In a town 200 miles north of Athens, a network of bartering townspeople has sprung up. No government agency is involved.
No taxes will be paid.
An unemployed mother and her daughter are selling jams, vegetables, and liqueurs.
They use a digital currency called TEM.
“In the network, people can trade their goods and services,” says Christos Papaioannou, one of the network’s founders. “If I do a service for you, then you owe me a favour. And I can use that favour to get some service from someone else. So, we don’t have to exchange directly, I can get it from some third person.”
To be clear, there is no actual currency or scrip exchanged. Credits are tracked via an open-source community banking software system called Cyclos. Katarina, for example, banks her credits from selling jam to buy staple foods such as eggs and fresh vegetables that are offered through the network.
This is not the only such system in Greece. They are everywhere.