In the past years there has been a trend towards community currencies.
The basic idea of such complementary currencies is to facilitate good ol’ fashioned bartering in what has been traditionally limited to a relatively small geographic area.
Particularly interesting is how these new currencies make use of the internet. In the example of the Havelblueten (German link), a currency used by some communities in the Potsdam region of Germany, the issuers of the currency recently unveiled online accounts for individuals, self-employed and businesses.
The Havelblueten account is implemented by Cyclos, a currency software developed out of Holland and is available as open source. By now, there are several implementations of the software internationally.
As opposed to decentralized solutions like Ripple, which relies on the trust between the participants, Cyclos works in a relatively traditional manner: The currency issuer can set the exchange rate to the basis currency, input important parameters such as interest rates, circulation fees, etc and then start running.
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- Geek Credits: Web Currencies vs. Local Currencies
Originally posted in German by Jochen Krisch, translated by Jason Soo.