Alternative Currency Papers Published

There is increasing awareness of and interest in the role of complementary currencies in local communities and around the world. In Deep Economy (2007), Bill McKibben notes, “If you really want to make a local economy soar, the most important step might be to create a local currency.”[1] More than 4000 complementary currencies are in use around the world; as the name implies, their role is to supplement traditional currencies, not replace them. In a series of books, the Belgian economist and civil engineer Bernard Lietaer has studied and reported on many of these currencies and demonstrated their usefulness in a variety of contexts.[2] While nowhere near as involved in this area of research, the authors are responsible for the original concept and successful demonstration of a commercial credit exchange, in Ottawa, Canada, in the late 1980s and early 1990s.[3] The present proposal grows out of this experience as well as drawing on the work of Lietaer and others, and is further explained in a companion piece called “A New Currency?” available here.

CRCS has published two papers relating to alternative or complementary currencies, which can be downloaded below.



[1] Bill McKibben: Deep Economy: the Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future (2007), p. 162

[2] Lietaer, who many consider the “father” of the single European currency, has been involved in the development of alternative currencies for more than forty years. He is the author or co-author of  The Future of Money: Beyond Greed and Scarcity (2001), New Money for a New World (2011), and Money & Sustainability: the missing link (2012), a publication of the Club of Rome.

[3] Called Credex, the exchange involved more than 100 companies and operated successful as a pilot project during 1990-91.


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