Learn More about LETS

The key word in Local Exchange Trading Schemes is "mutuality", ie members share the power to issue credit, rather than a banking system holding the keys, and as we have seen in recent history, using their power to reward individuals to an extent that is not only unjust but dangerous for the whole economy.

All members have an account in the system, and the sum-total of all accounts is zero, which includes central accounts, which are set up for various purposes. A member wishing to transfer credits from their own account to acknowledge another member for something they have received, ie goods or services, may do so from their own account (subject to any credit limits put in place by the system administrators to avoid imbalances). In the old paper-based systems, this had to be done through a central accountant, but in web-based systems like this one, each member can transact online, but can still use cheques and vouchers if facilities are provided centrally to process them.

The original founders of LETS thought that running a LETS was easy - after all, it's such a good idea that everyone will want to join in. The reality is that a lot of support is needed, partly because the basic concepts are so radical, and also because individuals lack confidence. Social meetings to enable members to meet up are very helpful, as well as individual support to help some members find what they need in the system, so running a LETS is a team effort.

Our current strategy for London-wide LETS is to begin with a single platform, and provide training and support for members who are inspired to act locally. From the mutual base, credit can be extended to the community by means of special funds for particular projects and localities. However, these require a high level of co-operation and management - but our aims are high, so watch this space.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

More Constitution Members' AgreementApplication Form