Contact us
CALL US NOW 1-888-GOLD-160
(1-888-465-3160)

Surviving Without Fiat: Alternative Currencies in Greece

  by    1   0

The other week, we wrote about the growing barter economy in Greece. With cash withdrawal limits still in place, Greek citizens are finding it difficult to conduct daily business using traditional methods. Now, the Wall Street Journal reports on the flourishing of a variety of alternative currencies, particularly one named TEM:

TEM—a sophisticated form of barter whose name is the Greek acronym for Local Alternative Unit—was founded in 2010 in the early months of Greece’s debt crisis with less than a dozen members. Now it includes dozens of participating local businesses that use the system to sell goods and services, including prepared food, haircuts, doctor visits, or even for renting an apartment.

“One of the larger and more established alternative payment systems in Greece, TEM has given Greeks living under the strain of wage cuts and tax increases a supplementary way to trade. Instead of dealing with a physical currency, members have an online account that starts at zero when they join. They can opt to take payment for goods and services in TEM, and then use those to buy products from others.”

15 08 14 TEM


TEM is a reminder that even when an irresponsible government ruins an economy, humans will find a way to survive. People don’t need government mandates to have a useful, valuable medium of exchange to conduct commerce.

Of course, any Greeks who had some gold and silver saved would have entered this barter system already ahead of the game. Precious metals are the ultimate honest money. An alternative currency backed by precious metals would not only be reliable, it would prevent the government from manipulating the economy in the first place with fiat money.

We wouldn’t be surprised if some of the alternative currency systems the Greeks have developed are being used to acquire physical gold or silver. This would make sense for Greeks heavily dependent on these currencies, since TEM doesn’t allow users to stockpile the barter money. Using TEM to purchase silver would be an efficient way of turning a barter network into a means for saving wealth.

As the WSJ notes, this situation is not unique to Greece. In the aftermath of financial crises throughout the world, barter and alternative currencies spring up spontaneously:

One notable example of alternative currencies used during a crisis was in the 1930s during the Great Depression, when the Austrian town of Wörgl decided to fight the economic downturn by printing its own money. Economists called the result a miracle: Employment boomed, while inflation remained subdued. During the economic depression that struck Argentina in 1998 and lasted till 2002, people formed barter networks and several provinces introduced their own currencies.

“In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, similar projects have been introduced to Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany and France.”

The United States will likely join this list when the US dollar eventually collapses, as Peter Schiff has been warning. When that day comes, you’ll wish you had stockpiled some useful barter goods, particularly gold and silver. Gold provides an excellent store of value for large chunks of wealth, while silver’s smaller value-to-weight ratio makes it perfect for in-person transactions. In fact, SchiffGold even offers a Silver Barter Bag of fractional rounds. If you want to learn more about silver, “the people’s money,” download our free special report – The Powerful Case for Silver.

Get Peter Schiff’s latest gold market analysis – click here – for a free subscription to his exclusive weekly email updates.
Interested in learning more about physical gold and silver?
Call 1-888-GOLD-160 and speak with a Precious Metals Specialist today!


Related Posts

Silver Demand Expected to Exceed 1 Billion Ounces in 2021

Every key area of silver demand is forecast to rise in 2021, according to the Silver Institute’s Interim Silver Market Review. The institute projects silver demand will come in at 1.029 billion ounces this year. That would mark the first year demand has exceeded 1 billion ounces since 2015.

READ MORE →

Jerome Powell 2.0

President Joe Biden has tapped Jerome Powell to serve a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve. Biden said Powell’s “steady leadership” helped calm markets as governments shut down the economy due to coronavirus, and he expressed confidence in Powell’s future leadership. “I believe Jay is the right person to see us through,” Biden […]

READ MORE →

The Fed Pulled Off a Masterful Manipulation of the Junk Bond Market

The Federal Reserve pulled off a magnificent manipulation of the junk bond market, facilitated a massive wealth transfer from savers to speculators, pocketed millions of dollars, and then washed its hands of the matter. In March 2020, as governments shut down the economy for coronavirus, the Fed slashed interest rates and launched a massive quantitative […]

READ MORE →

Poland Plans to Add Another 100 Tons of Gold to Its Reserves

During a recent interview, Bank of Poland President Adam Glapiński said the central bank plans to add 100 tons of gold to its reserves in 2022. In 2018, the National Bank of Poland began aggressively adding gold to its reserves. Through the first half of 2019, the Polish central bank added more than 100 tons of […]

READ MORE →

The Fed’s Artificially Low Interest Rates Are Eating Away at Social Security

The Federal Reserve has held interest rates artificially low for decades. This causes all kinds of distortions and misallocations in the economy. And it’s creating quite a problem for the Social Security Administration.

READ MORE →

One thought on “Surviving Without Fiat: Alternative Currencies in Greece

  1. Ian says:

    Peter makes a good case for buying gold & silver. Good article on Greeks going to alternate currencies. What about alternate currencies in US? There is “Berkshares” in Mass. Another (don’t remember the name) in upstate NY (near Cornell Univ). There are numerous others.

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Call Now