Nov 30 2010

Argentina’s disenfranchised create their own money system

I’m not sure I agree with the title (although catchy) used on YouTube for this video. After all, what is money anyway? Most modern currencies are fiat currencies – their value only comes from our collective belief or agreement that it has value. The Euro, Dollar et al are not backed by anything – not gold, not silver, not water nor anything… Really they are just bits of paper and coin to a lesser extent and largely just ones and zeros on computers. Their legitimacy largely comes from government’s accepting payment of taxes in the currency in question. The two basic requirements for “money” are:

  • it is a store of value
  • it is a medium of exchange
Argentina’s Global Exchange Network’s credits satisfy the second requirement certainly and most probably the first also. So I think that “Argentina: Surviving by creating their own Money” or the like would be more accurate – even if it does look like “fake” Monopoly (the game, that is) money 😉

Argentina: Surviving without money

How the poor of Argentina are trading goods and services in a global exchange network.

Taken from the OU course ‘International development: challenges for a world in transition’ (U213)…

Nov 29 2010

Drupal Module for LETS and community currencies

Since I last looked for software that can manage a Local Exchange Trading System or community currency, the range of offerings seems to have improved greatly. Of particular interest to me, being an avid fan of Drupal, is the following module for Drupal:

Living Economy

An all-embracing and flexible package which includes a mutual credit engine, transaction forms and displays, including several views and blocks. It can be used as a digital back end for paper money projects, or to run an entire LETS or Timebank. With a little tweaking, it can manage currencies conforming to a wide range of designs.

If you’ve looked at Cyclos and CES, then this module will do most of the work of either of those.

I haven’t checked it out yet but it looks very promising and has a comprehensive list of features. I’ll post an update when I’ve tested it out 🙂