- People across the world are using homegrown currencies to boost local economies
- New technology enables local money payments by cell phone
- Experts explain how to start your own currency
(CNN)What do David Bowie, the supersonic aircraft Concorde and Cassiopeia (a fictional tortoise that can see 30 minutes into the future) all have in common? They've all adorned the paper notes of local currencies.
What are local currencies?
"Local" or "complementary" currency schemes generally aim to promote local economic activity by implementing a payment mechanism (often including physical vouchers) that can be used for purchases from local businesses. The concept is that the payment arrangement encourages consumers to purchase goods and services from local businesses that in turn purchase goods and services from local suppliers, or pay their staff partly with the local currency. The intention is that the scheme creates a "positive multiplier" effect, keeping spending within the local area.