$IMPACT, a protocol for local currencies


$IMPACT, a protocol for local currencies

Team member names

Andrea Farias

Note inviting collaborators if you’re looking for your second team-member

Builders, technical or non-technical, with a passion for local currencies are all welcome

Short summary of your improvement idea

Local currency is a protocol-less space. We’ve isolated instances experimenting with currencies in the US (BerkShares, Ithaca Hours, Disney Dollars), UK (Bristol Pound), Germany (Chiemgauer), Taiwan (Mi 幣), Japan (MYAHK), and many others, but there has not been a more systemic approach to building local currencies.

In this PIG, I propose a two-part framework for (1) building native community assets from IRL social collaborations (“Impact Markets”) and (2) pooling native community assets as collateral (“Impact Commons”) to issue local currencies ($IMPACT). Practically, this framework should invite open coordination and sharing of knowledge and should minimize transaction costs (labor, capital or other resources) when issuing local currencies. For more, see slides here.

Here’s a demo link to Impact Markets on the Sepolia testnet (not yet optimized for mobile). Briefly, the “Playground” tab to your left includes all the available ways to interact with the Open Sharing Commons and build data assets, and the “Reports” tab showcase the aggregation of interaction/data as community assets in the form of onchain NFTs.

What is the existing target protocol you are hoping to improve or enhance? Eg: hand-washing, traffic system, connector standards, carbon trading.

Local/Complementary/Community currencies

What is the core idea or insight about potential improvement you want to pursue?

To enable communities to build a plurality of local currencies

What is your discovery methodology for investigating the current state of the target protocol? Eg: field observation, expert interviews, historical data analysis, failure event analysis

Online research on past and present communities using local currencies, as well as principles around building communities and public commons

In what form will you prototype your improvement idea? Eg: Code, reference design implementation, draft proposal shared with experts for feedback, A/B test of ideas with a test audience, prototype hardware, etc.

Here’s a demo link to the first part of the framework, Impact Markets, on the Sepolia testnet (please excuse any bugs).

How will you field-test your improvement idea? Eg: run a restricted pilot at an event, simulation, workshop, etc.

I aim to work with local communities and explore ways to embed these tools in their typical community activity workflow.

Who will be able to judge the quality of your output? Ideally name a few suitable judges.

Any interested individuals, communities, or organizations looking to build contextual native assets onchain.

How will you publish and evangelize your improvement idea? Eg: Submit proposal to a standards body, publish open-source code, produce and release a software development kit etc.

This project has been open sourced since the beginning and will remain an open source project.

What is the success vision for your idea?

  • (1) Local communities build native onchain assets
  • (2) Local communities regenerate with native onchain assets

EDIT: took out numbering for readability
EDIT 2: welcome Andrea!


What stood out to me in the slides is that local currencies can quantify favors more than say “trading favors” but also towards “stocks of convenience” which includes local sellables like grocery and labor.

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Absolutely! The notion of quantifying favors in a tangible manner opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for building trust and cooperation among neighbors and within communities.

The concept of “stocks of convenience” is pretty exciting. By incorporating local goods and services into the currency system, we stimulate the local economy and also strengthen community ties, and I think that’s the ultimate goal, to amplify the potential of local currencies to create more resilient and interconnected communities.

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Would love to work on this

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This is very interesting. You have taken an old school idea to the next level. I have seen this work in small towns in Canada. One example is the local currency is used at farmers markets. Currency is given to low income people to lessen the stigma (like food stamps) and encourage a more healthy diet.

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Appreciate your support! Yes, it is always inspiring to learn about these traditionally local activities being reimagined to tackle modern challenges.

The use of local currencies at farmers markets is a good one. I’d also love to try it out at other community activities like community gardens, local artisan fairs, and neighborhood cleanup initiatives, which should showcase the versatility and impact of these innovative systems.

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Hey, I think this project is awesome. I was wondering if you were familiar with Local Exchange Trading Systems. I’d love your thoughts on how they may relate to your project of localized currencies. Also, you should check out Hayak’s Denationalization of Money, its conversation around currency competition is super interesting.

Some background: I have been super fascinated with this area of research since writing my thesis on the determinants of cryptocurrency adoption as medium of exchange. I can send over a lot of more resources, I am just super interested in this area.

Thanks for the support! I’ve not read Hayak or Denationalization of Money so thanks for the share~ I’m somewhat familiar with LETS and I find them fascinating and inspiring. The example I shared in the slide is this spreadsheet.

It is a ledger of services provided and asked for by vendors / individuals. Column A are the vendors, col. B-E are the services/talents/items provided by the vendors, and col. F-I are services/talents/items the vendors are asking for. Each transaction involves an amount of $MI, the local time-based currency (15, 30, 60 min). Notably, rows 3-16 are vendors and rows 7-326 are individuals.

It’s helpful I believe to onchain this ledger and the surrounding activities, commercial or otherwise. This should help communities reach a cosmo-local state to unlock ability to directly collaborate with near and far communities. In the process, vendors and individuals build reputation through the services/talents/items provided cosmo-locally and the services/talents/items provided are validated by past experiences/reviews. With some time and resources, communities should be able to identify each other through their onchain work and value and coordinate with each other without intermediaries.

This is the direction I’m thinking and there is much work to do, but I’m pretty excited that this is an actual possibility.

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Hi @audsssy,

Love the project! I just wanted to point out a few things:

Grassroots Economics would be a great org to collaborate with. They have been implementing community currencies for a while and have some specific methods which could potentially be considered social protocols for how they implement currencies. Another group along these lines is Qoin.

Some key people that can judge the proposal/output are Scott Morris, Will Ruddick and Dianna Finch, who are all experts on the subject.

You might also want to connect with the bioregional movement, specifically organizations like Open Civics & the Design School for Regenerating the Earth, as they are working with a number of place-based groups who are working on or trying to implement community currencies.

Open Civics also has applications open for their grant round on Gitcoin, which might also be a good place to source funding for this project.

If you are still looking for a team member, I would love to work on this project and have preexisting connections with some of these people & groups. Send me an email to yo@andreaisa.com if you are interested and lets talk!


love this project and see it as an interesting primitive for communities to build other services on top of. can help contribute to the codebase and would be interested in helping if you are still looking for a partner. can you email me? grepvector@proton.me

also if you open twitter dms, i’ll dm

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