Switzerland’s legal system allows for the transfer of national currencies into a local currency, called MLCs (monnaie locale complémentaire). Available at designated exchange points, the use of these currencies differentiates local businesses from national and global enterprises. Each MLC is indexed to the Swiss franc, but the notes are considered “vouchers” and not currency; legally only the Swiss government can print currency. 


 WIR

Region: Switzerland

Currency Type: both zero-interest and positive interest, backed by the production of goods and services, mutual credit

First Issued: 1934

Description and Background: Considered the longest-running non-national currency, the WIR system (started as the WIR Wirtschaftsring cooperative and eventually became the WIR bank) has been in operation since 1934.

“The WIR Wirtschaftsring cooperative has had the rights and obligations of a bank since 1936. Among other things, this has the advantage of controlling the WIR money supply via the WIR loan and thus always giving the WIR system the necessary impulses.”

Founders: Werner Zimmermann, Paul Enz and 14 others

Contact: info@wir.ch

Website: https://www.wir.ch/

Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/wirbankgenossenschaft/ https://twitter.com/wirbank?lang=de

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Farinet

Region: Valais, Switzerland

Currency Type:  locally-issued convertible paper currency

First Issued: 2017

Description and Background: Farinets exchange 1:1 to the Swiss franc and do not have demurrage or expiration dates. The notes can be obtained at 8 trading desks in the region. The focus of the citizen-led collective organization is on local businesses and trades with low environmental impacts.

Circulation and Participation: In mid-2019, 187,000 Farinets were in circulation with 178 participating businesses.

Founders: Unknown

Contact: info@lefarinet.ch, media@lefarinet.ch

Website: http://www.lefarinet.ch/

Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/lefarinet/ 

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Léman

Region: Geneva and Lausanne, Switzerland, and the surrounding areas of Geneva Lake in France

Currency Type: mutual credit and locally-issued convertible paper currency, digital (crypto currency on its own blockchain, Com-Chain) and physical notes

First Issued: 2015

Description and Background:  Léman notes exchange 1:1 to the Swiss franc in Switzerland or in Euro, in France, at the the daily change rate with Swiss franc. It can be obtained at trading desks in the region, by bank transfer or by mutual credit. Individuals can also receive Lemans through salaries. The Léman combines in its multi-currency app Biletujo (wallet in Esperanto) both online accounts, comparable to WIR or Sardex in Italy, and pledge currencies, comparable to Bristol Pound (GB) or Eusko (France). Lémans are available for use by any consumer, business or municipalities in the cross-border Léman region.  

Circulation and Participation: As of July 2019, over 550 businesses accept leman and over 140,000 lémans are in circulation.

Founder: Léman Currency Association

Contact: info@monnaie-leman.org

Website: http://monnaie-leman.org/

Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/MonnaieLeman/?ref=bookmarks https://twitter.com/MonnaieLeman

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NetzBon (BNB)

Region: Basel, Switzerland

Currency Type: locally-issued convertible paper currency

First Issued: Launched within the cooperative in 2002, released to the public in 2005

Description and Background: NetzBon is a Swiss franc backed currency that can be exchanged 1:1 for francs, the French SOL, and a currency in Baden, Germany. Participation in the program is free, bills are valid for three years with no penalties attached to bills that do not circulate. The currency is often used as a microcredit instrument and can be obtained at local exchange offices. NetzBon does not leave the region, and the program is locally and democratically controlled by the Social Economy Network Cooperative. Membership in the cooperative is issued only to organizations. Goals of the cooperative include the promotion of the exchange of goods and services among members of the coop and outside of the network, making loans and establishing new businesses, and issuing alternative currencies.

Circulation and Participation: 135 companies accept NetzBon

Founders: The Social Economy Network Cooperative (Genossenschaft Netz Soziale Ökonomie)

Contact: netzbon@sozialeoekonomie.org

Website:  https://www.netzbon.ch/

Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/netzbon/

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EulachTaler

Region: Winterthur, Switzerland

Currency Type: locally-issued convertible paper currency

First Issued: Originally launched in December 2014 with 6 shops, after the currency failed to circulate it was relaunched on September 23, 2016

Description and Background: The EulachTaler complements the Swiss franc with a 1:1 exchange rate. Anyone can buy or trade EulachTalers, which aim to promote "ecologically resource-efficient and economically meaningful business cycles.” The currency is designed as a voucher with expiration dates that are renewed using holographic stickers. EulachTalers can be obtained at local exchange offices.

Circulation and Participation: unknown

Founders: Sabine Heusser Engel and Peter Engel, founders of the Living Room Association

Contact: info@livingroom-winterthur.ch, Jens Martignoni jmartignoni@flexibles.ch

Website:  http://www.eulachtaler.ch

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La Grue / Der Kranich (The Crane)

Region: Saanenland, Pays-d'Enhaut, and Gruyere, Switzerland

Currency Type: locally-issued convertible paper currency

First Issued: Expected release at the end of 2019

Description and Background: La Grue is managed by an open citizen collective (Association La Grue) rather than a bank, and the notes can be obtained at local exchange offices with a 1:1 ratio to Swiss francs. The development of the currency has always been bilingual, using both French and German to unite three regions of Switzerland under one currency.

Circulation and Participation: 42 providers, 90 individual members, 6 municipalities

Founders: Association La Grue

Contact: info@lagrue-mlc.ch

Website:  http://lagrue-mlc.ch

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Dragons / "Monnaie Locale Fribourg"

Region: Fribourg, Switzerland

Currency Type: locally-issued convertible paper currency

First Issued: Expected release in 2020

Description and Background: Dragons are a physical currency that has a 1:1 exchange rate to Swiss francs. The currency is intended to "densify the economic fabric" of the region in order to support the citizens and revive the local economy. The non-profit Fribourg Local Complementary Currency Association (MLC Fribourg) oversees the currency program.

Circulation and Participation: unknown

Founders: MLC Fribourg

Contact: mlcfribourg@gmail.com

Website:  https://mlc-fribourg.ch/

Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/mlcfribourg/

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l'Epis

Region: Gros-de-Vaud to the Jura River, Enchallens, Switzerland

Currency Type: locally-issued convertible paper currency

First Issued: September 2018

Description and Background: l'Epis obtained at local exchange offices exchange 1:1 with Swiss francs. The currency is run by a non-profit committee that consists of 5 active members: Marie-Jo Aeby, Bernard Isely, Murielle Lasserre, Claude Meldem, and Guillaume Chassot. The program plans to move towards Sarraz and Cossonay in the future.

Circulation and Participation: unknown

Founders: Murielle Lasserre, Maarie-Jo Aeby, Richard Moullet, and Stanislas Kuczynski

Contact: guillaumechassot@epi-vd.ch

Website:  https://epi-vd.ch/

Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/EpiMonnaie/ https://twitter.com/epimonnaie