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Kotare Beans

Written by Shaked,

We have been talking for a while about starting our own local currency, finally it seems like we are almost there, and final proposals are being made and edited.

local currencies, local economies and communities are another case of ‘the chicken or the egg’ but one thing is sure, just like both parts are needed for chickens to exists, local currencies and local economies support each other, and the developing of a community.

We decided to go for something simple, not too many rules, governed by a democratic organisation, light on the admin side, and small to start with – ‘Kotare Beans’

The main core of our last draft looks like that:

  1. The ‘Kotare Village Association’ – KVA (a democratic association), will form a sub committee – ‘Kotare Beans Committee’ – KBC (3 people)
  2. To start with, only residents in the village will be able to trade with KBs. (as the currency gets stronger it might be opened to use in the district)
  3. The KBC will print notes, so people could carry around and easily exchange.
  4. 1KB will have the same value as $1.
  5. Every person joining will receive 300kb to trade with.
  6. Every person leaving will deposit their 300kb back to the hands of the KBC
  7. As the currency gets stronger, and people gain more confidence in using it, we can increase the amount of currency in circulation by equally giving everyone more money.

To start with, some people had thoughts like ‘why go the trouble of setting up a village, and then bring into it the same sickness (money) of our globalised world’ this can seem like a valid argument, though without going into the downsides of the global economy and the current monetary system, for me a local currency, and specifically Kotare Beans are not about charging friends for what yesterday i would have given for free, I like how Bob has put it, ‘we are using 3 currencies: NZ Dollars, Kotare Beans and Koha’, what yesterday would have been a gift, would stay a gift, and i wish that larger and larger sums of what used to be NZ Dollars will slowly transform to be traded with KBs, encouraging us to produce local, and purchase local, develop ways we can interact with each other, solve problems for each other, develop regenerative solutions for our daily needs, and on the way make a living of it.

Its been really cool to go through a short session of everyone thinking what they would wish to share with everyone, and what they would be happy to receive, and surprisingly how many transactions and connections were quickly drawn on the board.

I wish i had a picture of a note to share here, but the design part of the currency we are still missing, coming soon!

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