Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Local currency and implications for mobile payments

Distrust in the Banking System sows return of Homegrown currencies" reads the headline of an article in American Banker. (Read here). I could not help reading further and found some of the thoughts interesting. It seems that many schemes like this operate legally in the US. Currency is offered as an alternative purchasing tool in a specific community and could be used to stimulate economies or to market special offers. According to my understanding, this currency is backed by the dollar and does not constitute the issuing of new money.

This article triggered my memory and with a little help of my friend Tian, I stumbled on the Community Exchange System (CES) (Read here) - quite an innovative way to look at local currencies. The website makes the following claim: "With the impending implosion of the usury-based, global money system, now is the time to seek a new way of 'doing' money, one not based on debt and controlled by a global monetary elite that seems happy about destroying our planet in the pursuit of profit." The creator of this system is a guy called: Tim Jenkins. (One of the interesting stories about him, is that he escaped from a high security jail as a political activist with a key that he carved from wood!). Download this story here.

The use of and the likelihood that money/currency may change does exist. It may only happen in niche areas or for specific uses (like in the retail environment). By digitising alternative currencies and making them available through a mobile transacting platform, the use may become more prevalent. Just another wild thought.

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