Honey is the new money in Lund

Djing

The Djing notes. Photo: Mats Lindqvist.

Or, rather, the Djing is the new money in the building society Djingis Khan in Lund [map].
With economies shaking all over the world, the initiator Mats Lindqvist wanted to bring up the discussion about our economic system, perpetual growth and planetary boundaries. His way to do this was to start a local, alternative currency: the Djing.
What’s special about the Djing is that it isn’t as virtual and volatile as most other money we deal with nowadays. It isn’t even linked to gold or silver, which has been historically used to secure the value of a currency. These notes are instead backed up by…honey!

Why honey? one might ask.
“Honey is, unlike gold and silver, environmentally friendly to produce. It even requires a non-toxic agriculture, and honey production contributes to bigger harvests. In addition honey has a worth in itself as food, something you cannot use gold and silver for … Honey can be stored for a very long time and keeps its quality” Mats Lindqvist writes on a webpage informing about the alternative currency (in Swedish), where a photo shows the currency reserve: A bag full of honey jars.

Earlier several Transition initiatives in for example Brixton in London have started their own local currencies to stimulate a more local economy, where local materials, resources and knowledges benefit over imported, emission intensive products. It’s also believed to strengthen local social bonds.

For 10 grams of honey you get 1 Djing and there are now about 760 Djing in circulation.
Mats Lindqvist himself has bought home-made tofu and applejuice, and things that people offer and demand are for example bicycle repairing, babysitting, legal counselling and help to sew buttons and repair clothes.

 

 

  • Monica-USA

    Who  knew honey was so valuable?!!

  • Ida

    Hi Sara, I’ve been following your blog for a while now and I must ask how you define sustainability? Do you consider sustainablility to only be about the environment?

  • Sara Jeswani

    Hi Ida, thanks for following the blog! The world sustainability is often defined as the capacity to endure. I write about it from a mainly environmental perspective, but I find it closely linked to themes like economy, social science and even psychology and culture, since a society that works without depleting natural resources will have to take into consideration not only pollution and conservation of rare species, but all the other aspects too.
    I wrote a blog post about this some time ago:  http://blogs.sweden.se/sustainability/2011/01/17/what-is-sustainability/
    What are your own thoughts about this?

  • Sara Jeswani

    Yes, honey is good in many ways :)

  • http://johnturmel.com John C. Turmel, B. Eng.

    “For 10 grams of honey you get 1 Djing and there are now about 760 Djing in circulation.”
    Jct: Honey money. Sure they have honey but too bad it’s a dinky toy. Time money I’m sure they have lots of too.

  • Ida

    I agree with you, sustainablility in my definition covers more than environmental aspects, such as economic and social. I’m not saying that environmental issues are not important, the opposite, it’s a subject very dear to me. I believe that the society should strife to make it easier for both private persons as well as businesses to be sustainable, and since we are the society it is up to us to stress the importance of our values to the people and companies around us.

  • Pol – Croatia

    Very thoughtful. I think this is a good way to make things move faster, since we are all very much used to money. Of course, it is not yet clear to me who and how would control the currency and how the prices of goods would form. Would someone have to keep large amounts of honey in some storage and where are this 7,6 kg now kept ?

  • Sara Jeswani

    Thanks, Ida! Yes, it would be difficult to single one aspect out in front of another since they are all so interconnected. But in the end, natural resources and the environment are the base upon which everything else lives and feeds, so as long as there isn’t ecological sustainability it will be hard to achieve any other sustainability either.
    And yes, you are so right: we are the society :) It seems easy to forget that sometimes.

  • Mats Lindqvist

    I see this as a small scale monetary experiment, on a local scale. The intention is to promote local economic activity, so the storage issue is not a problem so far. As for pricing, the nominal value is roughly set to corresponds to the Swedish national currency, to facilitate price comparison. Among monetary reform advocates, other options are normally discussed for the national currency. Two main types of money are normally proposed. The first type is free money, essentially gold and silver,  without a central bank, as suggested by Austrian school economists. Government issued debt free money, as was successfully used by Abraham Lincoln and others, is another. I would prefer either of these in favor of the current system.  

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  • http://blademccool.myopenid.com/ BladeMcCool

    is it fully convertible to and from honey? where is the honey warehouse and how well does honey store over time? is it 100% reserve of honey or is there a fractional reserve honey scam going on here? Can i roll in with honey i acquired through … whatever means and deposit honey with him at a rate of 1 Djing per 10 grams of my honey? How is the honey graded and is all honey created equal? And how is this better than Bitcoin?

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  • http://twitter.com/BTCinstant BTCinstant

    What BladeMcCool said

  • Anonymous

    Very good questions, I’ll try to get Mats Lindqvist to answer them himself here!

  • Mats Lindqvist

    All money in circulation is 100% backed against honey, no fractional reserve scam here. This is the core property of this money – not backet by interest bearing debt. The currency reserve presently consists of 100% honey, but over time the currency reserve might consist of other assets, at least during short intervals, in order to renew the honey. All honey is stored in my home, it’s a very small experiment at this point. Should it grow, I’ll simply ask other participants to help me store the honey. Honey production, in contrast to gold and silver, is beneficial for the environment, and preserves its value for many years. Allegedly, honey of decent quality was found in the tomb of King Tut in Egypt, thousands of years old. The honey should have the Swedish Beekeeper’s Association’s logo on it (quality standard, locally produced). I’m not saying it’s better than bitcoin, only different. Honey money is local, bitcoin is global. Bitcoin is the wet dream of organized crime, and libertarians who want to abolish the state. Local money is not convenient for criminals, and those who want to move their assets to the other side of the world. I haven’t checked recently, the outstanding money supply is 1000-1500 Djing (corresponding roughly to 1000-1500 Swedish Krona).
    /Mats Lindqvist

  • Mats Lindqvist

    And, yes, you can knock at my door, hand over honey, and get cash in your hand. All owners of Djing can run to the bank at the same time, and reclaim their honey.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Mats, interesting answers!

  • http://blademccool.myopenid.com/ BladeMcCool

    Great response and thank you for it! :D If I am ever in the neighborhood I’ll try to swing by and deposit some properly graded honey. There is no real active local currency in Victoria BC so I’ve kind of latched onto Bitcoin as the next great thing, but I’d love to see pure mutual credit systems maybe like ripplepay implemented with the shared public ledger idea of Bitcoin, maybe separate block chains for each region that wants one for a local ledger or something like that. Anyway good luck with the experimental system sounds cool :)

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