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19 Apr 2007

The Totnes Pound – going well and considering its evolution.

tpLast Sunday’s Observer magazine mentioned the Totnes Pound in an article called How Green Can Your Money Be? by Lucy Siegle, as part of the Ethical Living section. The Totnes Pound pilot is going very well, they are still out there changing hands, most shops getting asked for them more often than they are actually able to give them out in change. As I wrote here when we launched it, we put 300 notes into circulation, and the pilot runs until June 1st. At that point we will interview the various shops that took them and collect the data from the notes in terms of how many times they changed hands. This will be formulated into a report that we will publish, at **Transition Culture** among other places. It should be a really useful piece of research.

ssdWe have also formed a Totnes Pound group as part of Transition Town Totnes which is exploring how an enlarged scheme might work. We are drawing a lot of inspiration from the Berkshares scheme and also from the Salt Spring Dollar currency. We have got hold of sets of both, and they are an amazing tool to put in peoples’ hands to just see their eyes light up with the possibility of it all. It is all about telling new stories about money and how we relate to it, and printed currencies are great for that. As far as I can tell, the only printed currency in the UK is the Ekos in Findhorn, anybody out there know of any others?

One of the big questions we are exploring, other than whether it is legal or not (!), is whether printed currencies are the best way of issuing local money. I went in the local mobile phone shop and asked them what proportion of their turnover is cash and how much is electronic, she told me that almost all of their their income is electronic, they only have a cash float of £50 and it is hardly ever dipped into. On the other hand, some other shops have a much higher turnover of cash, food shops in particular. The key question is what is the best way to be of most use to the local business community. So everything is up for discussion, and one of the things we have found most useful is the Community Currency Guide by Bernard Lietaer and Gwendolyn Hallsmith, which is a workbook what takes you through the process of designing a currency. It is well worth a read. I will keep you up to date with our thinking process and any interesting lines of enquiry.

Categories: Economics, Localisation

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8 Comments

Re: An Experiment in Worgl…

Totnes Pound update https://www.transitionculture.org/2007/04/19/the-totnes-pound-……

John Rogers
13 Aug 10:21pm

Currency Design is the crucial piece. We have nearly 30 years experience as a global movement of community currencies about what works and what could be improved. The Community Currency Guide is a good starting point but it leaves a lot of questions unanswered and assumes the existing ‘brands’ such as LETS, Time Dollars etc. can be take off the shelf and got going with no problems. The Berkshares (US) and German Regio systems (see http://www.regiogeld.de and http://www.chiemgauer.info) are pioneering experiments in issuing local currency backed by national currency to inspire confidence in the local business community. That is good as long as it is part of a plan to move towards a genuine free-standing currency. Take a look at http://www.valueforpeople.co.uk for CC resources. We are developing a detailed Currency Design guide with detailed questions and a step-by-step format to ensure better future designs. We have what we need, if we use what we have. John Rogers

[…] The UK’s first town exploring how to prepare for a carbon constrained, energy lean world. Click here to read about the Totnes Pound. Turning the concept of money on its […]

[…] The Totnes Pound […]

[…] including Ithaca HOURS, Berkshares (which have gathered some mainstream media attention) and the Totnes Pound. Dutch organisation STRO is also implementing pilot projects in Brazil, Central-America, Asia and […]

[…] including Ithaca HOURS, Berkshares (which have gathered some mainstream media attention) and the Totnes Pound. Dutch organisation STRO is also implementing pilot projects in Brazil, Central-America, Asia and […]

[…] including Ithaca HOURS, Berkshares (which have gathered some mainstream media attention) and the Totnes Pound. Dutch organisation STRO is also implementing pilot projects in Brazil, Central-America, Asia and […]

Roy Mullins
16 Mar 12:02pm

Good afternoon,

We are a Security Printer based in Eastbourne and are currently involved with 2 towns within the UK in respect of their own “Pound Notes” we would be pleased to give you proposals if you so wish for design, print and distribution for your project.
Please visit our website to see our range of products and Accreditations. Thank you.