query: local currencies

colist-admin at comm-org.utoledo.edu colist-admin at comm-org.utoledo.edu
Wed Dec 25 11:43:59 CST 2002

[ed:  We have had occasional discussions about community-based 
currencies.  James offers us the opportunity to update the 

From:  James DeFilippis <jdefilippis at CSSNY.ORG>

I have recently become interested in LETS, but haven't seen any 
good data on who is involved and I have this nagging suspician 
that it's a middle class white person thing (which would make me 
less interested in it).  Does anyone have any information on this?  

LETS are local currencies that are forms of self-contained networks 
in which members buy or sell services to other members and are 
paid in the LETS currency.  In most LETS every member has an 
individual account, which records their debt or credit.  Members do 
not "owe" the person or business providing the service, instead 
their debt is to the LETS system, and their debt is therefore 

My interest in LETS comes from my long term interest in issues of 
community control over economic development (especially since 
most of the community development movement/industry seems to 
have moved very decidedly away from even the goal of community 
control over the last couple of decades).  And a local currency 
seems like a very interesting and innovative way to realize local 
control over economics.  Any thoughts/ideas/data on this would be 

James DeFilippis
Housing Policy Analyst
Community Service Society of New York
105 East 22nd Street
New York, NY 10010
jdefilippis at cssny.org

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