Believe it or not, there is no law that forbids the use of alternative currencies. Printing money sounds like a preposterous proposition but the banking systems wobble has resulted in a flurry of new dollars going into circulation. You might think of them as the indie version of the old fashioned greenback.
So far the alternative currencies have been confined to small geographical areas like Ithaca, N.Y. (above), and the Berkshires region of Massachusetts. Each area has its own currency in circulation, and it’s accepted in a critical mass of local stores. And a group of artists is launching a Brooklyn dollar later this year.
Can an industry have its own currency too? We’re about to find out: Lisa Tse, a London-based designer and brand consultant, designed her own $100 bills for distribution among clients and friends. They “represent the commercial value design affords, where creative thinking plays an integral part in any successful business strategy.”