Bloomberg looks at some interesting local currency programs that have been implemented around the world. And in at least one case money “is literally being made from trees” — the wooden dollars being printed in a small city in the northwest U.S. and distributed to the needy in monthly stipends.
“We preach localism and investing in our local community,” says mayor Wayne Fournier, “and the idea with this scheme is that we’ll stand together as a community and provide relief to individuals that need it while fueling consumption.”
Since the launch in May, cities from Arizona to Montana and California have been in contact with Tenino for advice about starting their own local currencies. “We have no idea what is going to happen next in 2020,” adds Fournier. “But cities like ours need to come up with niche ways to be sustainable without relying on the larger world…”
As in Tenino, the Brazilian city of Maric, in Rio de Janeiro state, combines a local currency with a basic income program. Around 80,000 residents, nearly half of the population, receive 130 reais ($35) each per month, without any conditions about how they can spend the money. Launched in 2014, the money is distributed in “Mumbuca,” the city’s local currency, which is not accepted in the rest of Brazil. “This can become a model on how a city can efficiently disburse social benefits during the pandemic, supporting poor families while they stay at home and also small business during the crisis,” says Eduardo Diniz, professor of banking and technology at the São Paulo School of Business Administration, who has been researching public policies using community currencies since 2014…
Inspired by blockchain technology, England’s northern city of Hull created the world’s first digital-only local currency in 2018, providing discounts of up to 50% on goods and services for those that did voluntary work with local organizations.
A similar Dutch project, Samen Doen, rewards those who carry out socially beneficial activities such as caring for the elderly.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.