What is Local Currency?

You may have heard it called scrip, hours, a LETS system or Time Dollars. These are just some examples of the many local currency systems working around the world to foster goods and service exchange on the community level.

These complimentary currency systems are now being used all around the world in places like the United Kingdom, Southern Ireland, Germany, France, Australia, Holland, Japan, Mexico, Argentina, Canada and in many communities across the US. The recent expansion of local currency systems reflects a growing grassroots desire to create a more sustainable and humane world.

Local currencies are not new to the US. During the 1930's many communities created their own scrip in order to build local trading networks connecting people to the goods and services they needed. Scrips were powerful forces for good in those dark economic times when national currency was almost unobtainable for the average person.

"Time Dollars empower any person to convert personal time into purchasing power - stretching limited cash dollars further and matching unused capacity with unmet demand. They reinforce reciprocity and trust. They reward civic engagement and acts of decency in a way that generates social capital, one hour at a time. They are bringing people together in communities all around the nation."

Edgar S. Cahn, CO-Founder of the Antioch School of Law
Professor at University of Miami School of Law
and President of the Time Dollar Institute

Next: How does local currency work?