Energy is the new currency.
In more and more communities there is a growing awareness that we can only increase our standard of living if essential things in life - such as energy and food - are also produced and consumed locally.
While local markets for food have been on the rise for decades, independent energy production is still in its infancy. However, this is changing very quickly, especially because of solar and wind energy, and is opening up the market for regional currencies based on energy.
The simplest analogy to these new types of community currencies is the well known Miles-and-More system, which let's you not just buy flights but also pay for many goods and services within that system.
Community currencies are acting in a similar way. They keep purchasing power in the region and help to build and rebuild local economies. In times of COVID-19 this will be more urgently needed than ever.