"The smell of unredeemable vouchers": the regulation and re-organisation of multiple moneys in Britain's largest city-wide local currency
Paper short abstract:
This paper details how regulatory frameworks are foundational to the re-organisation of money by local currencies. Via an ethnography of the Bristol Pound I draw attention to the various modes of money that come with specified sets of rules and economic regimes.
Paper long abstract:
Research on local "alternative" moneys rarely focuses on the aspect of financial regulation. In this paper I outline the monetary ecosystem of the Bristol Pound, where I worked as a consultant on legal and compliance issues between February and June 2018. I hope to illuminate how various means of exchange "shade into each other in the degree to which they function as money" (Hayek 1990:56). Showing a) the plurality of what money is and b) how practices of exchange must always position itself in relation to existing laws and regulations, including their definitions of what is money, and what is not. Though the regulation of local currencies impacts their shape and substance drastically, they simultaneously challenge the monopoly of the state and central banks over the definition and production of money by emphasizing monetary multiplicity. The mobility of money here is not about its capacity to traverse across spaces and blur distance; money is mobile because it moves between modes of being.
How mobile is money? Fixture and flow in emerging monetary regimes