FAQ: General questions
There are 3 main aspects of being viable for the future: economically, sustainably, and socially. We've tried to incorporate them all, to make local communities:
- commercially robust, i.e. decrease dependence on global supply chains as far as possible, and ever more so)
- as sustainable as possible, by making funding conditional on constant and monitored striving for more sustainability
- socially robust, by bringing people in their communities together as partners and friends.
Complementary currencies are a means of exchange which co-exist with national currencies to fulfill a particular (often social) purpose. They are intended to complement national currencies – not to replace them.
Goods, professional services and neighbourly help can all be remunerated in complementary currencies, thus they allow (and encourage) trade which is independent of national currency.
- The Grok, which is not coupled to a national currency like the pound or dollar, enables trade exchanges which would otherwise be hindered by a lack of national currency.
- The Grok furthers regional economic cycles since it is only valid in it's own region (e.g. the London Grok would only be valid in London, and the Bradford Grok only in Bradford and catchment area). Thus it supports local businesses, helps to strengthen local supply chains, creates or preserves local jobs and secures the locally grown / produced essential commodities.
- The Grok encourages neighbourly help and brings citizens together in mutual support.
The suggested name for the complementary currency of Regional Economic Communities is Grok. We have suggested this name for several reasons:
- The meaning of Grok is particularly beautiful
- It carries no negative associations of past experience or prejudice,
as is the case with so many other words
- It sounds unusual, so that people may inquire about it –
an opening to explain the meaning, and why it's good to use it
- It sounds a bit like "Groat", the last honest british currency.
No, not in the sense of "legal tender", although "paying" for goods and services in Groks may make it seem so. They are the electronic equivalent of trade vouchers. They are used to quantify, express and transfer the value of goods and services within the market system, and they can only be used by registered members of the market community. They have no validity outside the market community, nor is a direct exchange between Groks and national currency possible.
There are however certain indirect relationships between Groks and the "outside world".
- You can acquire goods and services by trading in Groks rather than paying for them in pounds or dollars.
- You can offer your own services within the Market Community via the internet.
- You can find out who is offering which goods and services in your neighbourhood.
- You can get to know people from your area at the market meetings.
- You can become a co-owner of local businesses, which are run (increasingly) in a sustainable and long-term viable way.
- You can literally see for yourself where your money is invested.
- You can enjoy using goods and services from companies of which you yourself are a co-owner.
- You can found a Regional Economic Community, if there is'nt already one in your area.
- Join your local Regional Economic Community, if there is already one which more or less follows this concept. Here's a list of the known initiatives.
- Open a market account with your local Regional Economic Community and discover the fun of trading and "paying" in Groks. You can offer either professional services or neighbourly help (or both, if you open 2 accounts).
- Become active in your local Regional Economic Community, and/or purchase some of it's shares (joint-ownership certificates).
- If you own a business you may find some very good reasons to sell part or even all of it to the CPO.
The official answer in Germany to this question was "No", provided that the conversion of Groks to central bank money is expressly forbidden in the conditions of issue. We have also received a lengthy but difficult to understand answer to this question, specific to the UK, from the FSA (Financial Services Authority) – we can gladly provide it to anyone interested. Beyond these two countries you will need to consult the relevant local authorities.
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