The Handbook of Diverse Economies
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The Handbook of Diverse Economies

Edited by J. K. Gibson-Graham and Kelly Dombroski

Economic diversity abounds in a more-than-capitalist world, from worker-recuperated cooperatives and anti-mafia social enterprises to caring labour and the work of Earth Others, from fair trade and social procurement to community land trusts, free universities and Islamic finance. The Handbook of Diverse Economies presents research that inventories economic difference as a prelude to building ethical ways of living on our dangerously degraded planet. With contributing authors from twenty countries, it presents new thinking around subjectivity and methodology as strategies for making other worlds possible.
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Chapter 25: Alternative currencies: diverse experiments

Peter North


This chapter explores how people wishing to develop creative alternatives to money-as-usual issued by states have experimented with a range of diverse alternative forms of currency such as LETS schemes, time banks, local paper currencies, electronic forms of payment, and more recently, cryptocurrencies. Sometimes these are small, local schemes. Sometimes, such as in Argentina after December 2001, millions use them to survive an economic crisis. These different models of grassroots currency suggest, support and enable very different futures: libertarian, communitarian, hyper capitalist, ecological, inclusive. For diverse economies advocates, they enable people to live ethically, sustainably, prosperously, and with dignity and justice in the Anthropocene. The chapter discusses the implications of different ways of valuating alternative currencies (aligned with money-as-usual, with time, or with something else) and if they should be convertible. It discusses the extent to which an alternative currency should be issued and its use managed, and different geographies of circulation.

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