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Local Currency Systems

Code: TB-4500

Programs that establish private currency systems which enable people to receive credits for the work they do in the community, generally in the form of hours or scrip, which can be used to purchase goods and/or services from individuals and businesses that have agreed to accept the alternative medium of exchange. Local currencies can be valued and exchanged in relationship to national currencies which they complement (e.g., an hour in the local system equals $10), but can also function as mediums of exchange in their own right. Included are systems that have fixed exchange rates and everyone's hour of service has the same value; and those where products or services requiring a greater variety of skills, training, equipment or risk are exchanged and exchange rates are negotiated. Local currency systems help to increase the local money supply; encourage cooperation, reciprocity, self-reliance and mutual aid; and enhance and strengthen the economy by employing a local person each time the currency circulates.

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