Local Currencies

Cryptocurrencies are fundamentally global in nature. Their networks are decentralized and don't care for national borders. But global currencies have a severe disadvantage: Their purchase value can evolve very differently in different regions. The Euro is such an example that is the official currency in many european countires with distinct fiscal policies and economic development. While there are political reasons to favor such a unifying currency, many economists doubt the concept. States with less economic growth have no option of devaluing their national currency. They can only get into debt - and then get forced into austerity, further weakening their economy.

Local currencies on the other hand are mainly affected by local economy.

Real Examples

Wära Schwanenkirchen


AB-Schein Wörgl

During the great depression, the austrian village of Wörgl attempted a monetary experiment: A complementary local currency.

denominationSchilling (1:1 national currency)
issuanceby the muncipality, as partial salary for infrastructure work
backingfull reserve in Schilling
demurrage12% / year linear pro rata
reimbursement fee2%
date1932 until prohibited in 1933

Observed Impact:

  • lower unemployment (-16% while elsewhere +19% in 1933)
  • 8-10x money velocity
  • improved infrastructure: bridge, ski-jump, streets



denominationEuro (1:1 national currency)
issuanceby Chiemgau association, in exchange for Euro
backingfull reserve in Euro
demurrage8% / year linear pro rata
reimbursement fee5% (of which 3% go to local associations chosen by buyers of Chiemgauer)
date2003 until now


WIR is rather a reciprocal exchange network (barter ring) - but it is an official currency (CHW). It is only open to businesses, not private persons.

denominationCHF (1:1 national currency)
issuanceby WIR bank as credit (with low interest rate)
backingmixed-asset backed
reimbursement feereimbursement prohibited, you have to spend it
date1934 until now