Does Uruguay have multiple currencies? — hail Heinrich Rittershausen!

I'm holding back my post on mandates and penalties until comments are back up again.  In the meantime, I have read the following:

Back in June of 2009, Uruguay embarked on a nationwide experiment with complementary currencies – a plan that evolved from a number of local trials of the alternative currency system in that country. The name of the currency is officially the ‘liquidity network”, but is known locally as the “charrua“.

Does that not sound like something out of a Borges story?  The summary is this:

The system allows small- and mid-sized businesses to lend to each other, with debts being backed by the production value and assets of the lender.

The important fact is this:

…the charrua will be accepted for all debts, public and private. This means that taxes will be payable in both pesos and charrua (and I believe in US dollars, as well).

You'll find another description here.  As I understand it, the system treats some corporate debt assets as money-like in a number of relevant ways, possibly to stimulate aggregate demand.  Can it be that Uruguay has a version of Hayek's competitive currencies proposal, albeit without complete free entry?  If you know more about this, do please email me.  Googling "uruguay charrua moneda" doesn't yield much.

Here is a short article on Heinrich von Rittershausen.

For the hat tip I thank CheapSeatsEcon.  Here is their graphic art for MR.

Addendum: Eapen Thampy sends me more.


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