Decentralized Currencies Thriving in Greece During Euro Crises
JG Vibes, Contributing Writer
Since the market crashes and bailouts that took place in 2008 it has been no secret that the world economy is on shaky ground. For years, those of us who were concerned about the future have been wondering and speculating as to what mediums of exchange would replace the sinking debt based currencies that now stretch across the globe.
The central bankers that got us into this mess will no doubt be using the media to propagandize the world into accepting a worldwide monopolized currency. This is already being hinted at by politicians and finance tycoons in mainstream interviews on an almost daily basis now. Their excuse for this move is that it would stabilize the economy, but this is provably false.
The real reason for this maneuver is obviously to centralize control of the financial markets. This was the same mentality that created the Eurozone, which is now crumbling and ruining the lives of millions. If what we are experiencing now has taught us anything, it should be that having an economy in the control of so few hands, and totally untouchable by market forces, will breed corruption, monopoly and poverty.
For the economy to really be in the hands of the people it is necessary to decentralize the currency, and to have an open-source network of competing currencies that are community based and easily exchangeable. While it is impossible to predict how we will trade a century or even five years from now, we can still observe how people are getting by in the areas that are falling first, and take those lessons into account for when the US dollar finally diminishes in value to the point where it is unusable.
In areas that have been most affected so far in the worldwide economic crisis, there has been an increasing use of online open-source currencies. These currencies help communities barter with one another easily and effectively without using the Euro, which is becoming increasingly useless by the day. Last month there was a lot of news about bitcoin being more stable than the Euro, with more and more investors transferring their funds into these types of currencies.
While bitcoin is still popular in Greece, and still growing in popularity by the day, another currency by the name of “TEM” is being used locally by the city of Volos.
According to a recent article at radicalsocialentreps.org :
After creating an account, members do business with each other using TEM credits. New members are allowed to deficit-spend up to 300 TEMs, which is effectively an interest-free loan from the community. Only by offering demanded goods and services in return can the new members replenish their balances to keep making purchases.
Credits are created according to these guidelines as new members join — no central banking or monetary authority required.The ideas behind alternative systems like TEM aren’t new. ‘Barter clubs’ or ‘LET’ systems have been around for a while. They’re most often successful in conditions of extreme monetary dysfunction; Argentina saw the nationwide spread of barter clubs during their various Peso crises in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
While this idea is nothing new, as technological progress moves forward it will become easier and easier for people start their own community-based, debt-free currency. This really could be a great way of weathering the impending collapse of the forcefully imposed central bank currencies. In the wake of these collapses people will still have services to offer, and goods to trade; the only thing that will be missing from the equation is a reliable medium of exchange to keep things running smoothly.
This is a very important element to society, but as we can see in projects like TEM and Bitcoin, it is not difficult to innovate and be creative when it comes to currency. It only seems that it would be an impossible task because for centuries this element of our civilizations has been monopolized by central bankers and governments who had no intent of making things work for the benefit of humanity.
This article originally appeared at Alchemy of the Modern Renaissance
J.G. Vibes is an author, and artist with an established record label. In addition to featuring a wide variety of activist information, his company Good Vibes Promotions hosts politically chargedelectronic dance music events. You can keep up with him and his new 87 chapter book Alchemy of the Modern Renaissance, as well as his Voluntary Hippie Podcast at www.aotmr.com and hisfacebook page. Feel free to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org with any tips, suggestions or disagreements.
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