Most economies suffer from a lack of liquidity, especially outside the large corporate and government sectors. This lack of means of payment (liquidity) is a fundamental cause of unemployment and failures of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs). It generally derives from flaws that are inherent in the centrally controlled systems of money and finance and the increasing indebtedness of both the private and public sectors. The surrender of monetary sovereignty by national governments to central banks, and to currency unions, such as the Euro, and their increasing indebtedness, as in as in the case of Greece, have made it virtually impossible for their economies to thrive.
This article describes how domestic or community liquidity, i.e., means of payment, that enable the process of reciprocal exchange of value, can be created by various entities at various levels, from communities and business associations, to municipal governments and agencies, to national governments. The main obstacles to their implementation are not economic, but organizational and political, yet there is still considerable leeway within which the value of local production can be monetized in the form of circulating private currencies and trade credits created within associations of buyers and sellers. This article describes how that can be done.
Read the complete article here.
This subject will be the main focus of my upcoming workshop in Greece, 16-23 June. You still have time to register and space is still available.
I often compare the evolution of exchange alternatives to the development of aviation. Just as many early attempts to fly were clumsy and poorly informed by good science, so too have been many early attempts to create private and community currencies. But much has been learned over the past three decades, and conditions are ripe for major advances in our ability to rise above antiquated and dysfunctional means of payment. My role is to guide the design and implementation of community based currencies and trade exchanges that enable general prosperity and a stable and sustainable economy.
During my upcoming tour of Europe I will be speaking about the power of community currencies and mutual credit, and consulting with communities on doing good things where they are.
With still two weeks to go, our Crowdfunding campaign is now more than halfway toward our goal. Thanks for your support, and please help spread the word. Our campaign site is http://igg.me/at/tomstour/x/31801.
I Just received a message from one of my advisee groups on the west coast. They are seriously considering Cyclos as the platform for their local exchange system.
Here is what they say:
Cyclos offers a complete Open-Source on-line banking system with additional modules such as e-commerce and communication tools. Check this out at http://project.cyclos.org/
The objective of the project is to develop open source complementary currency software that is easy to use and maintain, flexible, secure, and highly customizable. The Cyclos structure is entirely dynamic.
This means that it is possible to ‘build’ a monetary system from scratch. Organizations that want a standard system can use the default database that comes with basic configurations and can be easily enhanced. Cyclos is used for mutual credit systems like LETS, Barter systems, administration of Micro credits or remittances, Time banks and backed currency systems such as a C3 (consumer and commerce circuit). Cyclos just started to be used as a back-end for mobile banking services in Africa, and various Universities are studying the possibility to use Cyclos as a campus payment system.
It seems that the newest version of Cyclos may have the functionality, ease of use, and customizability that we have been looking for.
I’d be interested to see or hear expert reviews and people’s actual experience with using the Cyclos platform. Please send them as a comment to this post.
While I was on tour in western Canada recently, I had occasion to meet Paul Grignon, creator of the excellent videos, Money as Debt I and II. Paul came to my presentation on Salt Spring Island and brought with him a new short video called The Essence of Money, a Medieval Tale. In less than eight minutes, this video explains as well as anything I’ve seen how simple and effective a community-created currency can be. Highly recommended! View it here.