Trading Talents Instead Of Cash

from the local-economies dept

If you ever study alternative economies, “barter economies” or local currencies designed to stimulate the local economy, it’s likely that you’ve come across Ithaca Hours at some point or another. Designed as a way to help build up the local economy in the small city of Ithaca, NY, it was basically a barter system that let local merchants easily manage trade with each other, without involving government sanctioned currency. The system got plenty of hype and has been copied around the world (often with help from those who created Ithaca Hours). It appears that the concept has clearly made its way to South Africa, with an internet twist. According to this article (which doesn’t mention Ithaca Hours at all), South Africans are using an online bartering system involving “talents” which are priced per hour, and function quite like Ithaca Hours. The article even quotes someone who claims to have “retired from the conventional money system,” and who won’t go anyplace that doesn’t accept “talents” as payment.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Trading Talents Instead Of Cash”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

Ithaca hours are over-hyped

I lived in Ithaca and worked for a company that accepted Ithaca Hours and from what I saw nobody really liked them. We grudgingly accepted them largely to not piss off the oddly large sandal wearing community. When we had a few the CEO would use them to pay for part of a meal with a special evil glimmer in his eye. No business person really wanted ithaca hours and only dirty, food-coop, hippies would spend them regularly. Seriously.

Michael L Mercier (user link) says:

Re: Ithaca hours are over-hyped

A more sophistocated bartering or trading system has been developing over the last 30 years in the U.S. and around the world.
It is a business to business system. Properly run it will create the same cash profit as currency transactions with an advantage that even cash lacks.
Because all purchases are paid for with new sales from the system; it now means that for the first time companies can use their necessary overhead expenses as a way to grow their own business’s sales and profits.
My company, Metro Trading Association, has brought hundreds of millions in new sales to businesses in Michigan and Ohio over the last 26 years.
To find out if their is a business to business trading system in your area check the “yellow pages” and the International Reciprocal Trade Association( or The National Association of Trade Exchanges (

JoelB (profile) says:

Re:Trading Talents Instead Of Cash

Wow. That was amazing to “Trade talents instead of cash”. I think if all the people in this world would be talented and if that form of system would be used, then no one will suffer from hunger or poverty. By the way, speaking of Africans, a South African sprinter was a subject of debates due to the recent discovery on her as “hermaphrodite”. True hermaphroditism is when an organism has both male and female reproductive features and organs. In humans, there are numerous ways in which some form of sexual diffusion can occur, some relatively benign, and some crippling. Either way, the Caster Semenya magazine cover might lead some to think that online payday loans towards finding her gender might be ill spent.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...