LETS (Local Exchange Trading System) is a general name for thousands of individual money-like systems throughout the world. They all work with a unique currency unit, published by the local community. Often they work with cheques that users write to each other as payment. The central administration, somewhere in a town or village, collects and handles the cheques. Usually it is also possible to place ads in a journal or a website.
Important characteristics of LETS-circles are:
- Interest free
- Local, non-movable credit
- Complementary (as an extra) to the dominant money system
- transparency, honesty, openness
These principles are also seen in colourcash. There is nothing ‘wrong’ with LETS-systems: colourcash is just ‘the next level’. Still the introduction of colourcash will mean a big change for LETS-users. Most circles have somehow linked the value of their unit to the euro or the dollar. That is something that will definitely change.
A drawback we perceived using LETS was the bad availability of vegetables and fruits in the city.It was very well possible to get services and second-hand goods. Speaking in colourcash vocabulary: lots of red and blue available, but hardly any green. By offering payment for recycling (compost)colourcash hopes to get the wheels of recycling and production going, to get important products such as vegetables and fruits available.