What is Local Currency?

You may have heard it called scrip, hours, a LETS system or community credits. These are just some examples of the many local currency systems working around the world to foster goods and service exchange on the community level.

These complementary currency systems are now being used in many countries, including the UK and Ireland, Germany, France, Australia, Holland, Japan, Mexico, Argentina, Canada and in many communities across the United States. The recent expansion of local currency systems reflects a growing grassroots desire to create a more sustainable and humane world.

Local currencies are not new. During the 1930's many communities created their own scrip in order to build local trading networks connecting people to the goods and services they needed. Scrips were powerful forces for good in those dark economic times when national currency was almost unobtainable for the average person.

More recently in the UK, Transition Towns promoted the use of printed vouchers which could be exchanged for sterling, as communities currencies, but these have faded as the use of cash has declined, and at the same time there has been a resurgence of genuine Mutual Credit systems such as LETS.

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