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= free currencies embody this fundamental and universal claim that any citizen, any community, any organization has the right to create tools for wealth to flow. No individuals, no community should be dependent on monopolistic and private currencies, unless they have decided so. [1]

This section's theme are generally the monetary aspects of P2P trends, and more specifically, aspects of monetary reform, that aim to make the monetary system into a participatory resource that more broadly benefits larger sectors of the world population.

Human and social wealth is never reducible to its translation in money, see the Wealth Typology.

A very good summary of: What's Wrong with the Current Monetary System, by Mark Joob.

Recommended experts:

The Way Forward, a P2P commentary

Michel Bauwens:

"My view is that we need to work on several levels at the same time.

First level is the creation of local (up to regional) complementary currencies, so that the local economy can compensate for the fluctuations in the global economy, especially in an era of structural crisis and lack of reform

The second level is national, where we need policy reform and an end to debt-driven money creation. So, a sufficient national currency created on the basis of need and real economic activity, not speculation, and not created 'with debt' by the banks. I'm starting to agree more and more with the neo-chartalist of the Modern Monetary Theory school on this. Central banks need to be made democratic again.

The third level is continental and global. Here the major reform is to make currencies independent of any nation-state, and made 'ecological'. The Terra approach of Bernard Lietaer, based on a basket of currencies representing energy usage and commodities, is the right direction to look into.

A fourth and special level are the virtual currencies, which can experiment with new rules and designs and fuel the emerging collaborative economy driven by online cooperation.

On the agenda should also be a transition income for socially beneficially and sustainable/ecololgical activities, and experiments with full basic income on local scales to see real-life effects.

Parallel with monetary and economic transformation, there is a lot we can do to demonetize the economy. One of my specific visions is the following: peer producers/commoners create their own production entities, i.e. mutualist Phyles, using the Peer Production License to create a counter-economy around the commons. These alternative enterpreneurial coalitions can make substantial progress to resource-based economics that do not need to involve money, for example by practicing radical open book management and production transparency, at least within the commons network. This and other steps would create larger areas of social life that are demonetized. What the exchange and sharing of rival material goods is concerned, which could deplete an entity is reciprocity was not assured, open accounting ledgers could be used, that do not involve the creation of classic 'money'."


The P2P Foundation supports the direct social production of money, such as for example through Open Money and other P2P Exchange Infrastructure Projects systems. This marvellous presentation by Robin Upton explains how this can work.

Key distinctions: Currencies ; Free Currencies ; Wealth

For starters, read Eric Harris-Braun key argument: Why Monetary Design is Important

The following guide has all the essentials on Open Money and Complementary Currencies and is really recommended, for beginners and practitioners alike:

It explains the following basics: 1) The Function of Money; 2) the Purpose of Money; Cost Recovery Mechanisms for Complementary Currencies‎ ; Currency Issuing Procedures, and much more.

  • A comparative table of alternative currencies by SocialCompare [5]

Introductory Video

Introductory Articles

  1. The Co-Belongingness of Money and Community
  2. The Design of Money is not Neutral. By Bernard Lietaer, Gwendolyn Hallsmith.
  3. Read this excellent introduction to the negative role of interest-based money by Charles Eisenstein
  4. Best current report on the topic: Creating New Money: A monetary reform for the information age. By Joseph Huber & James Robertson. New Economics Foundation
  5. Arthur Brock: Differences between Open Source and Open Currencies
  6. Kevin Carson introduces the Peer Money debates
  7. Michel Bauwens on the Importance of Peer Money
  8. Alan Rosenblith: We need P2P Architectures for Money!!
  9. Jean-Francois Noubel: Economics of Flow vs Economics of Accumulation
  10. Ellen Brown on the Case for a Public Credit System: Money today is simply credit. When the credit is advanced by a bank, when the bank is owned by the community, and when the profits return to the community, the result can be a functional, efficient, and sustainable system of finance. See also: Money is Not a Thing, but a Relation
  11. Eric Blair: The Greenback vs Goldbug Debate
  12. Charles Eistenstein: Money, the Self, and Negative Interest Money. From Sacred Economics, Chapter 12.
  13. What Should Peer-to-Peer Money Be? By Eli Gothill.


  1. Better redistribution of the existing money
  2. Transformation of the monetary system through the social production of money
  3. Alternatives to money: Peer Production ; Gift Economy ; Sharing; and other ways to assist in a transition to a more Resource Based Economy through Peer to Peer Exchanges and P2P Exchange Infrastructure Projects

Current Hot Projects to monitor

Key digital Open Money projects are: 1) Bitcoin ; Ripple ; 3) Open Coin; 4) Open-Universal Digital Currency Project‎; 5) Circular Multilateral Barter

See also:

  1. Banco Palmas, in Brazil, emits a local currency and supports the local economy. Video: The Story of Banco Palmas in Brazil
  2. The Common Good Bank initiative [7]
  3. The Metacurrency Project: the tci/ip platform for diverse currency creation: see the Flowspace project as first attempt to establish sucn an infrastructure for Free Currencies
  4. Open Coin: an actual published open specification for creating distributed digital currency
  5. The creation of the Open Source Hardware Reserve Bank. Details here
  6. A free platform for circular barter exchange

Longstanding historical experiments:

  1. WIR Economic Circle Cooperative: this 70-old Swiss mutual credit clearing system is getting traction as a model for the rest of Europe
  2. The historical experience of the Worgl Shillings
  3. The Swedish interest-free JAK Bank [8] [9]

Comparison chart of alternative currencies

  1. SocialCompare - overview chart of key characteristics of alternative currencies (editable)


Tools to create People-Produced Money:

  1. Community Forge
  2. Community Exchange System
  3. Cyclos

Under development:

  1. Open-Universal Digital Currency Project: Open-UDC is based on TRM (Théorie Relative de la Monnaie,by Stéphane Laborde) and Universal Digital Currency project (UDC project), which aims to create a new digital currency based on individual members and the digital world. [10]
  2. OSCurrency,
  3. Cclite, [ GETS] (commercial),
  4. Ripple
  5. Regenerosity, Local Exchange
  6. Money 2.0


  1. Comparison page at
  2. Software overview page:

Our P2P Open Money Network


|image1=Jean-Francois.jpg |name1=Jean-Francois Noubel |contact1= Twitter: @jfnoubel and @thetransitioner Blog:

|image2=ThomasGreco.jpg |name2= Thomas Greco |contact2=thg at

|image3=FernandaIbarra.jpg |name3=Fernanda Ibarra |contact3= Twitter: @fer_ananda and @thetransitioner Profile at:

|image4=Michaellinton.jpg |name4= Michael Linton |contact4=michael dot [email protected]

|image5=Georg Pleger.jpg |name5=Georg Pleger |contact5=georg at pleger dot at

Check out profiles of Open Money experts such as Alan Rosenblith ; Arthur Brock [11] ; Edgar Cahn [12]; Eric Harris-Braun [13]; Thomas Greco ; [[Jean-François Noubel [14]


The open money software playing field: an overview

See also: Timebanking Software Platforms

Before getting to the issues, here is a synopsis of each of the main projects, in order of age. These projects are selected on the basis that they are open source, have multiple implementations, and support community exchange using an arbitrary measure of value.


Language/ platorm Full time developers Implementations Plug 'n' Play? Url
Java 4 Many No

Cyclos is the software implementation arm of the Social Trade Organisation. It is an open source, java, comprehensive accounting package used in increasingly large projects around the world. The German Tauschring network picked up Cyclos and now use it routinely, contributing back code. Many other 'one-off' projects also use it as a back end accounting package.

Community Exchange System (CES)

Language/ platorm ! Full time developers Implementations Plug 'n' Play? Url
MS asp 1 200 in one Yes

Arising from a grass-roots movement in Cape town, CES is a free web service that hosts 200 'Exchanges', each with its own currency and separate database. Some exchanges charge membership fees in the national currency, some in the currency of the exchange and some use the optional transactional levy feature. Trade is possible between exchanges.


Language/ platorm Full time developers Implementations Plug 'n' Play? Url

Cclite is a Perl package for local exchange trading systems (LETS), banking and other alternative money systems. Multi-registry, multi-currency, web services based transactions and templated to give multi-lingual capabilities.

Fourth Corner

Language/ platorm Full time developers Implementations Plug 'n' Play? Url
Php <1 More or less

Fourth Corner Exchange is a small family of LETS like groups. Their php/MySQL application was written for multiple implementations of that specific model. LETSlink UK has forked the software and done several implementations.

Drupal & Community Forge

Language/ platorm Full time developers Implementations Plug 'n' Play? Url
Drupal 1 + 1,000 35 No / Yes

A Drupal module for web developers to implement a complementary currency with total flexibilty over usability, design, wireframing etc. Community Forge is a non-profit hosting Drupal implementations tailored for LETS.


Language/ platorm Full time developers Implementations Plug 'n' Play? Url
Inoshi 1 2 No

Developed by members of the Austin Time Exchange, this project is now under development for the Bay Area Community Exchange. While the platform, Insoshi is not well known, much attention has been given to openness, so that the system plugs in easily to the rest of the web.

Also worthy of mention is Time Banks whose membership includes a special license to use the proprietary 'Community Weaver' software.

Circular Multilateral Barter

Language/ platorm Full time developers Implementations Plug 'n' Play? Url
Python 1 No

"Circular Multilateral Barter" (CMB) is aimed at supplying local enterprenours with a way to exchange goods within a p2p-network, without using money or any other currency, overcoming the "double coincidence of wants" problem, inherent to traditional barter.

One thing that distinguishes CMB from other credit commons is that all debts in CMB are person-to-person debts. There is no central political/administrative unit to decide who deserves to be trusted and who does not. Because of this, CMB should be able to scale-up very well, so that local communities can be seamlessly aggregated into larger ones.


To survive and thrive, human systems *need* a not just a network view, but a multi-dimensional, multi-scaled view and definition of systems. this will help us see how many, many people can operate and multiply many forms of wealth within systems that previously seemed easily depletable. Peer networks are vital to creating the multi-dimensional maps and models and views that will allow all of us to see the cornucopia of options that now exist, provided we can shift out focus from exploitation and control, to existential symbiosis with everything that is around us, on as many scales as possible.

- Sam Rose

I think its important to distinguish "currency" from a reputation measurement. Implicit in the term currency is the idea that it can be exchanged for something.A system for "recognition" is only a currency if that recognition is exchangable for something.

- Tom Salfied

“According to Margrit Kennedy, a German researcher who has studied this issue extensively, interest now composes 40% of the cost of everything we buy. We don’t see it on the sales slips, but interest is exacted at every stage of production.”

- Ellen Brown [15]

On Open Money

You treasure what you measure, and you measure what you treasure. Open money provides the tools to implement this maxim. What should we be treasuring in our culture and on our planet that we so far have no way to measure?

- Open Money [16]

Money is making a fundamental evolutionary step into community currencies. Conventional money as we know it has a built in architecture that leads to scarcity, centralization, concentration, secrecy, proprietarization. This conventional monetary system is not appropriate to dealing with today's global systemic challenges (harmonizing local and global needs, creating ecological sustainability, enabling the information economy, leveraging the open source paradigm, etc). Just as there are now millions of media outlets today, currencies will follow this same evolution by shifting from centralized authoritative models to distributed ones that allow better sustainability, distribution, transparency, and regulation mechanisms.

- Open Money [17]

How to best transcend the current economic mess? Put Jeff Bezos, Pierre Omidyar, Elon Musk, Tim O’Reilly, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Nathan Myhrvold, and Danny Hillis in a room somewhere and don’t let them out until they have framed a new, massively-distributed financial system, founded on sound, open, peer-to-peer principles, from the start. And don’t call it a bank. Launch a new financial medium that is as open, scale-free, universally accessible, self-improving, and non-proprietary as the Internet, and leave the 13th century behind.”

- George Dyson [18]

Depression Economics

"During periods of so-called economic depression, societies suffer for want of all manner of essential goods, yet investigation almost invariably discloses that there are plenty of goods available. Plenty of coal in the ground, corn in the fields, wool on the sheep. What is missing is not materials but an abstract unit of measurement called ‘money.’

- Tom Robbins [19]

Leakages from the local economy

"Poor liquidity and leakage (money flowing from the local economy) are key causes for floundering and/or disappearing regional economies. To overcome these shortfalls local communities should be increasing local liquidity and plugging the leakage through the introduction of complementary community currencies thereby re-building their respective local communities in the coal mining area of Wales. When local residents within their respective communities changed the agreements they had about conventional money, by creating and spending complementary community currencies locally instead of spending only diminishing amounts of federal currency with giant corporations, it commenced re-birth in the local communities. Molly used the term local multiplier when she discussed how local liquidity increased proportionately to the amount of complementary community currency being circulated by those who were choosing to participate."

- (from a summary of) Molly Scott reporting on complementary currencies in Wales [20]

Aristotle on unnatural wealth

"There are two sorts of wealth-getting, as I have said; one is a part of household management, the other is retail trade: the former necessary and honorable, while that which consists in exchange is justly censured; for it is unnatural, and a mode by which men gain from one another. The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of all modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural."

- Aristotle [21]

The Disintermediation of the Banks

"First, the distribution monopoly of the Postal Services was hit hard by the Net as people discovered they didn’t need to buy stamps. Then, the copyright industry’s distribution monopoly was flatly and unceremoniously run over. As a third and fairly recent victim, we find the old centralized journalism with its tightly controlled news distribution. As fourth and coming victim, there’s an information distribution few people have thought of in terms of information: the money in our society."

- Rick Falkvinge [22]

On the End of Banking

“There is no reason products and services could not be swapped directly by consumers and producers through a system of direct exchange – essentially a massive barter economy. All it requires is some commonly used unit of account and adequate computing power to make sure all transactions could be settled immediately. People would pay each other electronically, without the payment being routed through anything that we would currently recognize as a bank. Central banks in their present form would no longer exist – nor would money.”

– Mervyn King – Governor of the Bank of England [23]

Introductory Material

  1. Money is not the Only Value Measurement System . By Geoff Chesshire .
  2. Why Peer to Peer Currencies will Grow
  3. Bernard Lietaer: The Four-tiered Monetary System of the Future
  4. In his landmark essay, Valuing the Ethical Economy, Adam Arvidsson explains why we need Wealth Acknowledgment Systems for the Ethical Circuit of Value
  5. Must reading: Charles Eisenstein on Why Demurrage needs to replace interest (see the entry on Demurrage). Also: Money and the Crisis of Civilization on why the current crisis is also an endgame.
  6. The case for open money. See also: Open Money Manifesto]
  7. Ran Prieur: Fire vs. Water Economies, and the role of Demurrage in this tradition.
  8. Essential theoretical and historical introduction to the long term history of money and debt, as rooted in social violence, by David Graeber at
  9. Eric Harris-Braun on the necessary Difference between Multi-currency Platforms and Market Making Platforms
  10. Thomas Greco: Why Exchange Alternatives Fail to Thrive
  11. Robin Wood: Shifts in Value Exchange and Human Development: applying the spiral dynamics model to value exchange
  12. The three modalities of Production Sharing, i.e. working together for a common pool, without individual exchange or barter: 1) Labor Quota System‎; 2) Fair-Share Labor System‎; 3) Anti-Quota Labor System‎
  13. Why Matrifocal Societies Use Dual Currencies. Bernard Lietaer. [24]
  14. Steve Keen on Why We Need to Tackle Debt Pushing, not Money Creation
  15. Introduction to the Eight Forms of Capital‎


  1. Rationale for Monetary Reform by Greg Martin.
  2. Monetary Transformation, not Monetary Reform, is What is Needed. By Thomas Greco.
  3. Why the Growth Imperative is Linked to our Monetary Format
  4. Declaration Of The Universal Right Of Monetary Creation and the Open Money Manifesto
  5. Peter Koenig's summaries on the History and Future of money
  6. The Future of Money by Paul B. Hartzog
  7. Capital, Profits, and Interest. Benjamin Tucker.
  8. Chris Cook: a proposal for Open Capital


  1. Process of Designing a Complementary Currency System. How-to recommendations by Stephen DeMeulenaere.



Key Resources

Funding for Open Money and Complementary Currencies infrastructures via: the Fund for Complementary Currencies

  1. The Re-Inventing Money site, at
  2. The Book: "Money; A Mirror Image Of The Economy" by Dr. J.W. Smith - full text at Applying Henry George’s philosophy across the economic spectrum transposes monopoly rent values into equally-shared use-values. Quality of life increases as working hours drop by half.
  3. The consultancy: Value for People, helps local communities initiate complementary currencies

Key Articles

Key Blogs

Of key importance is the work by Eric Harris-Braun and friends on meta-currency platforms, see here


  1. New Currency Frontiers: very thoughtful new money blog with Eric Harris-Braun and others working on the Metacurrency Project
  2. Beyond Money: Thomas Greco's blog on monetary transformation and mutual credit
  3. Evolution of Money
  4. Open Source Currency
  5. Coverage of social money trends in Guillaume's blog
  6. Trust is the only currency: excellent analysis

Key Books

  • What Comes After Money? Essays from Reality Sandwich on Transforming Currency and Community, edited by Daniel Pinchbeck and Ken Jordan. EVOLVER EDITIONS/North Atlantic Books, 2011.

  • "Money and Sustainability: The Missing Link" by Bernard Lietaer, Christian Arnsperger, Sally Goerner and Stefan Brunnhuber. Triarchy Press, 2012 [25]. A report from the Club of Rome to Finance Watch and the World Business Academy
  • The trilogy by Bernard Lietaer:
  1. Bernard Lietaer, The Mystery of Money (Munich: Riemann Verlag, 2000).
  2. Bernard Lietaer, The Future of Money (London: Random House, 2001). Full text [26]
  3. Bernard Lietaer & Stephen M. Belgin, Of Human Wealth: Beyond Greed and Scarcity, Galley Edition Version 2.1. (Boulder, Colorado: Human Wealth Books and Talks, 2004.

From other authors:

  1. Thomas Greco. The End of Money and the Future of Civilization. Chelsea Green, 2009
  2. Money and Liberation. The Micropolitics of Alternative Currency Movements. Peter North. University of Minnesota Press, 2008
  3. Interest and Inflation Free Money. Margrit Kennedy.
  4. Peter North: Money and Liberation: The Micropolitics of Alternative Currency Movements. [27]
  5. Creating New Money: A Monetary Reform for the Information Age, by Joseph Huber and James Robertson. New Economics Foundation (2001) [28]
  6. The Ecology of Money. By Richard Douthwait


  1. Community Currency Guide. Workbook by Bernard Lietaer


  1. Money and Magic
  2. Money in an Unequal World
  3. Monetary Theory
  4. 30 Lies about Money

Key Concept Pages to read

  1. Abundance vs. Scarcity and Monetary Scarcity vs. Monetary Sufficiency - Non-scarcity based monetary systems
  2. Monetary Reform, Demurrage and Seigneurage, the Credit Commons
  3. Four conditions for Open Money: Open Data Currencies ; Open Identity Currencies ; Open Rules Currencies ; Open Transport Currencies
  4. Wealth Typology,Because we need Wealth Acknowledgment Systems for the Ethical Circuit of Value

Key Conferences

Conference: Multiple moneys and development: making payments in diverse economies. 2nd International Conference on Complementary Currency Systems (CCS) ; 19 – 23 June 2013; Amsterdam

Key Delicious Tags

  1. Abundance,
  2. Complementary Currencies,
  3. Monetary Reform,
  4. Open Money,
  5. P2P Money,

Key Directories

  1. Online Database of Complementary Currencies Worldwide
  2. Global Resource Exchange Groups and Localized Exchange Communities
  3. Peer to Peer Exchanges and P2P Exchange Infrastructure Projects
  4. Electronic currencies in the Wikipedia

Key Documentaries

  1. The Money Fix: video by Alan Rosenblith shown at PBS stations in the U.S. in 2009/2010 [29]
  2. Money as Debt
  3. The Wealth of Neighbors
  4. The Money Masters
  5. In Debt We Trust, remarkable documentary about personal aspects of debt crisis

Key Essays

  1. Peer to Peer Lending, June 2007 overview report by Brad Slavin.
  2. Raoul Victor: Money and Peer Production, a marxist perspective

Bernard Lietaer

Two key essays/proposals by Bernard Lietaer et al:

  1. Is Our Monetary Structure a Systemic Cause for Financial Instability? Evidence and Remedies from Nature. By Bernard Lietaer, Robert E. Ulanowicz, Sally J. Goerner, and Nadia McLaren. Accepted for publication in Journal of Futures Studies Special Issue on the Financial Crisis (February-March 2010)
  2. Options for Managing a Systemic Bank Crisis. Bernard Lietaer, Dr. Robert Ulanowicz, and Dr. Sally Goerner. Sapiens-journal Volume 2, number 1, March 2009

"The sustainability of any complex flow system can be measured with a single metric as an emergent property of its structural diversity and interconnectivity; it requires a balance in emphasis between efficiency and resilience. The urgent message for economics from nature is that the monoculture of national currencies, justified on the basis of market efficiency, generates structural instability in our global financial system. Economic sustainability therefore requires diversification in types of currencies, specifically through complementary currencies."

Thomas Greco

  1. Thomas Greco: Why Exchange Alternatives Fail to Thrive: The State of the Alternative Exchange Movement, Excerpt from The End of Money and the Future of Civilization, Chapter 13,
  2. Thomas Greco: Towards A Complete Web-Based Trading Platform Excerpt, End of Money, Chapter 17,

See also

Key People

  1. Alan Rosenblith ;
  2. Arthur Brock [30] [31] ;
  3. Edgar Cahn [32];
  4. Eric Harris-Braun [33];
  5. Thomas Greco ;
  6. Fernanda Ibarra
  7. Margrit Kennedy
  8. Bernard Lietaer
  9. Michael Linton
  10. Jean-François Noubel [34]
  11. Elf Pavlik
  12. Jay Standish

Key Podcasts

See also:

  1. The Open Money Blogtalk Radio

Key Webcasts


  • 97 Percent Owned: probably the best documentary on how monetary creation works, though based on the situation in the UK


  1. Money as Debt II: great explanation
  2. Introductory Animation to Complementary Currencies


  1. Alan Rosenblith on Open Money ; Alan Rosenblith on Open Money Protocols and Agreements
  2. Chris Cook on Peak Credit and Open Capital: excellent video presentation
  3. Arthur Brock and Eric Harris-Braun's Introduction to The MetaCurrency Project ; Arthur Brock on Open Data Currencies
  4. Bernard Lietaer Interviewed on a New World Currency ; Bernard Lietaer on Complementary Currencies for Social Change ; Bernard Lietaer on Currencies for Cooperation ; Bernard Lietaer on Human Wealth
  5. Christian Nold on the Bijlmer Euro
  6. David Karsbol on Virtual Finance
  7. David Korten on Monetary Reform
  8. Douglas Rushkoff on Medieval Money
  9. Ellen Brown on the Web of Debt
  10. Giles Andrews on the Evolution of the Zopa Social Lending Project
  11. James Robertson on Monetary Reform for the Mainstream Economy
  12. Jean-François Noubel on Free Currencies
  13. Mohammad Yunus on Microfinance
  14. Peter Koenig on What is Money
  15. Philippe Van Parijs on the Basic Income
  16. Richard Douthwaite on Debt-based Money
  17. Sarah Hearn on the Berkshare Local Currency Program
  18. Thomas Greco on Monetary Transformation ; Thomas Greco on the End of Money ; Thomas Greco on the Importance of Mutual Credit Clearing ; Thomas Greco on the State of the Monetary Reform Movement m Thomas Greco on the History of Money and Debt

See also:

Deutschsprachige Ressourcen - German Ressources

  1. Neues Geld

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