I don’t know about you, but when I hear the words ‘Alternative Currency’ I think about monopoly money. After all, we all know that currency comes from the government and is good for ‘all debts, public and private’ … right?
Not so fast…
If you have read some of my other articles on what money truly represents, you know that money is nothing but a representation of common value.
It’s something that represents value to you and me both. In modern society this representation is usually paper from the government.
But if you go to a party and they give you drink tickets in exchange for your cover charge, those tickets have value, right? They’re a form of currency.
The core problem with alternate currencies is getting that widespread faith and belief in the value that the currency represents. If I don’t think your Foozles are worth anything, I’m not going to exchange my Whatzits for them.
But if all my neighbors like the Foozles, even if I’m not 100% convinced, I’m going to be more inclined to accept them.
Introducing the American Open Currency Standard
And with that, I want to introduce you guys to the American Open Currency Standard, aka AOCS. These guys provide a free and open standard for using precious metals, primarily silver and copper, as currency.
They are not the only providers of the currency, they use the standard to create what they call “Complementary Private Competing Currencies” that all use these standards as a common medium of exchange.
In their words:
The AOCS exists to expedite the implementation of silver as money. We actively prospect, train, and support the 3 groups that comprise the AOCS: Merchants that accept AOCS Approved Currencies, Currency Issuers that conceptualize & requisition new minted pieces, and Trade Coordinators that exchange the Currencies with the general public. The AOCS promotes local enterprise, rebuilds local community wealth and creates a profit for you!
They provide something similar to a barter network. You can buy currency from them directly, or from other currency issuers that are part of their network. You can use those medallions or rounds to purchase things from merchants that have agreed to accept them as valid currency.
Currently there are over 20 independent currencies that adhere to the AOCS standard. I don’t recall how many merchants they have, and I can’t check because the list is down right now, but I recall there being somewhere around 100,000 … but my memory isn’t all that reliable sometimes!
I believe that supporting the AOCS mission is important, and we should all do what we can to pass the word to others. And above all, we must teach other people WHY using silver and copper coinage is important.
Besides … aren’t these coins beautiful?