The first Electronic Social Currency in Brazil has been launched by a government in Maricá, the state of Rio de Janeiro (130km from the city of Rio de Janeiro).
“The Town of Marica sanctioned a municipal law establishing the Municipal Fund “Popular Community Bank of Marica”, responsible for promoting a program of income distribution and of solidarity economy that must be managed and paid with social currency through the Popular Community Bank of Marica .
The Municipal Fund legitimates (and financially supports) the Popular Community Bank of Marica , assigning to the latter the task of administering and performing the actions of the entire program . Note that the city could have hired any public or private bank to administer the payment of grants , but it didn’t. It gave the task to the Popular Community Bank of Marica . By doing that, the public sphere states that another model of banking is possible and is needed.
It establishes another form of government and another perspective of development, aiming to build community solutions, stimulating endogenous economic activities, organized by local self-managed small units, with total control of communities.
The first goal of this measure is to ensure that the wealth generated by oil royalties finish in the hands of the poor. Marica , 130 km from the capital of Rio de Janeiro is a tourist town surrounded by the sea and suffering from the housing speculation . It is the first city in the country to receive a platform of pre-salt (used to extract oil). Public policies could have been used to create roads , bridges , airports , convention centers and other urban interventions that would certainly increase further speculation and concentrate income in the hands of large tourist enterprises.
Distributing oil royalties to the poorest, through grants, is already an act of courage and social justice. Moreover, the distribution has enough intelligence and creativity to do it within the principles of the Solidarity Economy pointing to the logic of local development . As the grants (bolsa familia) will be paid entirely in Social Currency Mumbuca, necessarily the beneficiaries will buy in their own municipality . And those will by from others, making a locally circulating currency. The more people buy in the city, the more the trade will grow. The more trade progresses, the more will be produced to sell to traders. . More production and trade mean more jobs. More people in employment means more consumption and all forms the virtuous circle of the economy . The Community Banks call it a Local Network of Prosumers (where each resident becomes producer, consumer, and protagonist of transformation) . Besides the economic aspect , this network generates solidarity, cooperation between individuals , development of local, respect for the environment and differences, in a holistic view of the city and the planet.”