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    The Hustle6/12/2011 min
    10 reads7 comments
    The Hustle
    10 reads
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    • jeff
      2 years ago

      Great find! I wish the article touched on the tax and legal issues with these "currencies" though.

      Demand grew so high that collectors started paying $2.50 for a single wooden quarter — a 10x markup.

      Sounds like anyone redeeming the local currency would be on the hook for capital gains tax if the value increased since the time they acquired it. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency comes with the same baggage, but I'm guessing as long as the numbers are small enough the IRS won't come knocking (hopefully).

      Reading about this also reminded me of the Liberty dollar which I remembered being raided by the FBI and Secret Service. Apparently it was the minting of coins which was illegal, not the paper certificates. Strange distinction.

    • Alexa2 years ago

      Fascinating article, the history of wooden dollars in the Great Depression in Tenino and their current iteration.

      By creating its own local currency, Tenino keeps the money in the community. As Fournier puts it, “Amazon will not be accepting wooden dollars.”

      I've always wondered about ways to keep more money in your local businesses. And, here ya go! I recently saw a video about TimeShare currencies in a New Zealand town where you volunteer and can use the vouchers at the farmers market. It's not always a sunny day solution but these innovative humans give me life, and hope, for what's to come.

      • Florian2 years ago

        Same! I was going to quote the exact same sentence. I can see what they are doing but it also feels like a can of worms to me

        • Alexa2 years ago

          yea totally, I sense the can of worms too. As a short term fix I like what they're doing, and that it's used as a thoughtful additional stimulus. Could be so wrong, or so right. Mixed bag, although I feel drawn to it in many ways we all know where the road can lead us when we're driven by good intentions....

    • JoshChapdelaine2 years ago

      Brilliant article.

      The benefits of shopping locally as an act of resistance against Amazon is intriguing and makes me hopeful.

      However, i'm more skeptical about the structure of mumbuca's local currency. Requiring employees take salary in local currency inextricably ties a person to a region. The currency begins to feel more feudal than freeing.

      • Alexa2 years ago

        yea! that made me curious too. good point on the Mumbuca. The one's I've seen with time shares for volunteer and time swaps make sense to me, although forcing salaries in local currency seems restrictive.

        Defo wondered if dictating where something can be spent actually ends up restrictive if a local shop doesn't cover your needs and it ends up not very intersectional in practice (*head explodes)

    • deephdave
      Top reader of all time
      2 years ago

      “It is a very grim time for small businesses. Many won’t survive,” says Witt. “A currency, managed locally, is an elegant tool to address local needs.”