Short on Money, Cities Around the World Try Making Their Own

Complementary currencies are local alternatives to national currencies that help local economies when budgets are tight. Tenino prints “wooden dollars” and residents in need get up to $300/month to spend at local businesses from grocery stores to day cares. Cities across the US have reached out for advice on starting their own local currencies, which can take many forms including digital-only. There are 3,500-4,500 local currencies in 50 countries, including Brazil’s Maricá where it helped the under-resourced city build schools and hospitals. These currencies have no value outside of the local economy.

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