According to their list of businesses, apparently my ex dentist accepted them. Missed opportunity there I guess. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
more sources in portuguese (in case anyone want pictures)
Not that I though a lot about this before, but, I don't know why, until now, in my head, the set of people that don't believe in moon landing intersected totally with the set that believe in Bigfoot.
It seems I was wrong. Live and learn.
If Berkshire County wanted BerkShares to be used they have a very 'easy' solution available: they should accept BerkShares and only BerkShares for the payment of taxes and others liabilities with the county.
Then, as the only BerkShares issuer, they would be able to mobilize any resource that they needed in the county.
Of course, that it's not without its problems, because in order to acquire resource from outside the county they would need 'foreign money'.
On the other hand, the creator of Liberty Dollars campaigned for the abolition of the Fed whilst minting coins which were arguably similar to rarely-circulated commemorative dollar coins also called Liberty Dollars, and stamped a dollar value on them (which of course was in excess of the bullion value he was supposedly backing them with). Then when the US Mint issued warnings about "illegal coins" he took the suicidal decision to sue it to try to force it to withdraw them. Not a surprise that the government eventually found grounds to prosecute him under relatively obscure constitution-linked statutes covering exclusivity of coin mintage. (They also confiscated a lot of coins, most of which were eventually returned by courts. They're worth more now than when they were minted due to rarity value, looking pretty, and coin collectors and libertarians wanting them to show off)
There's a cautionary tale for the crypto-world there, probably.
Then they railroaded the Liberty Dollar defendants with fraudulent (in my opinion) jury instructions telling them that a silver piece 10 times the size of a dime that also has a picture of the statue of liberty's torch was "identical" to US Currency under the law... despite Liberty Dollar having letters from the Secret Service, federal reserve, etc, expressing the legal opinion that they were legal and the like.
It's just a joke.
This case is the one that proved to me that not only is government corrupt, and will steal money, but that it doesn't even follow its own laws, and a large portion of the population will cheer on this corruption (the issue when it got posted to HN was met with a lot of liberals cheering it on because liberals are in favor of the inflationist fiat monetary regime and think that "kooks making money out of silver" should somehow be prosecuted.)
The only match I find is this:
which has 1 person making an offhand remark that the government should "crackdown" in this case.
Thank you for not hiding your biases.
Sure, there are cases of corruption involving the government. Did you intend to say something broader? Proving systemic or structural corruption is another thing.
The question we should be asking, in my opinion, is not "Are all governments corrupt?" but rather "To what degree are particular people and particular institutions acting in corrupt ways."
Fighting corruption is hard. We win some and we lose some. Our goal should be to win more often.
Strangely, I've never heard of BerkShares.
But I still have a Berkshire Bank card in my wallet!
Can anyone explain the legalities around this?
No matter what you're making money in, the government expects to be paid, and it only accepts US dollars.
Having said that, most of our money today is credit money in bank networks, like VISA or Paypal. In China it had a meteoric rise with WeChat etc.
My company is working on a platform that will allow ANY community to issue its own currency. And no, I don't think there is any requirement to have it pegged to the dollar.
Feel free to get in touch - the email link is in my profile.
It doesn't matter if it is pegged or not to the US dollar. Nothing is going to out-compete the US dollar in USA territory while the federal government taxes have to be pay in dollars. The federal government can create demand for dollars by the simple act of taxing.
State governments are prohibited by the constitution from issuing their own currency.
Otherwise private entities are free to issue whatever currency they like. Nothing requires it to be pegged to the US dollar as far as I'm aware. You're effectively trading the "full faith and credit" of the US government for some pretty paper. Whether that pretty paper is worth something depends on whether you believe you will be able to purchase things of value with it, or in this case because banks guarantee a fixed exchange rate with the dollar.
Edit: I see now that its considered the same for tax reporting purposes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BerkShares#Taxation
> but Nick Kacher of the Schumacher Center has discussed the possibility of pegging its value to a basket of local goods in order to insulate the local economy against volatility in the US economy.
That people assign value to these bits of paper is no differnt than bitcoin. If a bank wants to sell bitcoin, or buy them, it can. The regulations re whether a bank can call such holding an asset make thing complicated for the bank but so long as things remain small there isnt much of an issue.
It also isnt money because people can refuse to participate. An employee need not accept these in lieu of wages. A business need not accept them. Real money cannot be avoided. All debts in the US can be settled with dollars.
Being "backed by a government" is not a necessary condition for something to be money. From wikipedia: "Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a particular country or socio-economic context. ... Money is historically an emergent market phenomenon establishing a commodity money, but nearly all contemporary money systems are based on fiat money." Even though most contemporary money systems are fiat, that doesn't mean that all money has to be.
If you want to avoid deflation you need a supply of money that grow at least as much as total wealth (otherwise the relative value of money is increasing => deflation). That's why gold-based currency are now considered a bad idea (and crypto currencies also, see  for illustrations about the deflationnist situation in bitcoin).
Not necessarily desired. Deflation gets a bad rap, but on the positive side it does encourage sensible economic behavior such as saving and avoid of wasteful spending.
> "need a supply of money that grow at least as much as total wealth...That's why gold-based currency are now considered a bad idea (and crypto..."
Well there is no requirement to limit the money supply to one currency...
Is there a name for pegging a currency to a basket of goods? I can't find any examples online.
I had a similar scheme for local based UBI here: https://qbix.com/blog/index.php/2017/09/the-future-of-money/
I guess the next issue is how do you take that CPI, adjust, and issue currency in a decentralized / consensus way. Also, how susceptible to manipulation would these schemes be.
I would love to see a more economically sound cryptocurrency, rather than the deflationary mess that is Bitcoin.
Shiller is a fan of interesting financial engineering of this type which he discusses in his books "Finance for the Good Society" and "Macro Markets".
For example, he also proposes a US bond which pays out interest fixed relative to GDP.
1 hour = 1 hour of work (rather than a USD equivalent). Or at least, that is how it started.
> One Ithaca HOUR is valued at US$10 and is generally recommended to be used as payment for one hour's work, although the rate is negotiable.
Meanwhile, up north, there's Canadian Tire Money.
We'll do hundreds of thousands of dollars in currency purchases annually in some communities. It's used quite a bit by employers who want to keep money local (rather than sending it to Amazon or Target).
Taking printing and other administrative costs into account, you definitely lose as the bank.
Truth is, by creating the company, you created value. And the bank, by providing liquidity and reducing transactional friction does the same.
When a local consumer decides to pass on buying a local good for a substitute made far away, it's because they believe they benefit economically from doing so.
I say mostly because the world is complicated, and economics is something that applies at the it's complicated end. I think we do tend to go a little bit overboard about economic ideas. Local iPhones, Teslas, LCD screens and microprocessors is absolutely a path to poverty. Cultural and economic (I think these closely related) isolation is a path to poverty, of several kinds. Our isolationist instincts are often wrong, and closely bound with our xenophobic instincts. All else equal (including whatever you consider to be important), why buy local? Are faraway people not brothers and sisters? I am very comfortable making the case for openness.
Yet... There is still lots of room for experimentation, and oddities, and places where the rules are bended. There's some food bank collective that hired an economist to invent a fake currency and auction market for them. It needs some part time central banking, but supposedly works well. The market & currency has all sorts of quirks like negative prices to help with their specific needs.
Messing about with 5c on the dollar locally is totally fine. It's more than fine if it has a positive effect, and I wouldn't be surprised if that effect is something we'd see as "cultural."
This applies to smart phones, electric cars, and CPUs. (mostly, see post-script)
But for most goods, there is no such thing. What is the "best" tomato or a jar of honey for a consumer to buy? Is it the cheapest? The brightest? The most delicious? Yes, all those things. But the evaluation of them is subjective for most. A tomato from a local farmer you see on the street every weekend will look brighter and taste better and feel healthier to a lot of people than one coming across the world from Peru. Regardless of the truth or economics of scale.
Also why is it a zero sum game? If some consumers choose to spend more to support local producers, is that not just a form of local subsidy which rebalances the wealth slightly from consumers to local producers?
*Actually iPhones and Tesla are also emotional decisions. For some people an Android or a Chevy Volt are better decisions for factors beyond financial yet for emotional reasons they want the entire package that comes with the top brands.