Futurist Douglas Rushkoff is trying to talk Craig Newmark into creating “craigbucks,” a specialized currency for trading goods on Craigslist. Rushkoff, who notably predicted the rise of social media, thinks do-it-yourself “complimentary currency” is the future of money, Portfolio reports. Complimentary currencies typically spring up and thrive in nations with unstable or untrustworthy governments, but Rushkoff thinks they’ll soon catch on here, too.
Already several such currencies are being traded around the world. China’s government recently cracked down on the trade of “QQ coins,” a currency that began on the social-networking site QQ and used for nearly $1 billion in transactions last year. In Kenya, trading cell-phone minutes has become a major cash system, to the tune of $3.6 billion a year, or 10% of Kenyan GDP.