Active Local Currencies

(*unless otherwise noted, all currencies are zero-interest)







Region: San Francisco Bay Area / United States

Currency Type:  digital ledger, backed by the production of goods and services, unknown issuance

First Issued: Unknown

Description and Background: Credibles goes beyond mainstream crowdfunding. It’s ongoing support of local business and a stronger relationship between the business and customers. The upfront payments are paid back in-kind – as edible credits.

Circulation and Participation: Not reported

Founders: Arno Hesse

Contact: none listed




Bay Bucks

Region: San Francisco Bay Area

Currency Type:  digital ledger, backed by the production of goods and services, mutual credit

First Issued: November 2012

Description and Background: A mutual credit system (or “barter exchange”) intended for local businesses. Bay Bucks also plans to extend its services to local residents once it reaches 2,000 business members.

Circulation and Participation: Bay Bucks are currently used by 280 Bay-Area businesses (as of January 2018)

Founders: Chong Kee Tan and Kendra Shanley






New Haven Cares
New Haven, Connecticut

Currency Type: physical notes, true fiat, issued by issuing organization

First Issued:  Unknown

Description and Background: New Haven Cares is a program that has partnered with several local businesses who are committed to alleviating homelessness in New Haven and is in part with Yale University’s Homelessness Action Project in hope to help foster a stronger community.

Circulation and Participation: Currently there are 13 stores accepting New Haven Care Vouchers (as of January 2018)

Founders: Unknown







Region: Baltimore

Currency Type: physical, backed by USD, exchangeable for USD

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 citywide 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, 230 businesses accept BNotes. (as of February 2017)

Founders: Jeff Dicken, Julie Gouldener, Katie Igrec Lima, Jack Arnold, Michael B. Marks, Ph.D., Ian Patrick MacDonald, Damien Nichols and Jason Taft






Region: Berkshire County

Currency Type: physical notes, issued by local banks in partnership with BerkShares, Inc.,, backed by USD, exchangeable for USD at local participating banks

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  Berkshire region of Massachusetts. They are issued by local banks in exchange for USD.  The federal dollars are kept on deposit in BerkShares, Inc. checking accounts at the banks and held to back conversion of BerkShares back to federal dollars on request.  BerkShares are exchanged at $0.95 per BerkShare and spent at a value of $1 per BerkShare with participating 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 businesses which have received 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 occasion. A total of 7.3 million BerkShares have been issued through local banks. 15 branches of 4 local banks currently participate in BerkShare exchange.  Approximately 140,000 BerkShares are in circulation at any one time (as of January 2018).

Founders: Susan Witt, Eric Harris-Braun, Chris Lindstrom




Cape Ann Dollars

Region: Gloucester

Currency Type: physical notes, time-backed, issued by issuing organization

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 (as of January 2018).

Founders: Mark McDonough, Nancy Goodman and Cheryl Davis




Tannery Bucks

Region: New Port

Currency Type: physical notes, backed by USD, exchangeable for USD

Description and Background: Tannery Bucks are one-dollar bills that are redeemable at retail shops and eateries within the Tannery. Tannery Bucks never expire and can be purchased at the Tannery Marketplace office Hall and Moskow. They come in denominations of $10.

Circulation and Participation: Not reported






Shire Silver

Region: Manchester

Currency Type: physical notes, commodity-backed, exchangeable for USD

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





Hudson Valley Current

Region: New York State's Mid-Hudson Valley

Currency Type: digital ledger, backed by the production of goods and services, mutual credit

First Issued: Beta Test launched February 2014

Description and Background: The Hudson Valley Current is a New York State nonprofit that administers a mutual credit system with an online marketplace and credit clearinghouse. All members start their accounts at “0” and earn credits, called Currents, by selling a good or service on the HV Current marketplace. Member accounts are debited when they purchase a good or service on the marketplace. Moving into the negative for a short period of time is ok, since positive and negative Currents balance each other out. In this way, the Hudson Valley Current creates a medium of exchange that is issued by users as needed and that is backed by the trust users have in each others’ willingness and ability to repay debits by providing goods or services.

Circulation and Participation: Over 250 independent businesses and individuals in the Hudson Valley have opened accounts with the Hudson Valley Current. Together, Hudson Valley Current members have created over 15,000 Currents by exchanging goods and services.
Founders: Chris Hewitt, David McCarthy and Maria Reidelbach


Ithaca Dollars

Currency Type: digital ledger, true fiat, Issued and sold by the issuing organization

First Issued: 2015

Description and Background: Ithaca Dollars are a digital currency valued 1 for 1 with the US Dollar. They are accepted as all or part of the totals due for goods & services on offer by businesses and others. Ithaca Dollars are used to reward shopping locally, provide grant support to causes, and make credit available for micro and community-based enterprises. 

Circulation and Participation:  Accepted by approximately 72 businesses and 700 users (as of January 2018)
Founders: Scott Morris




Cascadia HOURS

Region: Northwest Oregon

Currency Type: physical notes, true fiat, issued by issuing organization

First Issued: 1994

Description and Background: Cascadia Hours originated as a barter-club in Eugene in 1993. Branches developed and have operated independently in three different areas, including Portland. Portland acts as a cooperative, and has developed and expanded with no Federal Reserve cash budget.

Circulation and Participation: Over 100 business listings

Contact: Portland Cascadia Hour Exchange, John Poling P.O. Box 8608 Portland, OR
(503) 810-8382



Corvallis HOUR Exchange

Region: Corvallis, Oregon

Currency Type: physical notes, time-backed (HOURs), issued by issuing organization

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





Currency Type: physical notes, time-backed (HOURs), issued by issuing organization

First Issued: 2004

Description and Background: RiverHOURS began in fits and starts in 2001, and finally became a group dedicated enough to meet week after week and hammer out all the details beginning in August 2003. By the spring of 2004, the GLCC had written and adopted its bylaws and began soliciting members of the community to participate.  RiverHOURS will be officially launched as soon as the GLCC reaches at least 100 members. The GLCC's mission statement is, "The Gorge Local Currency Cooperative (GLCC) seeks to create and sustain a local currency system in order to build community, promote regional economic independence, support local business and trade, encourage entrepreneurship, honor diversity and enhance the local minimum wage in the Mid-Columbia region."

Circulation and Participation: The GLCC focuses on the Columbia River Gorge region within a 35-mile radius from the center of the Hood River (Oregon) Bridge.  It contains portions of five counties in two states. RiverHOURS are primarily based on the Ithaca Hours system, and have three denominations: 1 HOUR = $10, 1/2 HOUR = $5, 1/10 HOUR = $1. The GLCC chose the Hours system for its local currency to emphasize the value of a person’s time.

Contact: Gorge Local Currency Cooperative, Theresa North, Steering Committee, 993 Tucker Road, Suite A, Hood River, OR 97031
(541) 386-4074 





TimeBank Media

Region: Unknown

Currency Type: digital ledger, issued by issuing organization, time-backed

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





Bristol Bucks

Region: Bristol, Vermont

Currency Type: physical notes, backed by USD, unknown issuance

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.  28 businesses accept Bristol Bucks (as of January 2018).

Founder: Kate Shelby





Life Dollars

Region: Bellingham, Washington

Currency Type: physical notes and digital ledger, time-backed, unknown issuance

First Issued:  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: 200+ participating members; over $1.4 million worth of goods and services have been purchased and sold since launch (as of 2013)

Founder: Francis Ayley






Dane County Time Bank

Region: Dane County in Southern Wisconsin

Currency Type: digital ledger, time-backed, issued by issuing organization

First Issued: 2005

Description and Background: The Dane County TimeBank is a network of individuals and organizations in Dane County working to increase efficiency, opportunity and resource sharing through mutually beneficial exchange -- building community ties and community self-sufficiency. 

Circulation and Participation: Not Reported

Founder: Stephanie Rearick











Region: Limburg, Belgium

Currency Type: digital ledger, backed by the production of goods and services, mutual credit

First Issued: 2005

Description and Background: The E-Portemonnee is simple and user-friendly: residents who use their municipality or province with credits rewards exhibit sustainable behavior registered on their ID cards. The number of credits linked to the action is processed and stored in a central database where every user has his or her own electronic credits account. The credits earned can be used to pay for other sustainable services or products. When such a purchase is made, the relevant number of credits is deducted via the users ID card.

Circulation and Participation: The E-Portemonnee is running in 10 municipalities, with 1 to 16% of households participating (total inhabitants of the province of Limburg = 850.000).

Founder: (group)





Region:  Turnhout, Flanders, Belgium

Currency Type: digital ledger, time-backed, issued by issuing organization

First Issued: 

Description and Background: People receive credits after helping out an elderly person or someone in need. They can provide a variety of services related to informal care and assistance, friendly favours, sharing knowledge and skills etc. The number of credits one receive indicate how much time was invested in supporting their community. Participants are then able to spend their credits for discounts at local retailers or organisations. (from Qoin)

Circulation and Participation: not listed

Founder: Qoin








Region: São Miguel do Gostoso, Brazil

Currency Type: physical notes, backed by Brazilian real, exchangeable for Brazilian real

First Issued: Possibly 2013

Description and Background: No English information

Circulation and Participation:  not listed

Founders: not listed

Contact: none listed

Website: none



Palma (issued by Banco Palmas)

Region: Palmeira neighborhood in Fortaleza, Brazil

Currency Type:  physical notes, backed by Brazilian real, exchangeable with Brazilian real

First Issued: 1998

Description and Background: Banco Palmas is an initiative of local currency and microcredit which has been practiced since 1998 at the Palmeira neighborhood in Fortaleza, Brazil. Ashoka Fellow João Joaquim de Melo Neto Segundo founded Banco Palmas as a strategy to address a larger cycle of poverty and stalled economic growth as a result of the lack of credit in poorer regions. This bank provides small-amount loans not in real, Brazil's official currency, but in palma which circulates only within this neighborhood. The parity (1 palma = 1 real) makes it easier for businesses to use and accept this currency. Credit cards as well as loans for house reforms are given to some users too. For each Palma in circulation, one Real is held in reserve by the association. Since the currency is good only within the boundaries of the neighborhood, borrowers tend to spend these resources on local purchases. As a result, this generates positive effects in the local economy.

Circulation and Participation: not listed

Founders: not listed






Calgary Dollars

Region: Calgary, Canada

Currency Type: physical notes, backed by Canadian dollars, issued by issuing organization

First Issued: 1995

Description and Background: Calgary Dollars is a community economic development program that utilizes a complementary currency to strengthen participants’ ability to withstand social and economic crises, create a local system of exchange, and create a better sense of community. Participants earn both Calgary Dollars and the federal currency through online and print listings, marketing assistance and skills building, and by marketing goods and services at monthly Calgary Dollar Markets.

Circulation and Participation: 1200 users, 300 businesses

Founder: Arusha Center

Contact: Visit




Salt Spring Dollars

Region: British Columbia, Canada

Currency Type: physical notes, issued by issuing organization, backed by Canadian dollars

First Issued: 2001

Description and Background: Salt Spring Dollars is one of the oldest local currency distributors in Canada. The currency is distributed by the Salt Spring Island Monetary Foundation, which was founded as a not-for-profit society on July 17th, 2001, in the Province of British Columbia.

Circulation and Participation: Salt Spring Dollars are accepted at a majority of businesses on Salt Spring Island. Many smaller cafes and local artisans, farmers and food vendors accept the currency at the Saturday Market.

Founder: Michael Gallant





Unity Dollars

Region: Ontario

Currency Type: physical notes, backed the production of goods and services, exchangeable for Canadian dollars

First Issued: 2006

Description and Background: Unity Dollars are the local currency in Ontario Canada that has been running for more than 11 years. Unity Dollars focuses on the idea that supporting trade within the Madawaska Valley empowers the Ontario people in an economic aspect.

Circulation and Participation: There are approximately 70 Unity traders who are active within this Unity Dollar network. Many Unity traders are willingly accepting other usury free community currencies at par.

Founder: Not listed






Region: Basque region, France

Currency Type: Physical, notes backed by euros, exchangeable for euros

First Issued: 2013

Description and Background: (translated from website) The Euskal Moneta association began its work in September 2011, and eusko was put into circulation after a year and a half of intensive preparatory work on January 31, 2013 throughout the North Basque Country, that is, to say the Basque Country of France, from Hendaye to Mauléon via Bayonne and Saint-Palais. At launch, Eusko had 800 users and 192 service providers (businesses, businesses and associations) in the network, but these numbers then increased rapidly.


This successful launch was the result of careful preparatory work by a motor group of a dozen people who made a significant self-training, reflection, and three study trips: MLC in Villeneuve-sur-Lot in October 2011, visit to Sol Violette in Toulouse in December 2011, then to chiemgauer, the largest MLC in Europe, in Bavaria, in January 2012.


To "socialize" the project, Euskal Moneta gathered in autumn 2011 a first presentation about twenty associations and movements ecologists, social and the Basque language, representing thousands of members, who then followed its evolution.


Then about twenty information meetings were organized throughout the Basque Country to present the preliminary project to hundreds of people and amend it according to the feedback of residents, traders, business leaders, community activists, etc. . As a result of these exchanges, for example, it was decided to launch the eusko without casting, because this "negative interest rate", despite its strong educational interest in terms of education to other ways of thinking the economy, was clearly a hindrance to ownership of the project by the people we met.


Meanwhile, a participatory campaign was launched to choose the name of the currency, on the theme: "It's your currency, you choose his name." This democratic approach mobilized a large number of people and attracted the attention of journalists. Some 380 different names were spontaneously nominated, then a jury selected seven, and the 2,000 or so people who voted voted for Eusko. Eusko is an adjective that means "Basque" in Euskara.


Finally, in recent months, a call to goodwill has mobilized some forty new volunteers who, organized in commissions, have designed and printed coupons-tickets 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 eusko, put in place the logistics and in particular the system of distribution and secure tracking of the currency, prepared the necessary computer tools, communication documents for individuals and businesses, translation so that all our tools are bilingual, the recruitment of future users and providers, etc.


Although it was originally adopted mainly by activists, in a few months eusko has largely gone beyond this first indispensable circle. The 126,500 eusko printed and planned to last two years left in three months, and 350,000 had to be reprinted urgently.

Circulation and Participation: 750,000 eusko are currently in circulation/ 880 Member/ 700+ businesses accept Eusko (as of January 2018)

Founders: A group of Basque-speaking activists

Contact: Visit




Region: Nantes, France

Currency Type: digital ledger, backed by the production of goods and services mutual credit

First Issued: 2015

Description and Background: The SoNantes is an all-digital currency aimed at economic development of local businesses. The SoNantes businesses to provide goods and services to each other without spending Euros, with individual shoppers also able to participate by opening up an account at the local credit union. SoNantes cards can then be used on public transport, in shops and cafes as well as to pay for certain council services.

Circulation and Participation: Unknown

Founders: Not Listed







Region: Prien am Chiemsee, Bavaria, Germany

Currency Type: negative interest (demurrage), physical notes and digital ledger, backed by another currency, exchangeable for euros

First Issued: 2003

Description and Background: The Chiemgauer program is the largest regional currency in Germany. The Chiemgauer focuses to increase the amount of local trade and employment within the community by stimulating the consumption of local goods and services. It also opens up opportunities that financially support local charitable associations via the fees users pay to keep the scheme running.

Circulation and Participation: As of 2011, over 555,000 Chiemgauer in circulation with an annual turnover equivalent to 6 million euros. There are over 600 businesses participating in the scheme; more than 2400 consumers using the currency and more than 220 voluntary associations that receive financial support via the scheme.

Founder: Christian Gelleri







Region: Volos, Magnesia, Greece

Currency Type: digital ledger, backed by the production of goods and services, mutual credit (LETS)

First Issued: 2010

Description and Background: The economic crisis in our country has demonstrated in the most persuasive way the imbalances both nationally and globally and of course the inability of local societies to react to events and situations that occur on a scale that can not be controlled. the flow of money is directed to speculative financial institutions and organizations and to large financial centers that have the absolute control and thus determine the fortunes of hundreds of millions across the globe. Anita, depriving local communities of the potential for development and quality but economic development models that have been tested with great success, giving response to the inability of local economic development, through networks or associations that are not aimed at profit but solidarity and prosperity. Local networks of exchanges and solidarity are a positive action by the citizens themselves, who take their lives in their hands, create job opportunities, give value to local products, knowledge and productivity for the benefit of the citizens themselves, and not of far-off multinationals that sap the wealth of a society. The means of expression and interaction among the members of such a network are local alternative exchange units. knowledge and productivity for the benefit of the citizens themselves, and not of far-off multinationals that shed the wealth of a society. The means of expression and interaction among the members of such a network are local alternative exchange units. knowledge and productivity for the benefit of the citizens themselves, and not of far-off multinationals that shed the wealth of a society. The means of expression and interaction among the members of such a network are local alternative exchange units. (from

Founders: Unknown

Circulation and Participation: not reported







Fureai Kippu

Region: Japan, country-wide

Currency Type: physical notes (tickets), time-backed, mutual credit

First Issued: 1973

Description and Background: A reciprocity-based time banking system that was developed over forty years ago in Japan to provide care for the elderly. Fureai Kippu literally means “Ticket for a Caring Relationship” and refers to the ticket or credit that is earned when one volunteers their time to help seniors. According to the first published research in Japanese in 1992, Fureai Kippu is: A generic term for various time-based systems, such as Time Deposit, Point Deposit, Labor Bank, etc… . where members can earn time credits or points for the hours they volunteer, providing physical care, home help, and emotional assistance to the care-dependent members. These credits can then be registered by the host organization and saved in their personal accounts. Time credit holders can withdraw and use their credits to buy care for themselves or relatives as required. (from The Next System Project)

Founders:  Teruko Mizushima

Circulation and Participation: unknown

Contact: not listed

Website: none




Region: Sardinia, Italy

Currency Type: digital ledger, backed by the production of goods and services, mutual credit

First Issued: 2009 (pilot in 2006)

Description and Background: A mutual credit system

Founders: Giuseppe Littera, Gabriele Littera, Carlo Mancosu, and Piero Sanna

Circulation and Participation: 8 million euros per month and over 4000 businesses (as of December 2018)



*also see other commercial credit circuits associate with Sardex here:




Region: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Currency Type: physical notes, time-backed, issued by issuing organization

First Issued: 2012

Description and Background: The Makkie is a reward scheme in the Makassar-square neighborhood, part of the Amsterdam East District. The purpose of the Makkie is to empower local people; to encourage them to take an active role in their community and to improve livability in the neighborhood. Although urban renewal has taken place in most parts of the Amsterdam East District, the Makassar-square neighborhood is an example of a neighborhood that needs extra assistance to overcome high unemployment and problems related to low-income, low-education, and cultural differences. The municipality, housing corporations and local residents joined hands to improve the neighborhood. De Makkie is one of the means to reach this goal.

Circulation and Participation: At this moment at least 500 residents and 30 companies and public service providers are participating in the program.

Founders: Consortium of residents, local government and housing associations





Regions: Bergen op Zoom and Tholen, The Netherlands

Currency Type: digital ledger, backed by the production of goods and services, issued by issuing organization

First Issued:

Description and Background: SamenDoen is a community currency program designed to strengthen local economic activity, to stimulate citizen’s civic participation and to support institutions in the housing, healthcare and welfare sector in executing their policies. SamenDoen’s main goal is to help building vibrant and resilient communities.

Founders: Qoin





Region: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Currency Type: Digital, Issued for goods and services, Backed by National currency

First Issued: 2014

Description and Background: TradeQoin is a complementary currency launched in spring 2014 in the Netherlands by Qoin as part of the CCIA project. It is a trade network for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that facilitates the exchange of goods and services within the network’s members through the use of a digital currency: the TradeQoin. The scheme represents an innovation to traditional trade exchange networks because of improvements in governance, pricing models, marketing and roll out. TradeQoin enables its members to conduct mutual transactions that help their business grow, find new customers and save euros at the same time. TradeQoin offers SMEs the availability of fast and cheap working capital as well as creating a market where SMEs are encouraged to develop additional business opportunities with each other.

Circulation and Participation: TradeQoin operates exclusively as virtual currency. TradeQoin cannot be bought or sold; it can only be earned and spent. Participating businesses can earn TradeQoins by selling their products or services to other members via the online marketplace. Since the value of one TradeQoin equals one euro, pricing and bookkeeping is simple. Convertibility between euro and TradeQoin and vice versa is not allowed. Every transaction is registered on the online account of participants.

Founders: Qoin






Brand (Grassroots Economics)

Region: Western Cape, South Africa

Currency Type: physical notes, backed by national currency, exchangeable for national currency

First Issued:  2015

Description and Background: The Berg Rand or BRAND – meaning ‘Fire’ Money in Afrikaans launched on May 30, 2015. The currency started by the FlyAfrica Team spending over 6 months of training locals on the fundamentals of economics: architecture, business, and currency. This then sparked the formation of 3 businesses across the Bergivier region and finally resulting them in creating their own currency, the BRAND.

Circulation and Participation: The BRAND is meant to flow throughout the community when the National Currency (Rand) is scarce. Beyond the empowerment of the small businesses in the region, the launch of the BRAND was special in Africa as being the first to be met with support from both a National Treasury and local municipality.

Founder: FlowAfrica Team





Region: Kokstad, South Africa

Currency Type: physical notes, backed by national currency, exchangeable for national currency

First Issued: 2015

Description and Background: K'Mali is an innovative complementary currency used in Kokstad by the K'Mali Exchange Network (KEN). It is a medium of exchange to function alongside the national currency (Rand) with the aim to improve economic trade and help support local well being and sustainable self-determination in the community of Kokstad.

Circulation and Participation: K'Mali is a local community currency backed by the productivity of over 115 local Kokstad businesses. The K'Mali functions like a loyalty voucher for local business, increasing their cash liquidity. Because it is usually spent in combination with the national currency, it helps move the Rand around
Kokstad and this stabilizes the market.

Founders: Unknown






Region: Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Catalonia

Currency Type: digital ledger, issued by issuing authority (municipality), backed by euros

First Issued: 2017

Description and Background: Gramas are fully backed by euros so they have the same value. They can be exchanged for euros, but users receive merchant discounts for using gramas. Importantly, each grama has a unique digital tag, allowing its duration in the system to be observed. Using this tag, a 5 percent penalty is imposed on exchanging gramas to euros before 45 days, with no exchange penalty after 45 days. These factors, though small, give users additional motivation to spend locally.

Circulation and Participation: 130 businesses and equivalent to 50,000 in circulation, as of 2017

Founders: Andreu Honzawa Puig, Ubiquat Technologies, STRO, City of Santa Coloma de Gramenet

Contact: ;







Region: Sion, Swizerland

Currency Type: physical notes, backed by euros, exchangeable for euros

First Issued: 2017

Description and Background:  (translated from With his farinets, the merchant will provide goods and services from local suppliers, thus circulating this currency in the real economy.  It will foster local collaborations and synergies, strengthening the economic fabric of the region and creating new business opportunities.   Not allowing hoarding or speculation, a local currency circulates faster than a national currency.

Circulation and Participation: 100 businesses  (as of May 2017)

Founders: Unknown






Region: Geneva and Lausanne, Switzerland

Currency Type: physical notes, backed by euros, exchangeable for euros

First Issued: 2015

Description and Background: (translated from Léman is the name of the local currency, ecological and solidarity of the transboundary Lake Geneva basin, which circulates since September 18, 2015. Lake Geneva: complementary to the Swiss Franc and the Euro? Leman does not replace either the Swiss franc or the euro ... For consumers, most payments remain in Swiss francs or euros (charges, taxes, suppliers still unavailable in the region, etc.). ... it is a complementary currency. By circulating the lémans, we create a purchasing power for the Lemanic basin of life. Thus, the local economic circuit is revitalized, on both sides of the border, which the Swiss francs and euros, which circulate on the money markets, do not always allow.

Circulation and Participation: Over 450 businesses accept leman and over 80,000 bills are in circulation (as of January 2018)

Founder: Léman Currency Association






Region: Switzerland

Currency Type: both zero-interest and positive interest, backed by the production of goods and services, mutual credit

First Issued: 1934

Description and Background: Considered the longest-running non-national currency, the WIR system (started as the  WIR Wirtschaftsring cooperative and eventually became the WIR bank) has been in operation since 1934.

Translated from WIR Bank website

“The 1929 World Economic Crisis, which culminated in 1934, was the catalyst for the founding of the WIR Wirtschaftsring cooperative by Werner Zimmermann, Paul Enz and 14 other individuals.


Following free-lance theory of free-thinker Silvio Gesell, they wanted to counter the scarce supply of money due to money hoarding by not paying interest on the money used. This "free money" was later called "neutral money". For money that remained lying, a retention fee should be paid.


Constant economic ring

The economic ring was not the first organization to organize a kind of barter based on this monetary theory. In those years of crisis, self-help organizations formed around the world, especially in the US, organizing bartering among their members. In Europe, a whole series of cashless barter exchanges also emerged. Most of the emergencies that emerged in those days survived only a short time in Europe. Either you lacked the legal basis, they went bankrupt or they lost their meaning with the crisis end.


Only the economic ring outlasted. The money-reforming goals, especially the interest-critical backgrounds according to the free-field theory, which initially persecuted the WIR founders, were quickly abandoned. On WIR loans, a modest interest was levied, and cooperative shares were earmarked. Retention fees on inactive money were never raised directly, but only indirectly and from 1948 no more. Since the founding, however, the idea of ​​self-help applies.


A full-fledged bank

Unlike barter organizations, the WIR Wirtschaftsring cooperative has had the rights and obligations of a bank since 1936. Among other things, this has the advantage of controlling the WIR money supply via the WIR loan and thus always giving the WIR system the necessary impulses.”

Founders: Werner Zimmermann, Paul Enz and 14 others








Region: Mombasa Area, Kenya

Currency Type: physical notes, backed by production of goods and services, mutual credit

First Issued: 2015

Description and Background: The Ng’ombeni-pensa currency for the Kenyan region that follows the Bengla-Pesa model.

Circulation and Participation:  Many people from this community use this currency and host a market day exclusively for it.

Founder: Will Ruddick and Grassroots Economics





Sarafu-Credit (multiple programs)

Region: Kenya

Currency Type: physical notes, backed by production of goods and services, mutual credit

First Issued: 2010

Description and Background: Sarafu is a community currency backed by a network of vendors, craftspeople, and school. It allows trade to occur for people who don’t have enough national currency spend.

Circulation and Participation: Sarafu-Credit is used by five different communities, all located in informal settlements or slum areas. This includes small businesses and schools. The community currency system takes the form of paper notes, circulating in complementarity with the national currency, the Kenyan Shilling.

Founder: Will Ruddick and Grassroots Economics





Region: Kenya

Currency Type: physical notes, backed by production of goods and services, mutual credit

First Issued: 2013

Description and Background: A complementary currency that has become a medium exchange in the Bangladesh slum in the city of Mombasa. Bangla-Pesa is only accepted within the confines of this particular slum. The Bangla-Pesa is accepted for many transactions and thus, represents a currency acting as a means of exchange in the slum.

Circulation and Participation: Over 200 businesses have agreed to accept the currency, and in return, each has been awarded a credit of 400 Bangla Pesa.

Founder: Will Ruddick and Grassroots Economics






Bristol Pound

Region: Bristol, England

Currency Type: physical notes and digital ledger, backed by national currency, exchangeable for GBP

First Issued: 2012

Description and Background: The Bristol Pound is the UK’s first city wide local currency, the first to have electronic accounts managed by a regulated financial institution, and the first that can be used to pay some local taxes. The Bristol Pound is run as a not-for-profit partnership between the Bristol Pound Community Interest Company and Bristol Credit Union.

Circulation and Participation: Bristol Pounds can be spent at participating businesses in 3 ways: using the paper Bristol Pounds, using your phone and our text payment system, or using online using your Bristol Pound account. Having fully functioning online accounts makes Bristol Pounds easy and convenient to use for bill payments and taxes and opens up the opportunities for business-to-business payments. Bristol Credit Union manages all electronic accounts on established and secure banking systems.

Founders:  Unknown




Brixton Pound

Region: Brixton, United Kingdom

Currency Type: Digital ledger (present) physical notes (2009-2011), backed by national currency, exchangeable for GBP

First Issued: 2009

Description and Background:  The Brixton Pound makes money work for Brixton by supporting smaller shops and traders who are under threat from the recession and larger chains. It stays in Brixton and circulates, increasing local trade and community connections. Money spent with independent businesses circulates within the local economy up to three times longer than when it’s spent with national chains, research by the New Economics Foundation has shown. The Brixton Pound encourages people to think about where their money is going and commit to spending a proportion of it locally. On the environmental front, the Brixton Pound supports local businesses in sourcing more goods and services locally, reducing their carbon footprint.

Circulation and Participation: Around 250 businesses currently accept paper B£ and around 200 have pay-by-text accounts.

Founders: Tom Shakhil





Ekopia Resource Exchange (EKO)

Region: Moray, Scotland

Currency Type: physical notes, backed by national currency, mutual credit

First Issued: 2002

Description and Background: The Eko is a local currency system designed as a working alternative to £s Sterling in economic transactions, to be a viable replacement for the pre-existing “blue money” system and as a complement to LETS.

Circulation and Participation: Since the successful trial, 15,000-20,000 Ekos have been in permanent circulation and are now into a fourth issue. Total trading turnover of the notes is estimated at >£100,000 per annum and several new traders have started accepting the currency. As a result of the surpluses created we have been able to make a grants to various community bodies including the Festivals Group, Youth Project and New Findhorn Association.

Founder: Alex Walker





Region: Hull, United Kingdom

Currency Type: Digital ledger (cryptocurrency), true fiat, issued by issuing organization

First Issued: 2016

Description and Background: (from HullCoin is the world’s first Community Loyalty Point. Earn HullCoin by getting involved in great things in your community, spend HullCoin by accessing discounts with local retailers. Register above if you are a community organisation that would like to issue HullCoin, someone that would like to use HullCoin or if you are a retailer interested in accepting HullCoin as a form of discount.

Circulation and Participation: not listed

Founders: Lisa Bovill and Dave Shepherdson




Lewes Pound

Region: Lewes, England

Currency Type: physical notes, backed by national currency, exchangeable for GBP

First Issued: 2008

Description and Background: (from Lewes Pound is a creative yet practical way for local people to make money work for Lewes. The Lewes Pound is essentially a voucher or token that can be traded locally as a complementary currency and used alongside Pounds Sterling.

The Lewes Pounds is driven by three main considerations:

Economic: According to the New Economics Foundation, money spent locally stays within the community and is re-used many times, multiplying wealth and building resilience in the local economy.

Environmental: Supporting local businesses and goods reduces the need for transport and minimizes our carbon footprint.

Social: By spending money in local outlets we can strengthen the relationships between local shopkeepers and the community. It also supports people finding new ways to make a living.

The Lewes Pound also benefits shoppers by creating stronger and more local shops, increasing a sense of pride in our community, decreasing CO2 emissions and increasing economic resilience. Furthermore, the Lewes Pound benefits local traders by increasing footfall and local business activity, encouraging people to buy local and increasing customer loyalty, highlighting the benefits of local shopping, bringing attention and attracting visitors to Lewes and minimising card-based transaction costs.

Circulation and Participation: Unknown, possibly inactive

Founders: Transition Town Lewes





Time Credit (Spice Network)

Region: London, England

Currency Type: physical notes, backed by time/labor, issued by issuing organization

First Issued: 2009

Description and Background: Spice Time Credit Systems main focus is to support the action of people giving their time to help the community. Spice believes everyone has a talent that can help others.

Circulation and Participation: Spice is a time credit meaning they work on an hour-to-hour basis: every hour you give to the community you then receive a Time Credit. This time credit can then be used for an activity of your choice. Giving time can be as simple as teaching people to swim to teaching someone an instrument.

Founder: Ian Merrill




Totnes Pound

Region: Devon, England

Currency Type: physical notes, backed by national currency, issued by issuing organization

First Issued: 2007

Description and Background: The Totnes pound is a complementary local currency intended to support the local economy of Totnes a town in Devon, England. The initiative is part of the Transition Towns concept, of which Totnes is a pioneer. According to the Transition Town Totnes website this means that it is "a community in a process of imagining and creating a future that addresses the twin challenges of diminishing oil and gas supplies and climate change, and creates the kind of community that we would all want to be part of".

Circulation and Participation: A Totnes Pound is equal to one-pound sterling and is backed by sterling held in a bank account. The Totnes Pound was re-launched in June 2014 in denominations of t£1, t£5, t£10 and t£21. The final designs feature the author Mary Wesley, 'father of the computer' Charles Babbage, musician Ben Howard and the social activist and philanthropist Dorothy Elmhirst. As of July 2014, more than 120 businesses in Totnes were accepting the Totnes Pound, and more than £12,000 worth of the currency had been issued.

Founders:  Unknown