EU project launches online database of community currencies

Community-Currency.info


Yesterday, Community Currencies in Action (CCIA), a European interreg project, launched an online database (www.community-currency.info) which gathers and provides information about Community Currencies (CCs). Community currencies “are exchange systems that function as supplements to ordinary money. They are used across the globe in networks limited by geography, sector or shared values and are issued and managed in not-for-profit manner”. The C-C.info site sheds light on the origins, aims, vocabulary and functions of CCs and projects in the world of currency design. C-C.info is written in five languages (English, Dutch, French, German and Spanish) and the site has a wide array of information, what makes C-C.info highly accessible to both experts and the general public. For the moment, CCIA is focusing especially on initiatives in Northwest-Europe, even though, the launch of C-C.info is a giant step towards the creation of all-embracing guide about CCs, its developments worldwide and related subjects.

Community Currencies in Action

Community Currencies in Action is the coalition of organizations behind the creation of the website. Funded partially by the EU’s INTERREG NWE IVB, it is made up of 8 organizations leading in the field of currency innovation and research. The Belgian Limburg.net is one of them. CCIA wants to lead the way in sharing knowledge and best practice to enable communities throughout Europe to grow stronger in their ability to achieve vibrant and prosperous networks that are efficient from social, economic and environmental perspectives. CCIA tries to provide a basic toolkit for the implementation of CCs and they are also supporting numerous CC-projects.

Complementary and community currencies on the rise

Community and complementary currencies are nothing new, but remained relatively unknown to the big audience. Today, with the publicity of the peer-to-peer exchange system Bitcoin and the steady rise of new coins in towns and cities all over the world, adjusting the system step by step in a positive way, the interest of the general public is growing. Gradually, even the politicians and policy makers start to notice the added social, environmental and economic value of CCs. It is not a far-flung, even in Belgium you can find a wide range of CCs. For example, you have the ‘Torekes’ in Ghent, The A-card in Antwerp or the E-portemonnee, which you can find in multiple towns. Even if there is no specific currency in your neighborhood, you can participate via the LETS-system.

FairFin supports CCs firmly. For instance, in 2009 we established innovation platform Muntuit to gather knowledge and experience about CCs. Muntuit resulted among other things in a successful start-up of the ‘Torekes’ in Ghent, as well as the ’Leermunt’ (wispo’s). Nowadays, FairFin is part of the CCIA coalition, as sub partner of Limburg.net.