Banks and the EU are becoming interested in currencies such as the Bristol and Brixton Pound, but what is the point of them?Although exact regulations vary from country to country, in most places there's nothing stopping you from starting your own currency right now. All you need are some cool designs and someone else who agrees to accept it.
Bristol's Pound (£B) has been up and running since 2012, building on the work of Transition Town pioneers in Totnes (2007) and Brixton (2009). There is more than £400,000 of £B in circulation, with circa 1,100 members and 600 businesses signed-up. Stephen Clarke, director of the Bristol Pound Community Interest Company, explains: "We're a complementary currency which means we're not trying to replace sterling, we're trying to coexist with sterling. Our main aim is to encourage local independent businesses ... enhance community engagement, and encourage members to be greener by shortening their supply chains."