Forget the bitcoin, Rotterdam has two alternative currencies

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Alternative currencies are becoming more common and there are now several in the Netherlands, the Financieele Dagblad reported at the weekend.

In Amsterdam, some people make payments with the makkie, Nijmegen has the zon and Arnhem the gelre and Rotterdam now has two: the zuiderling and the dam, the FD says.

Forget the bitcoin, Rotterdam has two alternative currencies
An alternative to euros: Photo

The zuiderling is in circulation in Rotterdam-Zuid, a disadvantaged part of the city with 200,000 residents from 150 different nationalities. The dam, by contrast, is mainly used by local entrepreneurs.


Both currencies are largely virtual but there are also printed zuiderling. They have developed out of the economic crisis and have created an additional market, particularly for services, the paper says.

The zuiderling represents 30 minutes of someone's time and is the brainchild of local entrepreneur and social activist Luc Manders. He has scaled down the new currency's ambitions from 30,000 users and 400,000 zuiderling to 10,000 users this year. Currently some 500 to 1,000 people are part of the scheme.

The dam is not time-based but used as a straightforward payment for services. Wine importer Jurgens Hanekom told the paper he now books around 10% of his monthly turnover in dams or €800 to €1,000. 'And you are part of a useful network,' he says. 'I am paying my book-keeper and the person building my new website in dams.'

The Dutch central bank told the FD it does not take issue with alternative currencies as long as they are not legal tender and do not try to look like euros. However, they do need to be declared for tax purposes.


1 Comment To This Article

  • John Turmel posted:

    on 6th January 2014, 16:17:09 - Reply

    Jct: Bitcoin based on computers wasting time or community currency based on people working time? No question, Bitcoin loses.