21st Century Wire says…
Ziggy Stardust takes on the Queen?
Here is an interesting case study of what happens when you introduce a parallel currency to compete against the monolithic fiat status quo.
The Brixton Pound was introduced 5 years ago into London’s last remaining authentic borough that hasn’t yet been culturally sanitized, although they are moving very aggressively right now to ‘gentrify’ the area by inflating a local property bubble and making the area unaffordable for the area’s most valuable asset: local artists, musicians and Afro-Caribbeans.
One of the area’s most famous artist alumni is rock and pop icon, David Bowie. Bowie’s debut on the area’s local parallel currency note has already catapulted the value of that note. Bowie notes have been spotted on eBay trading for a high as $66.00 (£43.00). The high end of this spike is certainly inflated because of a collector’s rush, but the fact remains that the value of that note with local businesses is recognized – and in very high demand. In this case, the currency is backed by the ‘cool factor’ (which seems to carry some inherent albeit intangible value) of the British cultural icon David Bowie, but it should raise some very interesting questions as to what other options might be available to the public at large.
Mind you, like the ‘Queen’s head’, it’s still a fiat note, but the Bowie note has already outpaced her nibs in value. Aside from star power, another aspect of this note which has driven its value upwards… is creativity. Now there’s a concept that the establishment will shriek like vampires to holy water.
Zero Hedge editor Tyler Durden explains:
“For the economy to really be in the hands of the people, it is necessary to decentralize the currency and to have an open-source network of competing currencies that are community based and easily exchangeable.“
More from Zero Hedge…
One of the best ways for the general public to take power back is to develop alternative currencies — both local and global — that allow people to trade outside of the corporate-government banking systems and central bank notes.
In London, an interesting alternative currency bearing the face of pop singer David Bowie has recently come into circulation. According to Market Watch, the local currency is specialized for the Brixton community in southwest London. It is officially called the “Brixton Pound.”
Tom Shakhli, manager of the Brixton Pound effort, said:
“They are using it because they want to feel connected to the local area. Every time you use it, you’re like a financial activist. You’re taking part in this act which is subverting the norm, which is to hand over your £10 note very passively.”
Shakhli pointed out that the project is intended to make a statement about the foundation of money, as well as provide an alternative to the current monopoly.
Shakhli said that his main goal with the project is to ask:
“What is money? Does it have to be either printed by the state or created by the banks? Why can’t money be localized? Why can’t money feature a pop star or a black historian? Does it have to feature establishment figures?”
So far, there are currently 200 local businesses that have signed up to participate in the Brixton Pound program.
The increasingly popular Brixton Pound is making central banks nervous — and rightly so. Following the success of the Brixton Pound, new alternative local currencies are now popping up all over the U.K. The Oxford Pound, Kingston Pound, and Palace Pound are just a few of the currencies that have been recently introduced.
The Bank of England has been forced to respond to these local currencies because of their popularity, deeming them “voucher schemes” and warning the public that they are unprotected when using them.
A document released by the Bank of England claims that:
“Local currency schemes lead to significant and unanticipated impacts on aggregate economic activity.”
According to the document, the Bank of England will also attempt to delegitimize local currencies by
“Design[ing] features and marketing material [to] help users recognise that local currency paper instruments are like vouchers and not banknotes.”…
READ MORE FINANCIAL NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Financial Files