Rethinking Money, Rebuilding Communities: A Multidimensional Analysis of Crypto and Complementary Currencies


In the current scenario of global crisis, our official monetary system's inadequacy to provide solutions to the numerous serious problems affecting our society has become increasingly evident. This has led to the emergence of an astonishing number of projects that aim to rethink money. In order to make sense of these projects, it is necessary to explore the deepest meanings of money, as a multidimensional institution whose concrete nature and functioning are still object of a whole set of unsolved disputes. Under these premises, this article proposes an interdisciplinary reading of crypto and complementary currencies. The goal is twofold: on the one hand, the authors aim to shed light on the conditions which have to be met for the establishment of a sustainable monetary innovation; on the other hand, the article constitutes an attempt to use ongoing experiences as a lens through which to gain new insights into the general phenomenon of money and as a laboratory for exploring the possibility to move towards new socio-economic paradigms.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i20356609v13i1p337

Keywords: Money; Monetary Innovation; Complementary Currencies; Crypto Currencies; Clearing Systems


Amato M. (2006), “Notes on the (Im)proper Use of Money. From an Openly Hidden Tradition of Money-thinking”, XVI International History Conference, Helsinki ( Accessed April 10, 2020.

Amato M., L. Fantacci (2012), Fine della finanza, Roma: Donzelli.

Amato M., L. Fantacci (2013), Moneta Complementare. Sai cos’è?, Milano: Bruno Mondadori.

Arestis P., Sawyer M. (2006), edited by, A Handbook of Alternative Monetary Economics, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Baek C., Elbeck M. (2015), “Bitcoin as Investment or Speculative Vehicle? A First Look”, Applied Economics Letters, 22(1-3): 30-34.

Bech M., Garrat R. (2017), “Central Bank cryptocurrencies”, BIS Quarterly Review, September: 55,70.

Berti L. (1978), edited by, Moneta, crisi e stato capitalistico, Milano: Feltrinelli.

Bindewald L., M. Nginamau, and C. Place (2013), Validating Complementary and Community Currencies as an Efficient Tool for Social and Solidarity Economy Networking and Development. ( Accessed October 26, 2019.

Blanc J., Fare M., and O. Lafuente-Sampietro (2020), Les monnaies locales en France: un bilan de l’enquête nationale 2019-20, Lyon: Triangle - UMR 5206, Université Lumière Lyon 2, Sciences Po Lyon.

Blanc J. (2011), “Classifying “CCs”: Community, Complementary and Local Currencies types and generations”, International Journal of Community Currency Research, 15: 4-10.

Bode S. (2004), Potentiale regionaler Komplementar währungen zur Förderung einer endogenen Regionalentwicklung. Thesis, Osnabrück University.

Boonstra L., A. Klamer, E. Karioti, J. Do Carmo, and S. Geenen (2013), Complementary Currency Systems. Social and Economic Effects of Complementary Currencies, Rotterdam: Erasmus University.

Braga E., A. Fumagalli (eds.). (2015), La moneta del comune, Milano: alfabeta2 and DeriveApprodi.

Chea E-T., Fry J. (2015), “Speculative Bubbles in Bitcoin Markets? An Empirical Investigation into the Fundamental Value of Bitcoin”, Economics Letters, 130: 32-36.

DeMeulenaere S. (2008), “2007 Yearly Report of the Worldwide Database of Complementary Currency Systems”, International Journal of Community Currency Research, 12: 2-19

Doria L., L. Fantacci (2017), “Evaluating Complementary Currencies: from the Assessment of Multiple Social Qualities to the Discovery of a Unique Monetary Sociality”, Quality & Quantity, 52: 1291-1314.

ECB (2012) Virtual currency schemes, European Central Bank, Frankfurt.

Fantacci L. (2019), “Cryptocurrencies and the denatiolization of money” International Journal of Political Economy, 48(2): 105-126.

Fantacci L. (2005), Moneta. Storia di un’istituzione mancata, Venezia: Marsilio

Fama M., Fumagalli A., and S. Lucarelli (2019), “Cryptocurrencies, Monetary Policy and New Forms of Monetary Sovereingty”, International Journal of Political Economy, 48(2): 174-194.

Fare M., P. Ould Ahmed (2014), Complementary currency systems questioning social and economic changes, ( Accessed February 15, 2020.

Forstater M. (2018) “Complementary Currencies in the Solidarity Economy: The Local Job Guarantee”. In: Murray M., Forstater M. (eds) Full Employment and Social Justice. Binzagr Institute for Sustainable Prosperity. London-New Yprok: Palgrave-Macmillan: 159-167.

Friedman M. (1976), Inflation and Unemployment, Nobel Memorial Lecture, December 13 ( Accessed April 10, 2020.

Gallino L. (2013), Il colpo di stato di finanze e governi. L’attacco alla democrazia in Europa, Torino: Einaudi.

Gallino L. (2011), Finanzcapitalismo. La civiltà del denaro in crisi, Torino: Einaudi.

Gesell S. (1916), Die natürliche Wirtschaftsordnung durch Freiland und Freigeld. Verlag für Sozialökonomie.

Graeber D. (2014), Debt: The First 5000 Years, London: Melville House.

Graziani A. (2003), The Monetary Theory of Production, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hayek F. A. (1976), Denationalisation of Money, London: Institute of Economic Affairs.

Ingham G. (2004), The Nature of Money, Cambridge: Polity.

Innes A. M. (1913), “What is money?”, The Banking Law Journal, 30: 377-408.

Kajtazi A., Moro A. (2019), “The Role of Bitcoin in Well Diversified Portfolios: A Comparative Global Study”, International Review of Financial Analysis, 61: 143-157.

Kennedy M., B. Lietaer (2004), Regionalwährungen: Neue Wege zu nachhaltigem Wohlstand, München: Riemann.

Keynes J.M. (2006), Moneta Internazionale. Un piano per il commercio internazionale e il disarm finanziario, edited by Luca Fantacci, Milano: Il Saggiatore

Keynes J. M. (1960) [1936], The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, London: Macmillan.

Keynes J.M. (1963), “On the Theory of a Monetary Economy”, Nebraska Journal of Economics and Business, 2(2): 7-9.

Keynes J. M. (1923). A Tract on Monetary Reform, vol. 4 in Robinson, E. A. G. and Moggridge, D. (eds.), The Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes, London: Macmillan, 1971–89.

Kuroda A. (2008), “What is the complementarity among monies? An introductory note”, Financial History Review, 15(1): 7-15.

Le Goff J. (2010), Le Moyen Âge et l’argent: Essai d’anthropologie historique, Paris: Perrin.

Lucarelli S. (2013), “The 1973-1978 workgroup on money of the journal Primo Maggio: an example of pluralistic critique of political economy”, International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, 4(1): 30-50.

Lucarelli S. (2016), “What Type of Monetary Sovereignty?” [Quelle souveraineté monétaire ?], Multitudes, 62(1): 193-201.

Lucarelli S., L. Gobbi (2016), “Local clearing unions as stabilizers of local economic systems: a stock flow consistent perspective”, Cambridge Journal of Economics, 50(5): 1397–1420.

Martignoni J. (2012), “A new approach to a typology of complementary currencies”, International Journal of Community Currency Research, 16(A): 1-17.

Marx K. (1990) [1867], Capital. A Critique of Political Economy, London: Penguin Books.

Mauer B. (2006), “The Anthropoly of Money”, Annual Review of Anthropoly, 35: 15-36.

Mauss M. (1969) [1914], Les origines de la notion de monnai, in Œuvres, 2, Paris: Les Éditions de Minuit.

Menger K. (1892), “On the Origins of Money”, Economic Journal, 2(6): 239-255.

Mosler W. (1997), “Full employment and price stability”, journal of Post-Keynesian economics, 20(2): 167-182.

Moyer L. (2015), “An Impact Assessment Model for Web-Based Time Banks. Thought-Experiment in the Operationalization of Social Capital”, The Journal of Sustainable Development, 14(2): 106-125.

Nakazato H., and T. Hiramoto (2012), “An Empirical Study of the Social Effects of Community Currencies”, International Journal of Community Currency Research, 16(D): 124-135.

Orléan A. (1992), “La monnaie comme lien sociale”, Genèses (8): 86-107.

Orzi R. (2012), Moneda Social y Mercados Solidarios II: La moneda social como lazo social, Buenos Aires: CICCUS.

Perna T. (2014), Monete locali e moneta globale, Milano: Altreconomia.

Place C. (2018), “Impact Assessment of Monetary Innovation: Sustainability with Existing Frameworks and Integral Approach”, International Journal of Community Currency Research, 22(Winter): 74-88.

Place C., L. Bindewald (2015), “Validating and Improving the Impact of Complementary Currency Systems through Impact Assessment Frameworks”, International Journal of Community Currency Research, 19(Summer): 152-164.

Polanyi K. (1944), The Great Transformation, Boston: Beacon Press.

Polanyi K. (1977), The livelihood of man, New York: Academic Press.

Seyfang G. (2006), “New Institutions for Sustainable Consumption: An Evaluation of Community Currencies”, Regional Studies, 40(7): 781-791.

Seyfang G., N. Longhurst (2013), “Growing green money? Mapping community currencies for sustainable development”, Ecological Economics, 86: 65-77.

Seyfang G., N. Longhurst (2016), “What Influences the Diffusion of Grassroots Innovations for Sustainability? Investigating Community Currency Niches”, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 28(1): 1-23.

Simmel G. (1978) [1900], The Philosophy of Money, London: Routledge.

Schumpeter J.A. (2003) [1942], Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, London: Routledge.

Schumpeter J.A. (1934) [1911], The Theory of Economic Development, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

Stiglitz J. (2019), “Why Facebook’s Libra currency gets the thumbs down”, The Gurdian, July 2

( Accessed April 10, 2020.

Studer T. 2006 [1998], Wir and the National Swiss Economy, Basel: The Wir Bank.

Tymoigne É., L. R. Wray (2007), “Money: An Alternative Story”, in Arestis P., M. C. Sawyer (eds.), A Handbook of Alternative Monetary Economics, Richmond Hill: Firefly Books.

Wray R. (2012), Modern Money Theory: A Primer of Macroeconomics for Sovereign Monetary Systems, London-New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.

Zelizer V. (1994), The Social Meaning of Money, New York: Basic Books.

Zelizer V. (2010), Economic Lives, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Zelizer V. (2012), “How I Became a Relational Economic Sociologist and What Does It Mean?”, Politics and Society, 40(2): 145-174.

Articles published in this Special Issue

Articles published in this special issue:

Amato M. (2020), “The Nature of Money in a Clearing System. From Liquidity to Liquidness”, Partecipazione e conflitto, 13(1): 409-437.

Bazzani G. (2020), “Money as a Tool for Collective Action”, Partecipazione e conflitto, 13(1): 438-461.

Buscema C. (2020), “Geopolitics of Monetary Innovation in the Longue Durée. Financialization, Digitalization and the Crisis of the Global Hegemony”, Partecipazione e conflitto, 13(1): 360-383.

Dagnes J. and L. Storti (2020), “Establishing, or Failing? That Is the (Puzzling) Question. An Attempt to Introduce a Complementary Currency”, Partecipazone e conflitto, 13(1): 540-563.

Doria L. (2020), “The Cybernetic Ethos of Cryptocurrencies: Economic and Social Dimensions”, Partecipazione e conflitto, 13(1): 384-408.

Fama M. and E. Musolino (2020), “Complementary Currencies as a Socio-Technical Innovation. Evidence from a local clearing union in Italy”, Partecipazione e conflitto, 13(1): 462-486.

Gómez G.M. and C. Medina Prado (2020), “The Flexible Institutionalization Process of Puma Currency in Seville, Spain”, Partecipazone e conflitto, 13(1): 514-539.

Ljovkin V.E. and A.O. Ljovkina A.O. (2020), “Bashkir Wörgl: Succesfsful Farm Rescue. Implementing Gesell Money in the Shaimurat Farm, Russia, Partecipazione e conflitto, 13(1): 564-585.

Sartori L. (2020), “The Social Life of Sardex and Liberex: Kin or Acquaintances? A Comparison Between Two Mutual Credit Circuits in Italy”, Partecipazione e conflitto, 13(1): 487-513.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 3.0 Italia License.