To follow up my posts the other day about the massive inherent failings in our system of money, I thought I’d give a brighter picture as well.

Local currencies and barter networks achieve many of the goals we hope for with dollars or Euros, but at the community level. They can give people an incentive to produce, but without the strings attached we see in traditional forms of debt-based money. Here are two views, one from the Peak Oil community, and one from the Wall Street Journal, of all sources.

Peak Moment, an ongoing series about community responses to Peak Oil, published this excellent interview with Francis Ayley who has worked on a number of British And American LETS (Local Exchange Trading System) networks.
Local Currencies – Replacing Scarcity with Trust (Google Video, 28 min)

The Wall Street Journal, or at least their bloggers, have also caught onto the trend. And with the help of a fast-failing global economy and a bunch of internet-age buzzwords (“peer-to-peer” etc), they actually come out in favour. Not all of the systems they mention are ones I’d want to be involved with, but the historical analysis near the end is very interesting. They openly talk about the way state currencies were created by kings in the 12th and 13th century in order to bring economies under their control.
The Currency Revolution (21 minutes)