Local Currency Systems in the United States, 1991-PresentLoren Gatch(email@example.com)
The following annotated list of American local currencies has been compiled from a variety of sources, but its point of departure
was Ed Collum‟s
2005 article on local currencies (for his list, see : http://www.usm.maine.edu/~collom/cc.html). Most internet searches for these various systems
produced recycled lists of currency experiments, often based on the same Wikipedia entry on local currencies.
Some links provided in Collum‟s work
have since become stale, or changed their content (for example, Olybarter Network is now a porn site!). Careful searching reveals that there issurprisingly little information available on specific local currency experiences, particularly the defunct ones. Suffice it to say, this project took longer than I expected it to.This
list revises Collum‟s effort, and provides links where available to in
formation about that local currency. Sources include newspaper accounts, past issues of Local Currency News, various online books and reports, and older versions of websites accessible through Internet Archive.I made two editorial decisions that have changed the composition of this list compared to others. First, I dropped the Chamber of Commerce-sponsored plans (like Crested Butte, Colorado), which were essentially coupons or gift certificates not designed for general circulation. This includesany participants in defunct programs run by Certificheck, which declared bankruptcy last year. Second, I have dropped Liberty Dollars from this list.After studying its operation, I concluded that it is simply a scheme for selling bullion coins and has no genuine local content in its design. Finally, Idropped entries that did not use actual currency (i.e. that were LETS or Time Dollars), except for a few exceptions (such as
Seattle‟s “Time Bucks”)
which appear on so many local currency lists that clarifying their character might be useful.I considered a currency
if its website is functional and up-to-date. Of course, currencies can still circulate without websites, but in the absence
of any other information this was the obvious criterion. In one case, “Dillo Hours” (Austin, Texas), I labeled it active without a website on the basis
of a report made to me by someone who had recently visited that town.This list remains incomplete in many places. Even as I added listings for older currencies that received only incidental mention in the sources, I also
tried to include references to schemes that are currently being conceived (like Detroit “Cheers”). I may have missed some of
these newest ones.
Anyone perusing this list who may be able to „fill in the blanks‟
or otherwise provide an information source, please contact me. Likewise, if you havecurrency images you wish to share, I would much appreciate it. Thanks!