- Electronic money — Currency
This chapter focuses on the use of cryptocurrencies as a kind of ‘community currency’ and what might be the most future-proof characteristics of non-state currencies. It first provides an overview of what digital community currency is before explaining the distinction between legal tender and money in order to emphasise the centrality of ‘acceptance in the community’ in the definition of money. It then considers the relationship between ‘acceptance’ and ‘community’, the origins of community money, and how digitalisation may affect ‘monetary community’. It also asks whether law converges with economic sociology in the area of privately issued money by reviewing the legal history of the banknote, along with its application to the community paper-based money and to the cryptocurrency. Finally, it tackles the question of whether cryptocurrencies constitute ‘money’, whether community currencies bring net benefits, and whether ‘community money’ can be recognised as a separate category of ‘private money’.