Local currencies: The wasted opportunities
By Ted Trainer
Posted December 11, 2017

Ithaca Hours, example of local currencyIn the sad history of the world a major role has been played by power over currency. Those who have most of the money, or capacity to create it such as banks, have been in a position to determine what happens, simply by being able to decide what it will be lent for, and on what terms. At one point the Duke of Wellington was almost defeated but was able to go on and win when the Rothschild bank decided to lend him a lot of money. Lincoln probably would have lost the American civil war because the banks refused to lend him money (on reasonable terms), but he did what Transition Towns should do, that is, he created his own money and spent it on what he needed.

In the new sustainable, just and delightful economies we are going to create, we local citizens will be in control of just about everything, including the creation, issuing and use of money. And the new currencies we will introduce will be the most powerful device we have for developing the systems we want. But this will only be so if they are carefully designed and introduced to bring about the desired outcomes. Unfortunately most of the local currencies I am aware of are totally lacking in sensible design, reveal no understanding of how best to use a local currency, and cannot have significant effects. More…