vaquette.JPGA parallel currency is non-governmental system of exchange designed for use in a specific region or community. Often called local money, these currencies can be either material or virtual. There are currently several thousand in use in the world, and several dozens in France.

Parallel currencies have several intrinsic advantages:

  • Because of their negative interest rates, they circulate much more quickly that national currencies, and thus contribute to accelerate the purchase of goods and services.  
  • Their use contributes to a better utilization of human and material resources, and thus contributes to strengthening local purchasing power.
  • Because the value of the currency is tied to their acceptance by the population, parallel currencies encourage the consumption and thus production of local products and services.
  • In a similar manner, the existence of parallel currencies encourages the use of short distribution circuits leading to a more balanced local economy.
  • With the development of the Internet, and the example of like those of bitcoins, the advantages of parallel currencies can be extended to geographically disperse communities sharing common values and objectives.