A community without dollars is not a community without wealth – this basic insight lies at the heart of the community resilience movement. With income and wealth inequality still on the rise in our “post-recession” economy, communities are finding creative ways to meet their needs and maintain social ties through community-created forms of exchange, or complementary currencies. And, as with most social innovations, existing legal and regulatory systems take some time to catch up.
With the recent passage of the California Alternative Currencies Act, AB 129, California has taken a significant step toward fostering more just and resilient local economies.
Driven both by economic necessity and innovations in technology, communities across California and across the world are creating their own means of exchange that support economic resilience and social cohesion in the face of rapidly changing economies. Examples include local currencies like Davis Dollars and Bernal Bucks, crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin and Freicoin, and mutual credit systems such as Bay Bucks. Until recently, California-based projects existed in a huge legal gray area.by