Local currency

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{company, market, business}
{rate, high, increase}
{theory, work, human}
{area, part, region}
{area, community, home}
{group, member, jewish}
{line, north, south}
{math, energy, light}
{city, large, area}
{@card@, make, design}
{town, population, incorporate}

See Emissions Reduction Currency System for community based initiatives aimed at emission reduction

Circulating currencies
Community currencies

Fictional currencies

Modern currencies



In economics, a local currency, in its common usage, is a currency not backed by a national government (and not necessarily legal tender), and intended to trade only in a small area. As a tool of fiscal localism, local moneys can raise awareness of the state of the local economy, especially among those who may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable with traditional bartering. These currencies are also referred to as community currency, and are a form of alternative currency or complementary currency. They encompass a wide range of forms, both physically and financially, and often are associated with a particular economic discourse.



Free banking provides the economic prototype of local currencies.[citation needed] In the modern era, the most recognizable local currencies were company scrip issued in certain industries to pay workers, and token coins issued by some businesses to encourage consumer loyalty. In the nineteenth and early twentieth century, the failures of national banks during crises often created acute demands for cash, which were met by businesses creating emergency currency. These scrips were usually issued with the intention of redemption in national currency at some later date.

A few such currencies, however, developed into monetary systems in their own right. The idea of using free banking to produce an alternative, community-level currency dates back at least as far as the German Credit Unions in the 1800s. The oldest local currencies known to be in continuous use are the WIR in Switzerland, and the Labor Banks in Japan.

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