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Alternative Currencies Rise as the Eurozone Crisis Worsens

by Matthew Feeney | Reason

http://youtu.be/yYTqvYqXRbY

For weeks commentators have been discussing the possibility of Greece leaving the eurozone and how a return to the drachma might be facilitated. But when it comes to currency, the drachma is not Greece's only option. If Greece does exit the eurozone an alternative currency could emerge or an already existing one could be adopted. In some parts of Greece social entrepreneurship, technology, and skepticism of politicians have already given rise to alternate trading mechanisms and created an environment where cyrptocurrencies could become increasingly popular.

As the euro crisis worsened many Greeks began hoarding euros, and more recently there have been small runs on banks. Spending on goods has gone down and prices have been rising. In the Greek city of Volos social entrepreneurship has resulted in a modest but inspiring solution to this trend. One Volos resident started TEM, an online bartering system that allows residents to purchase groceries and other goods in exchange for services while keeping their euros to pay the rent.

With a Greek exit form the eurozone a very real possibility such examples of social entrepreneurship may well become more and more common as the crisis deepens.

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