Rise of Alternative Currencies in Post-Capitalism

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* Article: Rise of Alternative Currencies in Post-Capitalism. Boyd Cohen. Journal of Management Studies, 2016

URL = http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/joms.12245/full


"During this decade we have witnessed the introduction or scaling of several forms of alternative currencies. The Alternative Currency Database includes more than 300 local alternative paper currencies. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin represent non-government backed digital currencies that have grown substantially through the underlying blockchain technology. Timebanking is another form of alternative currency where more than four million hours of time have been exchanged for future time from network members around the globe.

I believe we are on the cusp of a transformation in how value is captured and exchanged in society. Much of this change is driven by a grassroots, and technologically-empowered movement, to confront the ills perceived to be powered and exacerbated by market-based capitalism, such as climate change and income inequality. I will argue that alternative currencies discourage passive investment, and therefore serve as a powerful alternative to market-based capitalism.

Throughout this essay, I refer to ‘traditional currencies’ as strong currencies and alternative currencies as ‘weak currencies’. Strong currencies allow for, and frequently incorporate incentives for investors, speculators, financiers and others to hoard or leverage money for economic gain, whereas weak currencies are those with no inherent incentive in accumulating the currency, and in fact, may have built-in disincentives to do so. Before describing each of the three forms of alternative currencies of interest in this essay (local paper currency, timebanking and cryptocurrency) it is worth briefly reviewing current thinking about alternative currencies." (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/joms.12245/full)