Community-Currency.info launches today – an online database of complementary currencies outlining the origins, aims, vocabulary and functions of both high-profile and lesser-known projects in the growing world of currency design.
The site is written in five languages (English, Dutch, French, German and Spanish) and brings together articles on the full range of existing models including Bitcoin, digital barter schemes, timebanks, and local currencies such as the Brixton Pound. It will be the go-to website for all currency design topics.
Complementary currencies on the rise
The field of currency design has received much attention in recent months, not least due to the prominence of peer-to-peer exchange system Bitcoin. In fact, a range of new currencies designed to have a positive social and economic on communities have sprung up in cities, townships and business networks across the world. Politicians and regulators are taking notice.
Community-Currency.info has been designed to meet the requirements of specialists and members of the public alike, with ‘quick guides’ tailored for policy makers, SME businesses, researchers and practitioners considering how a new currency could benefit their communities.
The EU supports currency initiatives
Community Currencies in Action[i] (CCIA) is the coalition of organisations behind the creation of the website. Funded by the EU, it is made up of eight leaders in the field of currency innovation and research, including UK independent think tank the New Economics Foundation[ii] and the Nantes branch of 200-year-old French financial institution, Crédit Municipal.[iii]
As well as providing practical support to groups wanting to create a community currency, the CCIA project is piloting six currencies across northwest Europe. The new website will pull together findings from this transnational collection of currency pilots, along with research carried out by the CCIA partners.
Tony Greenham, Head of Finance and Business at the New Economics Foundation said:
“This website is a landmark in the field of currency innovation. It prompts people to question how mainstream money impacts their lives by learning about practical examples of currencies designed to better meet the needs of the communities who use them.”
[i] CCIA is a transnational partnership project designing, developing and implementing community currencies across northwest Europe. The partnership provides a rigorously tested package of support structures to facilitate the development of currency initiatives across NWE, promoting them as credible policy vehicles. Find out more: www.communitycurrenciesinaction.eu
[iii] Crédit Municipal de Nantes is a public financial institution offering credit, loans and mutual savings schemes to individuals and groups in the city of Nantes, northwest France. As well as offering financial services to those excluded from the mainstream banking sector, as a long-established, publically owned enterprise with an economic and social mission: http://communitycurrenciesinaction.eu/partner-credit-municipal-de-nantes/
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