14 Communities Launch Their Own Blockchain-based Community Inclusion Currencies (CICs) in Kenya

Communities use water, transport, onions, tomatoes and eggs as units of accounts - generally with a market value such that one CIC = approximately 10 Kenyan Shillings of those goods and services. Then, each member in the issuing group commits to redeeming the CIC for a specific amount of their goods or services.

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Grassroots Economics (GE), the non-profit foundation behind the Sarafu community token, now has in place a software with which more communities can launch their own tokens.

In an announcement, Grassroots Economics said:

This enables us to create individual vouchers on our own entirely independent humanitarian blockchain (Kitabu) without needing the internet or users to pay gas fees.”

– Grassroots Economics

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SEE ALSO: United Nations Spotlights the Sarafu Blockchain Currencies Used in Informal Settlements in Kenya

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(above) Wendo-wa-Makaya group along with Emmanuel Mbui from Grassroots Economics marching through the marketplace announcing the launch of their CIC. They are holding placards on which they display their unique CIC name and account number for people to trade with them using feature phones.

In May 2022, so far, Grassroots Economics has used the new software to help 14 communities in Kitui, Kenya publicly launch their OWN Community Inclusion Currencies (CICs). According to the NGO, CICs give people a way to exchange goods and services, and incubate projects and businesses, without relying on scarce national currency and volatile markets.

The currencies are behind a separate community economy with at least 20 local businesses, farmers, teachers, and service providers who decide on a unique name and symbol for their CIC as well as a unit of account.  

unit of account is something that can be used to:

  • Value goods and services
  • Record debts, and
  • Make calculations

In other words, it’s a measurement for value.

Communities use water, transport, onions, tomatoes and eggs as units of accounts – generally with a market value such that one CIC = approximately 10 Kenyan Shillings of those goods and services. Then, each member in the issuing group commits to redeeming the CIC for a specific amount of their goods or services.

According to GE, CICs are regional means of exchange that are derived from vouchers and supplement gaps in the national currency system.

Due to economic instability, people often lack money with which to purchase from each other. Thriving communities are able to build their own prospering economies via CICs.

GE is working with teams in South Africa and Cameroon to implement programs there and hope to have the 1st few CICs launched there in a few months.

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RECOMMENDED READING: [WATCH] How the Sarafu Community Inclusion Cryptocurrencies are Used in Kilifi County, Kenya

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