Indonesia Community Currency Systems (ICCS) Program

Legality Issues Concerning the Issuance of Community Currencies

Proponents of Program

The CCS Program in Indonesia is collective effort involving PPD/USC and CUSO Indonesia

in partnership with YAPPIKA, who manages the program through its office. Bekatigade Credit Union Central is an implementing organization in the Yogyakarta area.

Legal Concerns

1. Counterfeit Laws, article 244 of Criminal Code.

-Local currency notes must not look similar to national currency notes.

-Local currency must not fulfill the obligations of national currency as a medium for

paying all national currency debts.

2. Currency Act

-Local currency must not be intended to replace national currency.

3. Commercial Banking Act

-An unregistered organization must not be involved in the issuance of national currency credit.


1. CCS is an organization that makes a contract between itself and the members of the system to exchange goods and services between them.

2. A note is used to record evidence of the exchange according to the rules of the system.

3. Members of the system can withdraw credit up to a pre-set limit of 100,000 rupiah equivalent.

4. No interest is charged or paid to negative or positive balances. There is a flat 7% charge on withdrawals.

5. The note is equal in value to the rupiah.

6. The note may not be converted into rupiah.

7. The note is not redeemable for any goods, services or money except upon the willingness of the other members to receive the currency as payment for goods or services rendered.

8. The note will not resemble the rupiah note in any specific way.

9. The note will contain the text "This note can only be used for the exchange of goods and services in the this (defined) community", thus limiting its circulation to a specific area.

10. The note will also contain the text "The bearer of this note is its owner" (see #13), and "use of this note implies agreement with the internal regulations of the CCS program.

11. CCS has as its primary goal the economic development of the community from within. There is no profit motive involved in this system.

12. The CCS system is not privately owned, rather it is owned by its members through its organization.

13. Community Currency is owned by the individual who withdraws it and agrees to accept it, as they are the sole issuers of the currency.

14. In a CCS, the money supply is always sufficient because the mechanism of interest-free credit allows members to determine the money supply themselves, depending on what they have, and upon what they need.

15. As a system of accounts, withdrawal of Community Currency is conducted in a clear, safe, sound and stable fashion, ensuring full transparency.


1. Voluntary and open membership.

Anyone may choose to join the CCS.

2. Democratic member control and participation.

Each member has the right to vote and participate in the CCS.

3. Equal ownership of shares.

Each member has only one share, no matter their investment or position.

4. Autonomy and independence from politics and religion.

5. Access to education, training and information.

CCS members are encouraged to educate themselves.

6. Cooperation among cooperatives (inter-local cooperation).

7. Concern for community well-being.

Focus not only on members but on the whole community.

8. Personal ownership of money.

Ownership and responsibility of money rests with the person who issues it.

9. Community-based focus.

CCS is focused only on the locality or community in which it operates.

10. Not-for-Profit.

Profits are used to improve the system and community.

11. Transparent Operation.

Each member may know the balance of another member, and the summary of system information

12. The system's Debit and Credit balances are always even.

The system is always balanced at zero.

13. Sustainable and Long-Term planning.

The system focuses its development process on sustainability and long-term.

14. Social Reciprocation, Mutual Aid and Inter-dependence.

We help ourselves by helping each other.

15. Self-Reliance and self-development.

We are the main actor in our improvement.

16. Meeting human needs and well-being.

Focused on meeting basic human needs and simple wants.

17. Eco-logical, everything is included.

Everything may be considered inside the scope of the CCS.

18. Equality between men and women.

Men and women share equal burdens in the system.

19. Economic and social empowerment of members.

Members are encouraged to educate themselves to improve their economic and social well-being.

20. For the benefit of all members.

The goal is for all members to benefit.


1. Community Currencies are the earliest form of human currency. Examples of this type of money can be found in ancient Israel, Syria, Jordan and Egypt, as far back as 4000BC. They were often but not always backed by some commodity, or served as promissory notes, and circulated alongside other currencies for thousands of years.

2. Community Currencies were used by the Christian Church to build the great cathedrals of Europe. Called 'breakteats', this currency circulated only within the community in which the Church was being built, in order to pay the builders and to finance the projects over hundreds of years of construction.

3. Community Currencies circulate among the Pesantren schools in Indonesia, one known system operates in Surabaya.

4. Community Currency Systems operate legally in more than 35 countries worldwide, including every First World country: Japan, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England, France, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Spain, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Hungary, Russia. In the Third World, systems are operating in Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Senegal.

5. Community Currency Systems are not only legal but supported by law in Japan, New Zealand, Mexico, Australia, England, Brazil and Argentina, as a mechanism for promoting self-help, social reciprocation and volunteerism, and fighting poverty.

6. Community Currency Systems protect the national economy using a free-market mechanism. They help communities weather the effects of depression, and have been implemented following every major monetary crisis, including the Great Depression and Asian Crisis.

7. Community Currencies assist the government in economic recovery from a monetary crisis. During a monetary crisis the government must shrink the supply of national currency in order to protect its value on international markets, starving communities of money as a medium of exchange. By replacing a portion of what would formerly be spent in national currency, the economy can continue while the national government deals with the monetary problem.

8. Community Currency Systems develop the social and material capital of a community. The result is increased ability to meet needs and increased productivity.