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Abstract: Complementary currencies have been considered too small to be relevant for a degrowth strategy. Here, however, it is argued that the picture will change due to the introduction of new technologies. This article provides an overview of the deficits of present systems, outlines possible trends and evaluates the risks and chances of such developments. The focus by many activists and scholars just on the monetary aspects of these systems might open the gate for neoliberal concepts of competing multiple currencies. By contrast, here complementary currencies are interpreted as systems that operate within boundaries. This concept provides a framework to critically assess different types of complementary currencies. It also allows the construction of new types of systems – a scenario is used to demonstrate how such systems can become an important instrument in the toolbox of a degrowth strategy.
Keywords: complementary currencies; alternative economy; boundaries; monetarism; payment technologies