D.I.Y. Dollars


Time has published a bizarre story headlined "Alternative Currencies Grow in Popularity." The bizarre part isn't the currencies themselves—here at reason we've been covering nongovernmental money for years. It's the fact that the article makes so little effort to demonstrate that these alternatives are, in fact, growing in popularity. It would make sense to find more people turning to private and local currencies right now, given the dollar's shaky outlook, but Time's reporter doesn't seem to have looked for anecdotes (let alone statistics) that suggest this is happening.

A fun fact I learned in Argentina earlier this month: At the depth of the country's last economic crisis, about half the nation's provinces issued their own money rather than rely on the central bank. I knew about the barter-based currency that emerged in Buenos Aires at the time, but I didn't realize the search for homegrown monetary alternatives had been so widespread.

[Via Sam Smith.]