Active Local Currencies

California

District of Columbia

Maryland

Massachusetts

New Hampshire

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Vermont

Washington

 
CALIFORNIA
 
Bay Bucks
 
Region: San Francisco
Currency Type: Barter Network/LETS
First Issued: November 2012
Description and Background: A mutual credit system barter exchange intended for local businesses, Bay Bucks also plans to extend it services to local residents once we it reaches 2,000 business members.
Circulation and Participation: Bay Bucks are currently used by 200 San Francisco businesses.
Founders: Chong Kee Tan and Kendra Shanley
Contact: cktan@baybucks.com
Website: http://www.baybucks.com/
 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
 
Potomacs
 
Region: Washington D.C.
Currency Type: Local Scrip
First Issued: May 2009
Description and Background: Potomacs are a local currency that circulates in the National Capital region of the United States. They were introduced informally in early 2009 at a series of community swap meets called Potomac Potlatches and launched May 3, 2009 by EcolocityDC at the Forum on Faith, Economy & Ecology organized by the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.  They are modeled after BerkShares and are issued in 1, 5, 10 and 20 Potomac denominations.
Circulation and Participation: As to date, 2,348 Potomacs have been issued.  At the height of the program, twelve businesses and a local farmers market accepted the notes as legal tender.
Founder: Larry Chang
Contact: jumieka@gmail.com
Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Potomac-Local-Currency/331720845556
 
MARYLAND
 
BNotes
 
Region: Baltimore
Currency Type: Local Scrip
First Issued: April 2011
Description and Background: Michael Rigby and Jeff Dicken started working on the BNote in early 2010 as a response to the economic crisis and growing wealth inequality. Dicken provided much of the work and initial vision, naming the currency, combining strong elements from existing local currencies to create the BNote system, and directing the course of the project through 2010. The Baltimore neighborhood of Hampden was chosen as the first area for implementation since it provided many of the features that are strongly conducive to the adoption of local currency: relative geographic isolation, many small, independent merchants, strong community spirit, and significant inflow of new residents, particularly students and artists.  However, it quickly became clear that to have a real effect, the BNote would have to become a city-wide payment system.  In one year, the planning team led by Dicken took the BNote from its initial form to a fully functioning local currency.  A Kickstarter fundraiser was held to raise the funds needed to print the currency, and the printing was brokered out to two small Baltimore print shops in advance of the launch.
With 55 businesses from many Baltimore communities pledging to accept BNotes, the currency was launched on April 17, 2011 at a joint event with the Baltimore Free Farm called “Localize It!”  By the end of the first day, over 2,600 BNotes were in circulation.  On July 7, 2011, the BNote network reached 100 businesses, and over 10,000 had been exchanged for dollars.  By April 2013, the BNote network had grown to 200 businesses.  A second series of BNotes, including BN10s and BN20s, was planned for 2014.
Circulation and Participation: Over 40,000 BNotes have been exchanged for and roughly 34,000 circulate on a regular business.  As of now, 220 businesses accept BNotes.
Founders: Jeff Dicken, Julie Gouldener, Katie Igrec Lima, Jack Arnold, Michael B. Marks, Ph.D., Ian Patrick MacDonald, Damien Nichols and Jason Taft
Contact: baltimoregreencurrency@gmail.com
Website: http://baltimoregreencurrency.org/
 
MASSACHUSETTS
 
BerkShares
 
Region: Berkshire County
Currency Type: Local Scrip
First Issued: September 2006
Description and Background: BerkShares are a paper currency printed in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 and are traded in the Southern Berkshire region of Massachusetts. They are distributed by local banks and are backed by federal dollars. They are purchased at $0.95 per BerkShare from the bank, spent at a value of $1 per BerkShare with participating individuals or businesses, and traded back for federal currency at $0.95 per BerkShare, providing a financial incentive for both individuals to get and spend them in the first place and for someone who has recieved BerkShares in a transaction to spend them again rather than return them for federal currency.
Circulation and Participation: Approximately 400 regional businesses are formally participating and an additional 200 accept BerkShares on occassion. A total of 4.3 million BerkShares have been issued through local banks, with 7 branches of 4 local banks continuing to do so.  Approximately 150,000 BerkShares are currently in circulation.
Founders:
Contact: info@berkshares.org
Website: http://berkshares.org/
 
Boston Bean
 
Region: Jamaica Plain
Currency Type: Customer Loyalty Scrip
First Issued: Holiday Season 2012
Description and Background: The Boston Bean was launched during the 2012 Holiday Season as a way to promote local spending.  The currency worked as a $5 voucher that consumers could use at participating local businesses.  The organization that issued the Boston Bean is now working on setting up a “robust time bank” in the area and hoping to use the Bean as a link between the bank, businesses and consumers.
Circulation and Participation: Not Reported
Founders: Orion Kriegman
Contact: info@jptransition.org
Website: http://jptransition.org/
 
Cape Ann Dollars
 
Region: Gloucester
Currency Type: TimeBank
First Issued:  2006
Description and Background: Cape Ann Dollars were launched in 2006 the founding members learned about TimeBanks USA and wanted to create a tool by which the community members of the Gloucester area could create a strong, insular economy.  Cape Ann Dollars are time backed, meaning that 1 CAD = 1 hour.  Everyone’s time is valued equally and participating members can pay each other for services in their time.
Circulation and Participation: Currently, around 200 people participate in the program.
Founders: Mark McDonough, Nancy Goodman and Cheryl Davis
Contact: capeanntimebanks@gmail.com
Website: http://www.capeanntimebanks.org/Home.html
 
NEW HAMPSHIRE
 
Shire Silver
 
Region: Manchester
Currency Type: Commodity Backed
First Issued: Not Reported
Description and Background: Shire Silver was started as a reaction to the raid that effectively shut down the Liberty Dollar organization by building a model that could be used to allow a decentralized production and distribution system, returning the power to make money to the people.  Shire Silver uses small plastic cards with varying amounts of gold and silver embedded within them, valuing from $1 to $40.
Circulation and Participation: So far, more than $50,000 worth of Shire Silver cards have been produced and distributed.
Founders: Ron Helwig
Contact: info@shiresilver.com
Website: https://shiresilver.com/
 
OREGON
 
Corvallis HOUR Exchange
 
Region: Corvallis
Currency Type: HOURS
First Issued: 2002
Description and Background: Corvallis HOURS are a paper currency with four denominations, one, a half, a quarter and a tenth of an HOUR.  The dollar value of an HOUR is based on a living hourly wage decided by the Exchange.  Every year, the Exchange prints 4 directories and 4 trading markets.
Circulation and Participation: There are $25,000 worth of HOURS in circulation, used by roughly 100 participants.
Founder: Christine Calkins
Contact: cherylrgood@gmail.com
Website: http://hourexchange.org/
 
PENNSYLVANIA
 
TimeBank Media
 
Region: Media
Currency Type: TimeBank
First Issued: May 2011
Description and Background: The Media TimeBank operates similarly to most other TimeBanks, with hours having no direct dollar equivalent, but being logged in a credit system where members can pay each other in hours of their time.
Circulation and Participation: TimeBank Media includes around 230 members and over the past 3 years has facilitated the exchange of over 12,000 hours.
Founder: Marie Goodwin
Contact: marielouisegoodwin@gmail.com
Website: http://timebankmedia.org/
 
VERMONT
 
Bristol Bucks
 
Region: Bristol
Currency Type: Customer Loyalty Scrip
First Issued: 2006
Description and Background: Bristol Bucks were developed 8 years ago by the previous executive director and founder of Bristol Downtown Community Partnership.  Vouchers were made available at the National Bank of Middlebury in $5 and $20 denominations.  The vouchers could then be used at participating businesses.
Circulation and Participation: Use of Bristol Bucks fluctuates, with $2,500 worth being used during December of 2013 and $15 worth in March of the following year.  Around 35 businesses currently accept Bristol Bucks.
Founder: Kate Shelby
Contact: kate@bdcpvt.com
Website: http://discoverbristolvt.com/bdcp/bristol-bucks/
 
WASHINGTON
 
Life Dollars
 
Region: Bellingham
Currency Type: HOURS
First Issued: January 2004
Description and Background: Founded by the Fourth Corner Exchange in 2004, Life Dollars are a time-based currency which facilitate trading between participating businesses and customers in the Bellingham area.
Circulation and Participation: Since the currency was launched in 2004, over $1.4 million worth of goods and services have been purchased and sold through life dollars.  As of now, Life Dollars has over 200 participating members.
Founders: Francis Ayley
Contact: enquires@fourthcornerexchange.org
Website: http://fourthcornerexchange.org/
 
Snohomish Mutual Credit System
 
Region: Snohomish
Currency Type: LETS
First Issued: November 2011
Description and Background: Launched in 2011, Snohomish Mutual Credit System was designed to provide an alternative to federal currency for the residents and businesses in the Snohomish area and strengthen the local economy.  SMCS is a digital currency, where members have accounts that store “mutual credits”.  Being computer-based has allowed the existence of negative balances, so members can take loans and maintain debt.
Circulation and Participation: Not Reported
Founder: Terence Moore
Contact: terence@triskelon.net
Website: http://snohomishmutualcredit.com/