Monday, October 6, 2008


Because reform is inevitable, I see the introduction of complementary currency as timely. Complementary currencies were introduced in Bavaria, Germany (with the help of Silvio Gesell) after World War I and in the Austrian town of Woergl in 1932-33. Their two main enemies were the communists and the Bank of Austria, respectively. Both were afraid that they would lose their monopoly. Today, with the power of cyberspace, the United States can reinvent complementary currency not as competing systems against the current one, but as yin-yang relations. Complementary currency can provide additional resilience in the system. There never will be a better time than now.

The WIR Bank (WIR: Wirtschaftsring-Genossenschaft), which is an independent complementary currency system in Switzerland that serves small and medium-sized businesses, has been a success. Japan has mobilized on this system, too. Other regional and local systems exist around the world, such as Ithaca Hours, Time Dollar and the Local Exchange Trading System (LETS)

As I am writing this, news is coming about the crash of Germany’s second-biggest property lender, Hypo Real Estate. Is this another mega-collapse?

My background is telecommunication networks. Currencies can be viewed in a similar fashion. As deregulation has freed the telecom market, complementary currency will bring down the walls of another monopoly. The concept of regional, local and complementary currency is revolutionary, out-of-the-box thinking, and, nevertheless, challenging to the banking system. People are capable of producing a portfolio of value in the community and society. If there is a scarcity of money because of the system, the system is at fault, and we need to look for solutions.



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