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Local currency

The term ‘local currency’ refers to complementary currencies that seek to orient economic or social relations in a small “geopolitically defined space” 1. This means local currencies first and foremost are designed to be used within a community, town or city. As so, they seek to facilitate and stimulate trade within a specific community and preserve and restore the social nature of trade and business. These currencies do not replace legal tender and are generally backed by legal tender. If the locality where local currencies operate is sufficiently large then these currencies are also refered to as regional currency.

Typical Purpose

Local currencies help to reinforce community cohesion, increase turnover of local business and protect the environment. Depending on their design features, local currencies have the power to connect underused assets to unmet needs that are ignored by the ordinary money economy.


Examples of local currencies are:



  1. Blanc J., (2011) Classifying ‘CCs’: Community, Complementary and Local Currencies, The International Journal of Community Currency Research 5-Special Issue D4-10. Available at, p.6
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