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Community Exchange System Australia

How does the Community Exchange System work?

Community Exchange System Australia

What is CES?

How does CES work?

How to trade

Questions & Answers

Alternative Money Systems

CES Australia

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The object of the Community Exchange System (CES) is to facilitate trade without using our conventional national currencies, and build a sense of community at the same time.

By 'trade' we mean the normal economic activity of selling goods and providing services by 'producers', 'sellers' or 'providers', and the purchase of these by 'buyers', 'customers', 'clients', 'patients', 'consumers', etc.

The CES serves two basic functions:

  • it is an online money and banking system
  • it is a 'marketplace' where people sell goods and services

Although the CES is internet-based it also works for those who do not have computers. Each user gets an account number and a password, and this gives them access to their account on the CES web site. The site works like a true on-line banking service. Participants can view their current balances and obtain statements of account. They can also keep track of the trading position of others.

Goods and services are advertised on the web site through an 'Offerings List'. Participants look through this list, or do a search, and if they find anything they want they contact the seller who then provides the goods or service. Payment is effected through a Trading Slip which serves both as a means of payment and a receipt for the goods or service. The information on the Trading Slip is entered by the seller into a transacation form on the web site. This credits the account of the seller and debits that of the buyer. Accounts record these debits and credits, giving a balance after each transaction.

Those without computers can interface with the system through 'branches' where everything is done manually and information is available on paper.

To ensure that unscrupulous buyers do not exploit the system, details of each user's overall trading position are available to all. General trading statistics are also available to show how much trading is taking place.

The web site also provides all the information needed to contact other participants. There is also a 'Wants List' where participants can advertise for goods and services they require.

Trading in this system requires no supply of money, either by the community as a whole or by each participant. Instead of using a 'hard' currency, which then has to be allocated according to some formula, the currency of this system is the pure recording of the values exchanged in trade. Money in this system is thus created at the trading interface and is recorded as credits for sellers and debits for buyers.

There are CES exchanges in a number of countries around the world. Each exchange has its own currency but members of one exchange can trade with members of other exchanges, making CES currencies as versatile as our conventional currencies.

The local currencies are units of measure rather than tradable commodities like conventional currencies. However, to make these currencies meaningful to users, their value is based on the national currencies. This is purely to give them reference. They are in no way tied to the national currencies and will deviate from them over time.

There are no rules for pricing in the CES. The 'law' of supply and demand prevails. However, within the context of the CES, certain services that otherwise would not be highly valued, might increase in value because of their relative shortage. Other services that outside the CES are expensive might be cheaper in the CES because the provider wishes to attract custom.

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