Community Currency: Kim’s Innovative Plan

This is where cryptocurrency comes in. Kim wants these currencies to be backed by blockchain technology, which would decentralize the system, make peer-to-peer transactions safe and take any intermediaries out of the equation.

Every transaction would be verified by peer-to-peer networks, so users can’t lie about how much money they have or owe.

It’s going to be on record, a permanent ledger, for eternity,” Kim said.

The lawmaker argued that type of system would actually make it easier for government to understand and evaluate the local economy. He said instead of just regulating it, government should compliment its growth.

Community currencies could bump up against obstacles, especially from economists who question whether they undermine the national currency. Kim asserted that they don’t, and there are thousands of examples to prove it.

What they’ve proven is it actually compliments the dollar because we’re actually making our communities robust from the bottom-up,” he said. “We’re not competing against the dollar. We’re actually complimenting the growth of that dollar.”

Another barrier is getting community buy-in, which Kim acknowledged would be needed for a system like this to be enacted. To that end, the assemblyman has been meeting with local chambers of commerce and business improvement districts to sell the idea.

Kim is spending the rest of his time before the new legisaltive session starts in Albany meeting with as many potential stakeholders as possible.

When he’s back in Albany, he will work to pass the two bills, both of which are in the Banks Committee now. Kim said he already has a State Senate sponsor from Brooklyn.

While a measure like this may seem far off, the next economic crash could be around the corner. Local communities can figure out innovative ways to defend their economies from going down with it.

It’ll take some time for everyone to understand it and feel comfortable with it,” Kim said. “But I’m getting positive feedback so far, especially from the younger generation. They’re all into it.”

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