In an age of bitcoin, a currency without physical form, can a new tangible local note find traction?
We’ll find out.
I had an email yesterday from Bruce Holland Rogers to tell me of his new effort to launch a local currency in Eugene, Ore.
Collectors would call the notes scrip, but since the general public isn’t as persnickety about labels as we are, local currency captures the essence of what it is.
Rogers says on a web posting that he has printed $12,500 in notes in two denominations that he calls 2 skinners and 3 skinners, named after Eugene and Mary Skinner, who founded the city.
Eugene is on the 2 and Mary is on the 3.
The notes will be available in Eugene in May.
Rogers' posting on Kickstarter is also there for the purpose of using the crowd funding website to raise $2,000 to help underwrite the cost of the ongoing project, which he hopes will continue beyond this first batch of notes.
As a bit of a modern twist, the notes are printed on polymer not paper as are the notes of Australia, Canada and Mexico.
As Rogers writes, “The launch of the skinner is an experiment. At some point, the issue will be recalled and redeemed with dollars. Then it will be up to the residents of Eugene to decide whether they liked having a local currency enough to organize a community group to keep the skinner, or some other local currency, going.”
Rogers is also looking for a motto to put on the notes and is looking for input from the public.
What’s the role of collectors in all of this?
Well, if you pledge $35 or more, you will get “either banknote, Sk2 or Sk3, series A, uncirculated, mounted with archival materials in a cast-acrylic custom one-banknote frame for wall display. The frame is thinner, lighter, and less expensive to ship”
It is limited to an issue of 80 and the estimated delivery date is August.
There are other pledge options.
Will collectors rally to this cause?
That’s up to you.
Here’s the link:
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."