowledge on Complementary Currencies: