Christiania’s Complimentary Currency


The Christiania currency is an economic experiment which is aimed at strengthening the local economy and currency. It promotes a sustainable alternative to the global economy. If the currency’s circulation does well, the profit is reinvested in the local community. If in any case the results are not positive, the effects are contained locally and the citizens are directly responsible. This means that they can solve the problem if they put effort into it through responsible citizenship.


It was in December of 1997 when Christiania –the Free City of Copenhagen, began this experiment. They created the local currency coin called the “wage”, which is worth 50dkk (around $6). The coin’s design changes yearly. So far they have had a snail (1997), a bicycle cart (1999), a sun sign (2000) and a wren (2001). These coins are stamped in copper and brass. Special silver coins are also available for coin collectors. There are 9000 coins to date.

The currency is accepted in bars, restaurants, shops and companies throughout Christiania. It is managed by the Currency Group which issues them. The small town mainly profits from the collectors and the tourists who keep the coins. This profit is transferred to a common fund which has supported five different projects for cultural, social, ecological and experimental initiatives for the improvement of Christiania and a small portion is used for grants to persons or groups who wish to learn something that will benefit the community. 

Over 2600 communities around the world have started to use complimentary currencies to boost their local economy. The more the currency is used; more money comes back to the community. It does not just help financially, but it helps create social responsibility.

Image from  Drown


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