Friday, September 4, 2020

A New Currency: Community Currency, Trading What You Have For What You Need

100 US Dollar Banknotes

Photo by John Guccione from Pexels

I propose that a new kind of currency be instituted by the Federal Governent, to exist alongside the dollar.

Poor people have nothing, especially the homeless. Often cities take what little they have to fight public health problems with encampments.

Many poor people collect recyclables to make money.

Why not offer them the option of trading whatever they can do for what they need? This is basically the barter system made into credits that can be exchanged. Anyone who wants money can work directly for pay, or trade what they have for credits, trading them for money when they need or want it.


To earn the credits, people would need to prove that they did them, through a picture or short video. There would need to be a way to exchange the types of credits for other credits.  There would need to be proof that is valid, to make the credits valid.


People participating in this new medium of exchange would need a valid ID. There would need to be a way for them to get the proof of citizenship to get an ID. There would need to be a provision for those who cannot prove citizenship to be able to get an ID.

Just having an ID is not enough, because it can be cloned or stolen. There are several high tech ways to identify a person. Facial recognition, fingerprints, retinal scan, DNA. A person's privacy must be maintained.

There must be a way to store a person's records and keep them private except in the case of crime.

There must be a way for each person to have an account to tie him or her to credits.

Each person must have access to a cellphone to record video, or a neighborhood recording station, or a friend who can record. For this system to work, every person needs a smartphone, and a way to replace a stolen one quickly.

I have a free government phone through SafeLink, and I can vouch for this site being genuine. I used this link to get started with researching mine.


There should be a means that someone with too much of one kind of credit could exchange it for another kind of credit. There should be a way to exchange these credits for money also.


A person could earn recommendations on their account, to signify their reputation in their communities. Anyone could write a recommendation for a person, for a specific job performed, or willingness to help, honesty, any one trait or task.

A person could also earn demerits. The process should have rules like, no degrading comments, no hate speech, no accusations without proof. A community could have a Demerits Council to hear arguments and try to determine whether the demerit is earned.

Or there could be one Council to hear recommendations or demerits and decide which is warranted. Recommendations should affect credits only. Demerits would affect reputation only. There should be opportunities for people who earn a demerit to do something to make up for it. If a person were caught littering, for example, they could remove a littering demerit for cleaning an area proportionate to the area littered. Demerits should be temporary, and public until removed by acts of public service.


There would need to be stations to accept the trade and give the credit. There would need to be a way to verify the ID of the person, so some technical equipment needs to be on board. Workers who might do part of this work would get various types of credits, and so would the neighborhood, city, state, and Federal Government. At some point, there might be an International Currency as well. As more people use the system, some of the credits earned by each neighborhood or city could be put back into the system to automate the processes.

People who want their own little business could operate their own station. Owners could start with one station and add them as they get credits to build another. A neighborhood association could start one, or an individual, or a corporation.

I will be posting articles suggesting what possible kinds of credits could be traded for what soon.

 What a token economy is, and how it can be used. This tip sheet for teachers explains how a school classroom can have students earning credits they can exchange for what they want. It also describes several apps for this purpose.

Wikipedia has a more in-depth explanation:

Microsoft has developed one using virtual currency similar to Bitcoin:

You may have encountered some companies with token economies. For instance, Amazon's Coins

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