You might be part of a social group, or be interested in creating a new one around a common interest or concern. On commonfare.net we want to support the ability to act together, and this means that as part of a group you can have your own discussion, post stories as a group, and have the possibility to interact with group members with your own digital complementary currency.
Why create a group digital complementary currency?
A group digital complementary currency is just for you and your group members – it allows you to have some representation of value that you can create and transfer among yourselves, which could be used to enhance and contribute to the way in which you cooperate.
While first and foremost a group digital complementary currency is about experimenting with and learning about digital currencies, there are a number of other reasons you might want to do this, including:
- A mechanism of self-management within a group, for example, as a way of representing the different tasks and contributions people are making to the group over time, such as in the case of Macao (which we describe below)
- Managing the inconsistency of seasonal income, for example, by allocating your currency at a slower rate throughout the year (while backed by the real season income), and using it between local people and businesses.
- To offer a local loyalty or reward mechanism, for example, similar to how a cafe might give you a voucher for free coffee for every ten that you purchase.
- Tickets and vouchers for festivals and events, for example, at the Santarcangelo festival of 2018 (which we describe below).
If you want some help to think about how a digital complementary currency could be used, DYNE, one of the Commonfare partners, has created an open source board game you could try, called Le Grand Jeu.
If you don’t want to make use of your own digital complementary currency within a group, you can always make use of Commoncoin, provided to every Commoner on commonfare.net as a basic income to exchange with other Commoners. Learn more about how Commoncoin is being used on commonfare.net.
Examples of applying a digital complementary currency.
Here are two examples of digital complementary currency application:
- Santarcangelo Festival, where it was used to sell tickets and vouchers through festival vendors.
- Macao Center for Arts, Culture and Research, where it was used as a mechanism of self-management within an existing community.
These examples are contrasting in their short-term and long-term use of digital complementary currency, but also linked through Macao’s organisation of the Santarcangelo Festival.
In the first example, people attending the Santarcangelo festival were able to use a custom group digital complementary currency called SantaCoin to interact with the different vendors and services offered. This served to show how digital technologies could allow for smooth transactions and operations at the festival. Attendees were given a QR code to access their Santacoin, which could be scanned by vendors to transfer the group currency and complete an exchange. Read more about the experience here and here.
The second example involves Macao a community who has experimented with a digital complementary currency both before and during their involvement with commonfare.net. They used ‘Commoncoin’ to run their internal economy and as a mechanism to access basic income in Euros. For more information, please check out Macao, and Commonfare project reports (here and here).
How to get started.
To get started for yourself, with a new or existing group, you first want to consider the following questions:
- What are the core values/objectives of your group?
- Why are you using a digital complementary currency?
- How will the digital complementary currency be used?
If you can answer these questions, consider writing a story to share your motivation as part of setting up the group and digital complementary currency, as a way to show others why they might want to get involved. Other Commoners have already started writing about their values and objectives, such as the example here.
You first need to set up a group, and then you will be ready to start the process of creating a digital complementary currency. This requires some technical experience, and instructions on both how to set it up, and how to use it can be found here.