1. Preface

I have been interested in economics for a number of years and am currently involved in setting up a Local Exchange Trading System (LETS) in Coventry. I have also been involved in developments in information technology which have made it technically feasible for all currency transactions to be carried out electronically. The rapid growth and development of the LETS movement in the English speaking world has encouraged me to communicate some of my perspectives on this subject to a wider audience. 

LETS means different things to different people. No two LETS systems are the same; any group of people can set one up to suit themselves, so long as they operate within the law. Some of these schemes will be more successful than others because they more closely meet the needs of their participants. The potential impact of this growing movement on public and economic policy is significant.

Developments in the methods of financing all sorts of public and private projects made possible by LETS type currencies may ultimately affect everyone; changes such as these should not take place in a democratic society in the absence of a full and open public debate. This pamphlet represents my attempt both to contribute towards this debate and to persuade others of the potential benefits of joining and supporting the LETS movement. 

In chapters 2 to 8 I look at how LETS systems operate, how they are set up and how they may be developed in future. In chapters 9 to 12 I look at some of the wider implications.

Version #001 20-12-94

Written by Richard Kay  rich@driveout.demon.co.uk