Bernard Lietaer - Local Currency Systems in the United States


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Bernard Lietaer - Local Currency Systems in the United States

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Bernard Lietaer - Local Currency Systems in the United States

  1. 1. Local Currency Systems in the United States, 1991-Present Loren Gatch ( following annotated list of American local currencies has been compiled from a variety of sources, but its point of departure was Ed Collum‟s2005 article on local currencies (for his list, see : Most internet searches for these various systemsproduced recycled lists of currency experiments, often based on the same Wikipedia entry on local currencies. Some links provided in Collum‟s workhave since become stale, or changed their content (for example, Olybarter Network is now a porn site!). Careful searching reveals that there issurprisingly little information available on specific local currency experiences, particularly the defunct ones. Suffice it to say, this project took longerthan I expected it to.This list revises Collum‟s effort, and provides links where available to information about that local currency. Sources include newspaper accounts,past issues of Local Currency News, various online books and reports, and older versions of websites accessible through Internet Archive. I made two editorial decisions that have changed the composition of this list compared to others. First, I dropped the Chamber of Commerce-sponsored plans (like Crested Butte, Colorado), which were essentially coupons or gift certificates not designed for general circulation. This includesany participants in defunct programs run by Certificheck, which declared bankruptcy last year. Second, I have dropped Liberty Dollars from this list.After studying its operation, I concluded that it is simply a scheme for selling bullion coins and has no genuine local content in its design. Finally, Idropped entries that did not use actual currency (i.e. that were LETS or Time Dollars), except for a few exceptions (such as Seattle‟s “Time Bucks”)which appear on so many local currency lists that clarifying their character might be useful.I considered a currency active if its website is functional and up-to-date. Of course, currencies can still circulate without websites, but in the absenceof any other information this was the obvious criterion. In one case, “Dillo Hours” (Austin, Texas), I labeled it active without a website on the basisof a report made to me by someone who had recently visited that town.This list remains incomplete in many places. Even as I added listings for older currencies that received only incidental mention in the sources, I alsotried to include references to schemes that are currently being conceived (like Detroit “Cheers”). I may have missed some of these newest ones.Anyone perusing this list who may be able to „fill in the blanks‟ or otherwise provide an information source, please contact me. Likewise, if you havecurrency images you wish to share, I would much appreciate it. Thanks!
  2. 2. State/Province Currency Name Denom- Date Begun Status Remarksand City inationsUnited StatesArkansasFayetteville Ozark Hour Forming Flagstaff 1/10, ½, 2000 Inactive Sponsored by the Flagstaff Tea Party community newspaper Neighborly Notes one hour (closed 2002) Money/newmoney.html See also this old link from an earlier version of the Ithaca Hours webpage: High Desert 1, 5, 10, 20 Inactive Issued by Central Arizona Mutual Credit Association. Dollars dollars Exchangeable with Flagstaff Neighborly Notes tin.html See also this newspaper article from 2000: &id=B7AKAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Mk0DAAAAIBAJ&pg=7040,6 61294 Apparently they worked like the first version of Berkshares. People had to deposit gift certificates redeemable in their product as collateral for the notes they received.
  3. 3. Tucson Tucson Traders Tucson 1997 Inactive Thomas Greco was involved with this. Token (=$1 US) 1999 (paper See description at the EF Schumacher site: currency) planning.htm Website existed through 2003. See: No currency samples availableTucson Tucson Local Forming See: This site is otherwise Currency not much concerned with local currencies. No details provided.CaliforniaArcata/Eureka Humboldt 1, 5, 10, 20, 2003 Active A project of Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County Exchange 50 dollars (DUHC) Community Currency There seems to be no relationship between this currency and the other earlier Eureka currencies (see below).
  4. 4. Berkeley Berkeley BREAD ¼, ½, and 1997 Inactive Berkeley Region Exchange and Development. Approx. one Hour $30,000 issued. For an early descriptive article, see: (=$US 12) See description at the EF Schumacher site: planning.htm See also: l/Jul1997/0004.html And this archived link: Two articles by Miyoko Sakashita, former Director of BREAD: Sand Dollars Inactive A brief listing can be found at: Like Durango (CO) Community Cash, this began as a ledger- based (LETS) program, but then assumed a paper form. Jill Whitcroft, the founder, died in 2004. tmlEureka Humboldt Hours 1999 Inactive Begun by Humboldt County Greens. George Kirkpatrick was the contact person. See this 1998 list of local currencies: Humboldt Clams 2000 Inactive Begun by Humboldt Local Community Project. Were these ever issued?
  5. 5. Garberville Sequoia Hours Inactive A brief listing can be found at: See also: Bragg Mendocino SEED Inactive SEED=Self-sufficient Ecological Economic Development. For an ambitious survey of SEED users, see: Mendo Moola Forming City TradeMarket ½, 1, 5, 20 2007 (date of Active Trades first newsletter)North Fork North Fork “Forks” 1999 Inactive Brief mention is made of this previous currency experiment in the current North Fork website (see next listing below). There was also an earlier local currency listed in Colorado called “North Forks Helping Hands” (see below).North Fork North Fork Shares 1 Share Summer Forming Interestingly, this is an Ithaca Hours-style currency (all the =$US 12 2009 other recent ones follow the Berkshares model). The group‟s (other website is quite professional and well-documented: denominati ons?)Oakland Acorns Forming This is being promoted by Wilson Riles: Alto Area Bucks Inactive Founder or organizer seems to have been Carol Brouillet: Luis San Luis Obispo Inactive A brief listing can be found at:Obispo Hours
  6. 6. Santa Barbara Santa Barbara 1997 Inactive Sponsored by the Fund for Santa Barbara. Operated for two Hours years in the late 1990s. For early details see: One of its founders was Mark Phillips: n=462819 Website existed through August 2000:*/ SBHoursSanta Monica Santa Monica Inactive A brief listing can be found at: Hours Rosa Sonoma County ¼, one hour 1998 Inactive A brief listing can be found at: Community Cash (=$US 10) (2000) See archived website: Co-founder has website. Ukiah Hours 1/10, ½, 1, 2 2000 Inactive hours (never opened) Last updated 2004, this website notes that the scheme never got off the ground. A variety of articles on the proposed currency can be found on this site. Currency images are also available. See also the last paragraphs of Lowd‟s thesis, chapter 7:
  7. 7. Boulder Boulder Hours ½, one, and 1993 Inactive Jhym Phoenix gave a presentation on Boulder Hours at the two hours 1997 T.O.E.S. conference: (=$US 10) kshop%20on%20Community%20Currencies Phoenix is describe elsewhere as having organized “four” local currencies. There is a brief description of Boulder Hours in Greco‟s New Money book, ch. 10, along with images of the currency: g10.6Boulder Forming The Boulder city government has discussed support for a “complementary” currency. This report alludes to two different efforts underway as of late 2007: 2007/10-25-07/2a.pdfCarbondale Carbondale Spuds Inactive Carbondale Spuds are referred to in Turmel‟s transcript of the 1997 TOES conference. Krista Paradise organized the currency. See: Community Cash 1997 Inactive This started as a Time-Dollar program but switched to scrip. For early details see: (2000) l/Jul1997/0004.html Sponsored by the Women‟s Resource Center. References to “Community Cash” are archived between 1998 and 2000: Collins NOCO Hours ½ hour 2002 Active North Fork 1999 Inactive A listing can be found at: Helping Hands Contact person was Randy Kokernot.Connecticut
  8. 8. Willimantic Thread City Bread ¼ , one 1999 Inactive Contact person was Donna Nicolino hour = $US 10 For early details see: l/Jul1997/0005.html Two New York Times articles describe this currency: a-local-cachet.html?sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all local-color-small-connecticut-town-issues-its-own-currency- urge.html?pagewanted=2 Approx. 320 hours issued by Thread City Bread Committee.FloridaGainesville Gainesville Hours ¼, one hour 1997 Inactive These were issued by the Gainesville Barter Network. Contact =$US 10 (2003) person was Shanti Vani. This article describes the founding of (¼ hour Gainesville Hours: issued in 1998) Website pages are archived at:*/ For early details, see: l/Jul1997/0005.html No currency images availableGeorgiaAtlanta Atlanta Hours Inactive A brief listing can be found at: And at: Associated with the Georgia Green Party. Hugh Esco was contact person. No sign that this program was ever launched.Hawai‟i
  9. 9. Kilauea Kauai Barter and Coconuts 1995 Active? Kauai Alternative Resource Management Agency (KARMA) Trade Network began issuing “coconuts”. In 2005, a LETS was adopted, whose unit of account is the KISS (from Kau‟i Island Self-Sufficiency) LETS Boise Hours Inactive A brief listing can be found at: And at: Neysa Jensen was contact person.IndianaBloomington BloomingHOURS ¼, ½, and 1999 Inactive See description at the EF Schumacher site: one Hour (=$US 10) planning.htm BloomingHOURS was sponsored by the Bloomingfoods Coop and operated out of the Sustainable Living Office at the Bloomington Environmental Center. Website has not been updated since 1999.Indianapolis Barter Bucks 1994 Inactive Sponsored by Positive Change Network, Inc. For early details, see:
  10. 10. Lawrence REAL Dollars 1, 3, 10 2000 Inactive Contact person was Boog Highberger dollars REAL=Realizing the Economic Alternatives in Lawrence Website is archived at:*/ Most activity seems to have taken place between 2000 and 2001. This currency was issued against an equivalent fund of $US. See description at the EF Schumacher site: planning.htm For an approving discussion of REAL Dollars, see Lowd‟s thesis, chapter 5: Berea Bucks 2, 10 dollars 1997 Inactive Founded by the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED). Approx. $6,000 were issued. See also this old link from an earlier version of the Ithaca Hours webpage: Orleans Mo‟ Money One “Mo” 1996 Inactive This operated in a New Orleans housing project, and involved (=$US 5) the Tulane/Xavier Campus Affiliates Program. For an early description, see: l/Jul1997/0004.html The online community where this website was located, AOL‟s Hometown, has been shut down. However, archived pages with currency images can be found at: ALinNOLA/MoMoney.htmlMaine
  11. 11. Unity Waldo Hours 1996 For an early description, see: Baltimore Hours 1/10, ¼, ½, 2001 Inactive Founded by Brad Johnson and funded by the Baltimore one hour Community Foundation. (=$US 10) (2003) p Website archive contains very little:*/ ehours/ See also this old link from an earlier version of the Ithaca Hours webpage: Rainier Anacostia Hours 1 hour 2006 Active (=$10 US)Takoma Park P.E.N. No information found. Neighborhood ExchangeMassachusettsAmesbury Amesburg [sic?] Inactive For a brief listing see: Hours net/vision/links.html Contact person was Carl ToddGloucester Cape Ann Dollars Inactive A project of Wellspring House, Inc., sponsored by Cape Ann Sustainable Communities Project. See: Otherwise no information available
  12. 12. Great Berkshares 1, 5, 10, 20, 1993 Active Earlier issue from 1993 consisted of a single denomination (oneBarrington 50 Berkshare) Berkshares 2006 See: Valley Dollars 1, 5, 10, 20 1991 Inactive For early information, see: dollars Website is archived until 2003: See description at the EF Schumacher site: planning.htm Valley Trade Connection. Issued approx. $V 59,000MichiganDetroit Detroit Cheers 2009 Forming Modeled on Berkshares. See: Great Lakes Hours 1995 Inactive For early information, see: A 1995 article by Michelle Brown in the journal Synapse describes Great Lakes Hours: The plan also involved Eden Winter and Grace Lee Boggs. Boggs is a distinguished activist who also attended the 1997 TOES meeting. She is still around: Bend Michiana Money Forming See their website: Program to begin in late 2009.Traverse City Bay Area Bucks 1, 5, 10, 20 2005 Active BaybucksYpsilanti Tower Hour Forming
  13. 13. MissouriColumbia Columbia Hours Inactive A brief listing can be found at: And at: net/vision/links.html Contact person was Devin Scherubel. See the discussion of Columbia Hours in Lowd‟s thesis, chapter 5: Apparently it never started.Kansas City Kansas City Barter 1993 Inactive For early information, see: Bucks Another brief listing can be found at: net/vision/links.html Contact person was Jean Rogers. Begun by Kansas City Greens.MontanaMissoula Missoula Hours Inactive A brief listing can be found at: HampshireChesterfield Brattleboro Hours Inactive A brief listing can be found at: MexicoSanta Fe Santa Fe Hours 1994 Inactive Contact person was Christina Reece. For early information, see: Begun by Santa Fe GreensNew York
  14. 14. Albany Capitol Area Self- Inactive Contact person was Jonathan Finn. Sustaining Hours A brief listing can be found at: Brooklyn 1/8, ¼, ½, 1997 Inactive Started by the Brooklyn Green Party, Brooklyn Society for Greenbacks one Ethical Culture, and the Central Brooklyn Federal Credit Union. Greenback (2001) (=$12 US) report-brooklyn-up-close-make-money-to-make-money.html There is little internet archive on this group: com/~levner/nygreens/tohtml.cgi?locals/brooklyn/ mBrooklyn Forming Brooklyn Torch Project (2009) Buffalo Hours Inactive A brief listing can be found at: Common Cents 1/10, ½ one 2004 Inactive See description at the EF Schumacher site: Community hour Currency planning.htmIthaca Ithaca Hours 1/8, ¼, ½, 1991 Active one hour (=$10 US)Kerhonkson Stoneridge Hours Inactive Contact person was Christina Campion. A brief listing can be found at: Berlin Chenango Hours 1996 Inactive For an early description, see: May have been connected with the Chenango County Greens.
  15. 15. Oneonta Oneonta Hours ¼, ½ hour, 2001 Inactive A brief mention can be found at: one hour (=$10 US) This was founded by Annie Avery: See also: Columbia County 1995 Inactive Contact person was Virginia Osborn Hours For an early description, see: CarolinaAsheville Earthaven Leaps Active? Sponsored by Earthaven Ecovillage. There is a brief reference to “Leaps” on its website: Otherwise no details are available about this currency.Carrboro Carrboro Cash Inactive This has been mentioned as a failed predecessor to the PLENTY. See Board of Alderman minutes from 2000: pdfDurham Bull City Bucks Inactive No information foundMars Hill Mountain Money 1995 Inactive For an early description, see: See also:
  16. 16. Pittsboro PLENTY 1, 5, 10, 20, This was Active 50 issued at at (Piedmont Local PLENTYS two EcoNomy Tender). different (earlier: 1/4, One old times:2002 ½, one PLENTY own-currency-support-local-business for the PLENTY=$ is being “Hour” There is an extensive business plan for PLENTYS at 10 US) exchanged version, for 10 new 2009 for the PLENTYS “Berkshare” In addition to much media attention, this scrip was the subject of version an article in the IJCCR. Lyle Estille is the “Paul Glover” of this scheme.OhioAkron Summit Hours 1994 Inactive Started by the American Friends Service Committee (Quakers). (2003)? Greg Coleridge was contact person. For an early description, see: A small description of Summit Hours can be found archived at:*/ mit.htm Webpage was posted in 1996 taken down in 2003.Apple Creek Wooster Hours Inactive A brief listing can be found at: Cuyahoga Hours 1995 Inactive Issued by the NE Ohio Greens. David Ellison was contact person. For early information, see:
  17. 17. Columbus Simply Hours 1996 Inactive Contact person was Marilyn Welker. For early details, see: A link to “Simply Hours” and the outline of an Hour plan can be found on the archived website of Simply Living from 1999 to 2000:*/ No currency image found and any reference to Hours disappeared on later versions of Simply Living.Kent Portage Hours 1994 Inactive Administered by Portage Association for Community Economics (PACE). Contact person was Jefferson Beck. For early details, see: l/Jul1997/0004.htmlOklahomaTulsa Tulsa Hours Inactive A brief listing can be found at: Apparently this was never started. No mention of this was ever made in the Tulsa World.OregonCorvallis Corvallis Hours 1/8, ¼, ½, 2002, 2004 Active one hour (=$10 US)Eugene Emerald Ecos ¼, 1/3, ½, 2003 Inactive Website is archived for 2003-2004 at: Community one Eco*/ Currency (=$12 US) See also this short announcement from 2003:
  18. 18. Hood RiverHOURS 1/10, ½, one 2004 Active Gorge Local Currency Cooperative is a project of the ColumbiaRiver/GLCC hour (=$10 Gorge Earth Center US) See also this extensive and recent interview: currency-cooperative-riverhours See also: cascadian/49-currency-2Portland PDX Hours No physical Active currency As of 2008, it seems to have been decided not to issue a paper currency but to use debit card technology: currency-2. See also: Cascadia Hours ¼, ½, one, 1994 Active two, four HoursPennsylvaniaBethlehem Lehigh Valley 1994 Inactive Started by the Lehigh Valley Greens. For early details see: Barter Hours (1997) Another brief listing can be found at: net/vision/links.html Contact person was Guy Gray. For a discussion of its demise, see: Equal Dollars 1, 5, 10, 20 1996 Active Sponsored by Resources for Human Development, Inc. Equal Dollars See also:
  19. 19. TexasAustin Dillo Hours ¼, ½, one 1994 Active Issued by Armadillo Trading Club. See 1996 reference: Dillo Hour (=$US 10) 6379425_ITM For early details, see: l/Jul1997/0004.html Lyndon Felps, a founder of Dillo Hours, moved to Earthaven Ecovillage in 2006 (see North Carolina, above). ?newsletter_id=1409601564Houston Houston Hours Inactive No information foundTaft Greyhound Bucks Inactive No information foundVermontBrattleboro Blue Money Inactive No information foundBristol Bristol Bucks Inactive No information foundBurlington Burlington Bread/ 1, 5, 10, 20 1998 (w/ Inactive Startup funding from Ben & Jerry‟s, Green Mountain Fund, and Currency Project “Slices” second issue Burlington‟s Community and Economic Development Office. in 2004) Project Revived in 2004. Approx. $15,000 issued Last website is archived at: See description at the EF Schumacher site: planning.htmHardwick Buffalo Mountain ¼, ½, one 1996 Inactive Contact persons were David Briars and Barbara Conn. Approx. Dollars hour (=$10 525 Hours issued. See description at the EF Schumacher site: US) planning.htm
  20. 20. Montpelier Green Mountain 1/10, ¼, ½, 1996 Inactive Website is archived through late 2007: Hours one hour (=$10 US) See also this old link from an earlier version of the Ithaca Hours webpage: Charlottesville Is this a Active? Website was taken down in 2008. Archived website for Barter Network paper contained the Charlottesville Barter Network currency? (renamed Rivanna Barter Network) See:*/http://www.tradelocal.orgFloyd Floyd Hours ¼, one hour 2001 Inactive See description at the EF Schumacher site: (Floydian Scrip) planning.htm Another brief listing can be found at: net/vision/links.htmlWashingtonBainbridge Bainbridge Island 1997 Inactive For early details see: Bucks l/Jul1997/0005.html Was this currency ever issued?
  21. 21. Bellingham Life Hours Is there a 2004 Active Fourth Corner Exchange paper currency? Is this a LETS? There is a YouTube video: ated This is a ledger-based system but users begin with a positive balance represented by their membership fees. Accounts are also checkable.Bremerton Kitsap Hours Inactive A brief listing can be found at: net/vision/links.html Contact person was Paulette Hoffman.Kettle Falls Kettle River Hours Inactive A brief listing can be found at: net/vision/links.html Contact person was Tara Kerr.Bellingham Kulshan Cash 1999 Inactive Was this ever implemented?Lopez Island Lopez Island Hours 1995 Inactive Issued by Lopez Island Commonwealth. See description at the EF Schumacher site: planning.htmMount Vernon Skagit Dollars Inactive No information found
  22. 22. Olympia Sound Hours 1/10, 1/5, 1996 Inactive Founded by the Sustainable Community Roundtable and one hour administered by Sound Exchange. (=$10 US) The Sound Hours website is archived through 2005: undtable/index.html Currency images are available there. See description at the EF Schumacher site: planning.htm Sound Hours are now exchangeable with Fourth Corner Exchange “Life Hours” Olybarter Network Inactive No information foundSeattle Time Bucks This is a LETS.WisconsinMadison Madison Hours ¼, ½, one 1996 Active hour (=$10 US)Milwaukee Milwaukee Hours Inactive For a brief listing, see: net/vision/links.html Contact person was Ruth Cody.Milwaukee Forming As of late 2008, two Milwaukee neighborhoods were discussing a Berkshares-type currency: talk_moneydec03,0,2902061.storyCanada
  23. 23. AlbertaCalgary Bow Chinook 1996 Inactive Hours ps.html This Hours program was re-introduced as “Calgary Dollars” in 2002. Bow Chinook Hours were still to circulate alongside Calgary Dollars, although it is unclear if Hours were exchangeable for Dollars at any fixed rate.Calgary Calgary Dollars $1, 5, 10 2002 Active ColumbiaNelson Kootenay Hours 1994 Inactive These were issued by the Nelson Ecocentre. See a/ And ocentre/index.html And
  24. 24. Prince George Prince George 1997 Inactive Hours And Arm shuSwap Hours 1 Hour = 1994 Inactive See $10C And And And Springs Salt Spring Dollars $1, 2, 5, 10, 2001 Active 20, 50, 100Nova ScotiaHalifax Maritime Hours 1994 Inactive See And
  25. 25. Parrsboro Coastal Gems 1997 Inactive See And Kingston Hours 1996 Inactive This was established by the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG). Barter Bucks One Buck = 1998 Inactive? See $1C Unity Dollars $1, 2, 3, 5, 2006 Active 10, 20, 50Tamworth Tamworth Hours 1/12, 1/6, ¼, 2004 Active ½, one, two hours This link takes you to the “UsuryFree” Network.Toronto Toronto Dollars $1, 5, 10, 1998 Active 20, 50