It is undeniable that we are experiencing a renewed interest around the world in local currencies for technological and economic development.
The Léman, Geneva’s local currency, was launched in 2015 in Lake Geneva´s region. The Léman wants to direct consumption towards healthier local products, made with respect for both people and planet. Therefore businesses that sign up with the Léman have to sign an ethical charter, that they:
The Léman thus also functions as a label.
The complementary currency is set up as a mutual credit system. Meaning, in the beginning there is no money at all. It only comes into circulation when one of the participants uses his credit to pay another participant. This means there is always exactly as much money in circulation as there is outstanding credit.
Currently 80,000 Lémans are circulating around 300 businesses and companies. and are used by over 1,000 members in the Geneva area and in neighbouring France. The Léman will soon also be launched in Lausanne.
The organization is also planning to develop electronic Lémans and a smartphone app.
At the moment Switzerland has 4 or 5 complementary currencies, with the most successful being the “Wir Bank” which was launched in Basel in 1934 and counts around 60,000 users. Read the full story on the Léman in our Initiatives Database.