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As of 1 August 2013 the Dutch (port) city Rotterdam has a new electronic currency : the Dam. Entrepreneurs can trade with each other using the Dam as a means of trade. The Dam-platform provides an online payment system with a marketplace. There are no notes or coins in circulation. Entrepreneurs  pay each other online or via their smartphone app. The Dam is primarily intended for Rotterdam entrepreneurs, including freelancers, SMEs, retail and small businesses. But also individuals can open an account and use Dam to buy goods and services. Dam stands for The Alternative Currency and refers to the place in the river Rotte where a dam was built, around which trade originated. This is the origin of the city of Rotterdam. DAM, in English, also refers to Dutch Alternative Money. 


The Dam works like as a so-called 'mutual credit clearing’, a system in which the balance of the number of Dam in circulation is always in balance and money is not created by commercial parties. Every entrepreneur is allowed to start with a debt of 500 Dam. If participant A buys something from entrepreneur B and pays a hundred Dam, participant a has a debt of 100 Dam and B has a credit of 100 Dam. A participant must still provide services to the system and thus has a debt to the other participants. The participants in the plus thus collectively give credit to the participants in the minus. The sum of all DAM accounts is always zero; so both negative and positive accounts balances are needed.


On these loans no interest is charged. The participants that have a negative account are obliged to restore the balance by offering goods and services in Dam. Members are expected to continuously switch between a positive and a negative account balance. The Dam is not intended to build capital. Each participant can decide whether a transaction is fully or partially paid in Dam.


If a participant fails to complete his negative balance, the contract may be suspended or terminated. If a participant decides to terminate his account, any negative balance must be paid in euros. (Ratio 1 Dam = 1 euro).


The DAM Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation. Members do not pay transaction costs, an entry fee nor a member fee. To cover the cost of the Dam, participants pay a fee of one percent on their positive Dam-credit per month. This way those with the broadest shoulders are bearing the greatest burden. Furthermore, this stimulates spending Dam, invoices are paid immediately and it prevents 'saving money'. 


One of the goals of the Dam is to provide extra capital to shopkeepers and small business owners. Many business owners are affected by the crisis and the Dam is a new lubricant to stimulate trade without the use of the Euro. In the Dam network you are not poor if you have no money, but you are poor if you have nothing to offer.


The Dam has been reviewed by The National Bank of the Netherlands (DNB). They say that the trading system is not seen as money according to the Act of Financial Supervision and for that reason the Dam does not need a license. The Dam is additional money and is not a substitute for the euro, nor can it be redeemed against the euro .


Entrepreneurs are required to pay taxes on their turnover in Dam. On 1 January 2016 Dam had 410 account holders. The Dam foundation hopes to multiply this number in the coming years. 


Between the launch and January 2016, journalists of all kinds of media (printed, radio, television and online) have paid prime time attention to Dam. 


Last update: January 2016.


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Type of initiative Other (specify): Complementary currencies , local currency , community currency
Field of work Trade, Financial services, Other (specify): Local currency / complementary currency / local money
Date of commencement 2013
Founder(s) six independantly operating enrtepreneurs in Rotterdam
Legal form Foundation
Continent Europe
Country The Netherlands
City Rotterdam
One or several keywords that describe your initiative Local economy / local currency / community currency / complementary currency
Publications Newsletter, video, infographics, articles in local newspaper, articles on online forums.
More information Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter

Contact person(s)

Harry te Riele (Chairman )


Contact information

Name Rotter - dam / foundation The alternative currency / Dam Foundat
Zip/postal code
Place Rotterdam
State/province Zuid Holland
Country Netherlands
Phone +31655180946



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