Category Archives: Barter

Gold Nuggets as ‘super coupons’ – a ‘virtual currency’ of the barter kind

John C Turmel calls himself the ‘anti-poverty engineer’ and has been the most active ant-usury campaigner I have come across. He does not buy a book that doesn’t have ‘usury’ in its index, he says!

With the Gold Nugget Network he has developed a neat system that allows

  • shops to save money when advertising with couponsĀ 
  • buyers to save money by getting discounts.

Here is his home page.


Town Mayor takes his salary in Bristol Pounds: may they come as an app and may many mayors follow suit!

Salt Spring Dollars are a community currency i...

Salt Spring Dollars are a community currency issued by the Salt Spring Island Monetary Foundation. The currency is used by both tourists and local residents of Salt Spring Island. “Salt Spring Dollars”. Salt Spring Island Monetary Foundation . . Retrieved 2011-04-27 . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, this is the least expected and most promising news I had in my inbox today:

New Mayor Takes Entire Salary in Local Currency

I can’t even remember when it was that I started the first Local Exchange Trading System (LETS) in London, as the Green Money Network. It must have been in the 80s, when I had started Turning Points @ St. James’s which is still running as Alternatives. 80 members had signed up in no time, but they wouldn’t trade. So they needed meetings – which we made happen at the LSE – where people socialised and still wouldn’t trade.

It’s obviously a big difference whether my mum used her local currency in the former DDR in rural Brandenburg quite happily or whether Londoners should learn to change their ways of relating to each with their means of payment.

If only Bristol Pounds were available as an app and all town mayors were to follow Bristol sooner rather than later!

The Unemployed Exchange Association

Here’s the success story of people who organised themselves in the USA in 1932, when money was worthless.

Do things have to get much worse for people to do similar things here and now???

“Barter Rupees” for Yogis

Ramesh Patel has been a long standing Indian friend whom I met because he had bought the crockery for his vegetarian restaurant for barter money in the US. He now called to ask whether I could write about it for a large Indian organisation of Yogis.

So I thought I’d share it here, too: Barter Rupees – A Proposal for Yogis

Dutch Barter System Challenges Bankers

This article is about possibly the most effective regional currency put in circulation – juxtaposing it against the key thinkers and systems around: the right analysis, the right motivation and thus the right governance. May it succeed and serve as a model!

US communities print own currencies to keep cash flowing

This article in USA TODAY summarizes nicely how people are helping themselves.

How bad does it have to get in Britain, one wonders… But LetsLink UK is inundated with requests for help!

Why I Love Bartercard: because it provides ‘mutual credit’

Let me count the ways:

  1. As an enterprise, Bartercard started in Australia which to my German / Slavic mindset promises to come from a reasonably sound money culture. Having established bank accounts in five different countries in my life, I am aware of significant differences between emotional attitudes towards money.
  2. As a company, Bartercard has been around since 1991 and it has visibly improved substantially, since I last visited their offices some 5-6 years ago.
  3. “Trade pounds” is the right name for the right purpose as the UKĀ  “barter currency”.
  4. Bartercard’s computer system is as comprehensive as possible and has clearly grown ‘from experience’.
  5. Bartercard’s ‘means of payment’ are excellent, too: a credit card, on-line facilities, vouchers and even transfers from mobile phone to mobile phone!
  6. Bartercard means usury-free banking, ethical accounting and has the potential of a social business in the definition of Nobel Peace prize winner Muhammad Yunus: non-loss, non-dividend (the franchise model is apparently under discussion) and for the benefit (rather than the exploitation) of its member clients.
  7. One of the Bartercard directors has had his own experience of being overcharged by Lloyds. So he knows how important it is to create ethical alternatives to what has been described as being ‘criminogenic’: a legal privilege ruled by self-regulation…

From our LETS experience, we could contribute the ‘passbook’ as an additional means of payment: the balance is open for every trader to see, and counter signatures demonstrate the ‘mutual credit’ principle, on which complementary currencies are based.

The passbook comes from the former DDR and is designed for individuals and senior citizens who grew up before Internet times or still like pen and paper!