February 2007

First Slow Food, Now Slow Money?

Minneapolis Star-Tribune - In the hills of the Berkshires in Massachusetts, residents are trading their dollar bills or George Washington coins for BerkShares, local currency designed by local artists that can only be used for transactions in face-to-face purchases at local stores.

Sure it’s slow and inconvenient. You have to go to a participating bank and exchange your money with BerkShares (although at a 10 percent discount meaning your money goes farther). And then you have to visit different stores to interact with real, live people!

Germans Take Pride in Local Money

BBC - Tristana Moore - Like any other city in Germany, the normal currency here is the euro. But bizarrely, they also have another currency in circulation: the Urstromtaler .

Before you doubt its existence, it is not "Monopoly" money - it is very real. At a jewellery shop in the city centre, Gerfried Kliems explained how people use the regional currency.