Adventures in mutual credit

3 types of local money

It seems to me that local currencies come in three flavours.

Mutual Credit
This is what my software supports. It's just a way of tracking debts between people - and when all the debts are paid off, the total value in the system is zero. This system is best for communities with good boundaries, and a solid membership. The main problem with is that half the members will be in debt at any time, and there is nothing to stop them dropping out while owing.

Generic article on sustainable money

Neither sustainable nor just: the current financial system

The story of money is the backstory of history, and some see in it a catalogue of the largest fraud and theft campaign in history, the present problems being no exception.

More fiat vs mutual credit

I have understood for some time now that by ignoring the currency issuing account or creating other accounts, a mutual credit system can be easily adapted to different sets of needs. As a systems thinker, I like the elegance of zero balance systems where balances add up to zero and there is always exactly the right amount of money. However the fiat approach though a little messier has some interesting different qualities.

Sustainable Money

Following a presentation I made on the subject of money and sustainability, I thought it would be useful to note a list of the characteristics of the present dominant monetary system, and why it is unsustainable. Anyone care to add, or elaborate?

Eternal growth paradox
Because the money is always lent into existence at interest, there is never enough money to pay back the banks. More money must be created.

Settled in Tamil Nadu

Just a quick post to say Nick and I are settling in Auroville, an experimental community on the coast of Tamil Nadu. We are sorting out regular cheap sources of food, regulating the electricity and internet supplies, meeting people connected with the project, and also working on Community Forge 1.0, which is eagerly awaited by several communities in France and Belgium.

For those whom it may concern, pictures are below!

Street view


Choosing Cc software 2009

Now communities have a choice of software, they need advice as to which is best for them*. Here are the questions they should be asking. (Like most of my blog posts, this is a work in progress, so when you need to refer to it, come back to the site itself, not to your RSS reader)

Not-for-profit blues

Appeal for sponsors


As faith in the banks and the conventional economy is waning, we are seeing an increase in interest in complementary currencies, but the large scale adoption of these systems is hampered by lack of software.

New kid on the block

After one year's voluntary development, and a handful of implementations, the Complementary Currencies project for Drupal is now attracting significant attention. See Appendix A for a list of some sites using or in the process of implementing the module.

Mutual credit Transaction API

This api is a work in progress...

User story

Annie from Adelaide Exchange went on holiday and agreed that the accommodation should be paid in local money to Brian from Brisbane exchange.

Ben logs on and goes to the external payment form, where he chooses Adelaide from a list of participating exchanges in the network.

Shopping list

Complementary currencies in Drupal is here to stay. It is still the only open source 'module' which manages mutual credit transactions. It now does all a community really needs, but it can never do all a community wants!

Alone I can no longer develop the software, set up a business, maintain existing users and support one intern. This post explains how much needs to be done, and how quickly it can be done, and with how little resources.

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