Some form of money or currency is indispensable for a society to support specialization and advanced technology.
Most national currencies are based on a fractional reserve baking systems where money is "created" by central banks issuing loans. The money in turn disappears when these loans are repaid. These central bank loans require interest to be paid in addition to the original capital, but the money needed to pay the interest is not "created" when the loan is created. Since the only source of money in this system is central bank loans, another central bank loan is required in order to pay the interest. This self reinforcing cycle of borrowing and interest payment results in the consolidation of assets and wealth by those that control the central banks.
A sustainable and more equitable society needs a system of exchange that is not based on unsustainable debit money. Many such alternative currencies exist and are in use on a local or global scale.
For a society to transition smoothly to a sustainable currency it must start with a complimentary currency; one that does not entirely replace, but functions along side, the conventional money system. As alternative currency gains acceptance and can be used for more transactions with others, it can gradually replace an unsustainable money system.
Alternative currencies have been based on:
- resources such as gold and silver
- working hours
- things of symbolic value, such as seashells
- computer systems such as blockchains
- a ledger of transactions
For an alternative currency to function effectively the group using it must have an internal supply/production of basic necessities such as food, housing or energy.