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Crédito

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Crédito
Official users

Flag of Argentina Argentina (locally)

Years circulated

1995–?

Pegged to

Argentine peso

Banknotes

yes

The Crédito was a local currency devised in Bernal, Buenos Aires, Argentina on May 1, 1995 at a garage sale, which was the first of several neighborhood bartering markets that emerged in Argentina during the Argentine economic crisis.

The currency's operator was the Red Global de Clubes de Trueque Multirecíproco, abbreviated as RGT, translating into "Global Network of Multi-Reciprocal Exchange Clubs", or "Global Exchange Network" (GEN).

The currency started as an LETS system, but was replaced with several printed currencies, and after experimenting by the LETS, they developed a system named nodine (derived from no dinero, "not money"), ended up becoming the Crédito.

The RGT was organized as a network of barter clubs, which had a body of clients from the well-educated middle class who had become unemployed during the Argentine recession during the late 1990s. These clubs had no central organ, administration, or legislation. Clubs would decide for themselves to accept Créditos from other clubs, and not all clubs issued their own Créditos. Clubs that did issue the currency usually issued between 30 and 50 Créditos to club participants. During a later phase, some clubs joined zones or networks which became issuers of Créditos rather than individual clubs. The chaordic structure of the RGT allowed this system to grow quickly, but left the system vulnerable to fraud.

The Crédito was an interest-free currency that was pegged to the Argentine peso, which at the time was also pegged to the United States dollar. About $400 million in goods and services were traded during 2000. A survey made by members of the economics department of Harvard University reported an exchange rate of about two Créditos per one peso from 2002 to 2003 by people who offered goods or services using both currencies.

This system was used throughout Argentina and worked reasonably for a time, but as matters worsened with the formal economy, many people joined the RGT clubs, and more people spent their Créditos without giving sufficient skills or trade in return. The system had suffered from hyperinflation and counterfeit by some club members. From 2002 to 2003, the Argentine government made unemployment insurance available to about 2.5 million people, in comparison to the 200 thousand people previously. This increased the availability of the Argentine peso to the population society using the Crédito, which had an 89% preference for pesos over Créditos, which eventually led to the currency's end.

Other complementary currencies used in Argentina alongside the Crédito were the Patacón and LECOP. The Argentino was announced by Adolfo Rodríguez Saá, the 52nd president of Argentina on December 26, 2001, but he resigned a few days later, and therefore the plan was never put into action.

ReferencesEdit

Template:Argentine peso

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