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Alternative Currency Systems and Resilience to Crises

Ariane Reyns

ULB Institutional Repository from ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles

Abstract: This dissertation explores the potential alternative currencies have as flexible tools to generate resilience. Their flexible nature, because complementary to conventional ones, makes them particularly useful to economic agents as it empowers them to utilize these when needed. Therefore, this thesis asserts that their strength lies significantly in a transitional power, offering a capacity to adapt amid uncertainties and thus creating resilience. This relationship between resilience and alternative currencies is investigated using robust empirical methods. Given vast differences in design and purpose, the study distinguishes between Complementary Currencies (CCs), considered to benefit local sustainability and economic development, and cryptocurrencies. This differentiation is crucial in understanding their varied impacts at different levels of the economic system: CCs influence organizational and potentially regional resilience, impacting local economic dynamics. In contrast, cryptocurrencies, studied for portfolio diversification, may affect overall portfolio resilience at a broader economic level. Key contributions in the initial chapters unveil deliberate and strategic business engagement with CCs, recognizing a distinct economic rationale. Findings suggest this economic rationale manifests as an "insurance" function when CCs actively mitigate the detrimental effects of economic crises. Notably, such dynamics prove most effective for the more vulnerable enterprises. These results further validate our conceptualization of the transitional power of CCs, emphasizing their ability to foster resilience in the face of economic challenges. The last chapter explores parallel dynamics for cryptocurrencies, highlighting Bitcoin's potential in wartime portfolio diversification, serving as an alternative asset. Overall, this research contributes to our understanding of alternative currencies' effectiveness in enhancing resilience, providing timely insights for reshaping economic systems amid contemporary global challenges.

Keywords: Alternative currencies; Complementary currencies; Mutual Credit Systems; Cryptocurrencies; Financial resilience; Regional resilience; Small firms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 155 p.
Date: 2024-05-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ban, nep-ifn and nep-pay
Note: Degree: Doctorat en Sciences économiques et de gestion
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Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/373465