Nantes’ currency, SoNantes, was inspired by the WIR system in place in Basel, Switzerland. The local currency project is promoted by the city of Nantes and the intercommunal structure of Nantes Métropole, and is being implemented by the Crédit Municipal de Nantes across the entire area of Greater Nantes.
The SoNantes currency is basically a system of exchange of goods and services between businesses (B2B), which also includes individuals (B2C). It will constitute a payment system between members that does not rely on coins or banknotes but is entirely digital. The use of this deposit money is regulated by a mutual credit system aimed at recording each user’s credits and debits, within limits set on a case-per-case basis. Every person will be able to make purchases from any company that has joined the scheme (traders, craftsmen, etc.), and will have access to certain local public services.
Nantes’s currency will be in use within the 24 municipalities of the local conurbation. Its aims are to complement the Euro as an innovative tool that helps promote exchanges between local economic stakeholders, and in turn contribute to the balanced development of the local area.
The SoNantes is currently in the alpha-testing stage and is set to launch to the public in spring 2014.
See a animated preview of how it will work here:
And a humourous film about how the SoNantes currency will keep money local: