Free Currencies

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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.


From the Transitioner at

"A free currency consists in a set of rules and processes that define the issuance, evolution, circulation and redemption of a free, open, sufficient and democratic currency. It belongs to the commons just like any free software? or creative commons? production.

It is designed, developed, tested, documented and released collaboratively, any part of the software and dynamic can be transformed and improved by anyone, and then proposed to the community." (

Why the name "free currencies"?

"Free" as in freedom. Nothing says that currencies should be a monopoly controlled by the few. All communities have the right to create the currencies they need so that integral wealth can flow and grow.

"Free" as in cost. Why would one have to pay to buy what is a public commodity? Of course there will always be infrastructural costs to make it work, but they are marginal. Thus the cost should not include a premium that a monopolistic issuer can extract.

"Currencies" because this is the most universal term, whereas "money" is a particular form of what currencies can be." (


Jean-Francois Noubel:

What is the difference between "money" and "currency"?

"Money, as we know it today, is a very specific form of currency. Money's intended purpose is making exchange easy and universal within the community that uses it. It's a unit of measure, a unit of exchange and a store of value. Thus one kilo of potatoes can be exchanged with an hour of gardening or a gallon of oil.

However, there are many other forms of wealth that are central in our lives, but they can't be expressed with money (see "wealth"). Trying to express the whole spectrum of wealth with conventional money, as is done today everywhere, degrades universal wealth into a tradable form of it. This places humanity into a mercantile paradigm in which everything can be sold, bought and owned, and this is a huge epistemological mistake. Non-tradadable forms of wealth need to be expressed in a more universal, more encompassing language of flows, not with conventional money. This is what currencies, in our broader sense, are made for. They are symbolic tools we use to express and manage currents within the whole spectrum of wealth. Currencies can function systemically in a number of independent capacities: as a unit of measure, store of value, token of status and a medium of exchange, etc." (

What is wrong with conventional money?

"Conventional money is scarce because it concentrates in the hands of a few and leaves everyone else short of this indispensable means of exchange.

Entire communities -- people, villages, cities, regions, companies, NGOs, public services, countries -- are undermonetized. They do have wealth --competencies, resources, time, love, genius, assets, entrepreneurship skills, culture-- but exchanges don't happen. Not because of lack of wealth, but because of lack of transactional units: money. Conventional money is concentrated somewhere else, offers and needs are not fulfilled, poverty follows. This is very much like an ecosystem without enough water.

This phenomenon of wealth condensation on the one hand, and desertification on the other is called the Pareto principle. This vicious circle increases the gap between rich and poor. At least 80% of humanity lives with less than $10 a day, and almost 50% of humanity lives with less than $1 a day

Close your eyes and imagine the wisest persons you may know on Earth. Now ask them them to play a Monopoly game. If they play by the rules, no matter how wise or good these persons are individually, one will end up rich and the rest will end up poor. The Pareto effect is built into the rules of the game, and has nothing to do with the wisdom of the players. Our conventional monetary system has this same property of wealth condensation.

Taxes are meant to redistribute wealth in an equitable manner, but today no tax strategy has ever overcome the Pareto effect. It's just as if the Monopoly game goes on as normal except that every once and a while some of the monopolists properties are given to the poor players. All this does is slow down the general path of the game, or, if the redistribution is large enough, put someone else at the top. But the principles of condensation/desertification remain." (

How do free currencies solve what's wrong with money?

"Flowplaces and their flowing free currencies allow the making of sufficient --and not scarce-- currencies for tradable wealth :

  • If the currency condensates in one place (which can happen because of an intense economic activity, which is very common), it doesn't need to leave the rest of the social ecosystem. There will simply be issuance of more currency where it lacks, or consumption of it where there is too much. This principle can be understood like for air or water: when an emptiness happens, new quantities are sucked up. When an excess happens, the surplus is evacuated.

Regulation of the monetary mass has always been a puzzle for countries and economists. It was necessary to build centralized organizations to analyze the market and make decisions for everyone, provoking the mistakes and abuse we know. At the age of Internet, regulation mechanisms of the monetary mass can become distributed at every level of the system. Every player becomes a regulator of the global monetary mass. No more need for centralized authority. On the other hand holoptical structures are necessary for this.

  • Sufficiency implies the monetary mass of the community is always proportional, and an expression of, the capacity to exchange and produce. There should never be too much or not enough.

  • This rule also applies to people: if you have wealth to create or exchange, then you will immediately and freely, have the necessary monetary mass to perform the transaction. No more, no less. What counts is that the "wealth balance" is always positive for everyone. The currency is the tool that will enable this."



More Information

  1. Wealth
  2. Currencies