Marina Primorac of IMF has this nice piece on local currencies:
During the Great Depression, uncertainty led to hoarding and thus shortages of currency. U.S. economist Irving Fisher advocated “stamp scrip”—time-stamped currencies that effectively carried a negative interest rate, called demurrage, if not spent quickly enough. This encouraged spending and turnover of the currency. Some municipalities resorted to scrip, which merchants were assured they could eventually hand in to city hall, school, or community organizations for U.S. dollars. Austria and Germany also issued scrip during the Depression.
Today, local currencies are being adopted, primarily in Europe and North America, to cultivate a sense of community, supporting locally owned businesses by attracting “main street” and “buy local” spending. In Brixton alone, £150,000 worth of the neighborhood currency is in circulation, boosting customer loyalty. Money spent with independent businesses circulates within the local economy up to three times longer than when it’s spent with national chains, according to research by the New Economics Foundation.
The few circulating, paper-based—as opposed to virtual—local currencies also offer an outlet for local creativity and egalitarianism. “You look at regular currency, with all the dead presidents, monarchs, and establishment tropes and you see the cold dead hand of hierarchy and history. It can’t be much fun designing money whose sole purpose seems to be reminding the great unwashed that the wealth isn’t really theirs,” says Charlie Waterhouse, Brixton pound designer.
The second issue of the Brixton series, with £1, £5, £10, and £20 notes, features well-known people with Brixton connections. “We wanted to ensure there was a good balance, says Waterhouse. “Len Garrison was a notable black archivist who founded Brixton’s Black Cultural Archive; [Miami Heat basketball player] Luol Deng comes from a different era in Brixton’s immigration history, and talks of the opportunity a place like Brixton provides regardless of race.”
Nice bit..Examples of people managing own currencies..