IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Classifying "CCs": Community, complementary and local currencies' types and generations


  • Jérôme Blanc

    () (TRIANGLE - Triangle : action, discours, pensée politique et économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - IEP Lyon - Sciences Po Lyon - Institut d'études politiques de Lyon - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)


Since the emergence of "CCs" thirty years ago, attempts to build typologies and to name things properly have always been disappointing, as if the very object of the analysis escaped from any rigid classification. A major problem that arises with regards to CCs is the obsolescence of previous typologies, due to rapid innovation and the weakening of borders (technological, juridical, political, ideological...) that seemed unlikely to be broken down. Even the terms "complementary currency", "community currency" and many others (with language specificities in English as well as in other languages - for example, in Latin language-speaking countries, something like "social money" is frequently employed) are not considered similarly by activists, scholars, policy-makers or users. As a result, there is no common typology shared by scholars, activists and observers, beyond a series of general considerations clearly distinguishing specific items between CC schemes. Building a typology requires first to state the precise objectives of it; different objectives may lead to different typologies. The present short paper aims at proposing ways to build typologies in a flexible framework, able to include further developments of the matter. Section 2 discusses the principles of a CC typology. Section 3 proposes a distinction between local, community, and complementary currencies, based on the schemes' projects, formulated through redistribution, reciprocity and market criteria. Section 4 distinguishes, in the recent past, four generations of CC schemes, related to combination of previous ideal types : unconvertible community schemes like LETS and trueque (G1), pure time exchange schemes (G2), convertible currencies with local economic objectives like Regio, Palmas or Ithaca currencies (G3) and multiplex schemes like NU and SOL projects (G4). Section 5 concludes. Available online : [ ]

Suggested Citation

  • Jérôme Blanc, 2011. "Classifying "CCs": Community, complementary and local currencies' types and generations," Post-Print halshs-00583587, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00583587
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server:

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Nikolay Nenovsky & Pencho Penchev, 2016. "Money without a State: Currencies of the Orthodox Christians in the Balkan Provinces of the Ottoman Empire (17th –19th centuries)," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 33-51, March.
    2. Hayyan Alia & Eli Spiegelman, 2020. "Convertible local currency and trust: ‘It’s Not You, It’s Me’ – A field experiment in the French Basque Country," Local Economy, London South Bank University, vol. 35(2), pages 105-120, March.
    3. Diego Sébastien LANDIVAR & Clément MATHONNAT & Ariane TICHIT, 2014. "Classification des systèmes de monnaies non-bancaires : ce que disent les données du Web," Working Papers 201425, CERDI.
    4. Jérôme Blanc & Marie Fare, 2016. "Turning values concrete: the role and ways of business selection in local currency schemes," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 74(3), pages 298-319, September.
    5. Ariane TICHIT & Clément MATHONNAT & Diego Sébastien LANDIVAR, 2015. "Classifying Non-banking Monetary Systems using Web Data," Working Papers 201530, CERDI.
    6. Luigi Doria & Luca Fantacci, 2018. "Evaluating complementary currencies: from the assessment of multiple social qualities to the discovery of a unique monetary sociality," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 1291-1314, May.
    7. Jérôme Blanc, 2017. "Making Sense of the Plurality of Money : A Polanyian Attempt," Post-Print halshs-02023680, HAL.
    8. Marie Fare & Pepita Ould Ahmed, 2014. "Complementary currency systems questioning social and economic changes," Working Papers ird-01088492, HAL.
    9. Jérôme Blanc & Marie Fare, 2018. "Pathways to Improvement. Successes and Difficulties of Local Currency Schemes in France since 2010," Post-Print halshs-01996923, HAL.
    10. Jérôme Blanc, 2017. "Unpacking monetary complementarity and competition: a conceptual framework," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 239-257.
    11. Camille Meyer & Marek Hudon, 2019. "Money and the Commons: An Investigation of Complementary Currencies and Their Ethical Implications," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 160(1), pages 277-292, November.
    12. Jérôme Blanc, 2018. "Tensions in the triangle: monetary plurality between institutional integration, competition and complementarity," Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 389-411, December.
    13. Ariane Tichit & Clément Mathonnat & Diego Landivar, 2016. "Classifying Non-Bank Currency Systems Using Web Data," Post-Print hal-01995950, HAL.
    14. Seyfang, Gill & Longhurst, Noel, 2013. "Growing green money? Mapping community currencies for sustainable development," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 65-77.
    15. Dini, Paolo & Kioupkiolis, Alexandros, 2019. "The alter-politics of complementary currencies: the case of Sardex," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 101368, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    16. Oliver Sanz, Esther, 2016. "Community currency (CCs) in Spain: An empirical study of their social effects," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 20-27.
    17. Hélène Joachain & Frédéric Klopfert, 2011. "Emerging trend of complementary currencies systems as policy instrument for environmental purposes: changes ahead?," Working Papers CEB 11-047, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    18. Sartori, Laura & Dini, Paolo, 2016. "From complementary currency to institution: a micro-macro study of the Sardex mutual credit system," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 67135, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    19. Blanc, Jérôme, 2015. "Contester par projets. Le cas des monnaies locales associatives," Revue de la Régulation - Capitalisme, institutions, pouvoirs, Association Recherche et Régulation, vol. 18.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00583587. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (CCSD). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.