A Local Currency for
Exchanging & Sharing Abundance

Frequently Asked Questions

Got Questions? We’ve got you covered.

We’ve included a collection of frequently asked questions below to help you navigate the Hudson Valley Current and our programs.

Please feel free to contact us via email at hello@hudsonvalleycurrent.org or by phone at (845) 663-2286 with any additional questions.

We’d love to connect with you!

What are Currents?

  • Currents make up a complementary currency designed to keep money local.
  • Currents are backed by goods and services from members located here in the Hudson Valley.
  • They are accepted only within the businesses that are members.

How does the Current work?

  • It’s money, so you can receive currents for your goods and services and in turn pay for others’ goods and services with those currents you’ve gained.
  • We offer cash in the form of Paper Currents, and members are also able to exchange Currents using our App with a built in digital wallet for easeful, paperless transacting.…still curious?
  • The Current functions within a mutual credit system; if you add up all the numbers in the economy, it will always equal zero.
  • The Current is not backed by the Dollar, it’s backed by trust, and that is how justice is built into the very structure of the money…it is what makes the local currency resilient and mutually beneficial for all involved!

What are the benefits of joining the Hudson Valley Current?

  • You are able to make connections among local businesses and stimulate our economy by ensuring that money stays local.
  • Accepting Currents is a way to ensure your business is financially secure.
  • Unlike the USD ($), Currents are not backed by investments or interest, so they do not “crash” or “fluctuate” in value.
  • Currents provide a reliable source of financial certainty, an inviting compliment to the global financial system that can be quite volatile.
  • And you’re contributing to the evolutionary movement toward a more just and equitable economic landscape for all.

How can I join the Current?

  • One as a business or solopreneur who offers goods or/and services.
  • The second as an employee of a company that accepts/spends Currents.
  • Visit https://hudsonvalleycurrent.org/join-us/ to sign up.
  • Once you’ve signed up, our Director of Membership will walk you through all the subsequent steps to become an active member and answer any questions you may have.

How much does it cost to join the Current?

  • There is no cost associated with signing up or being a part of the Current.

Are you saying I should ditch the USD and live on Currents?

  • Not every expense can be covered in currents, such as taxes and insurance.
  • For this reason, it would not be possible to live only on currents.
  • Currents are a complimentary currency, meant to be used to strengthen our local businesses and economy but are NOT meant to replace dollars.

Is this legal?

  • Yes, the Current is officially recognized by local, state and federal governments, the IRS, and the Department of the Treasury as a barter or trade currency.

How does this compare to the US Dollars (USD)?

  • Currents and dollars have the same value, 1:1, however using Currents guarantees that the wealth remains local, and in your community.
  • Currents cannot be exchanged for dollars and vice versa.

What is the “line of trust”?

  • Every Current Business Member is given a ~300 (Current) Line of Trust, designed to ensure you are supported in times of need.
  • It is there to help you begin to engage with other Current Members, within our mutual credit system.
  • Mutual credit systems have been around for a while, and we’re motivated to open source this equitable system; when you add up all the account balances in the system, you’ll always get zero!
  • The system is balanced by design.

Isn’t the “line a trust” a way for me to just get into more debt?

  • This line of credit is interest-free, so no.
  • We are being asked to re-articulate our relationship with debt.
  • Here at the Current, we encourage that going into the negative is a positive!
  • By doing so, you’re essentially issuing more Currents into the economy.
  • Without any interest or fees associated with going into the negative, we can start to heal our relationship with debt, one day at a time.
  • It is important to note, however, that as a member you are required to bring your balance back to zero prior to closing any account.

Will I be taxed on Currents?

  • Yes, Currents are a federally recognized currency and your earnings are taxed just like USD.

How does a business pay and report taxes on Currents?

  • The Current is accounted for and taxed in the same way as USD, as a cash equivalent.
  • Keep track of your Currents as you do your dollars and the IRS expects you to pay taxes in USD on all Currents earned.
  • In order to decrease the amount owed, business members of the Current may offset business expenses against gross income.
  • Members are responsible for issuing and receiving 1099s as necessary or required.
  • We have thorough guidelines and support for getting your unique business set up to accept Currents in a way that’s in full alignment with your accounting processes.
  • From POS protocol to Quickbooks integration, we’re here with resources to help you get set up for success!

Is there some version of local currency FDIC insurance like my bank has to protect my money?

  • The Current is ensured with policies that cover issues of liability and covering mea culpa issues.

My bookkeeper says NO to Currents! What do I do?

  • Currents are about ten years old while the USD is over 240 years old, so it’s no mystery why your bookkeeper is reluctant to work with them.
  • For this reason, we do training for bookkeepers to walk them through the process of bookkeeping.
  • We assure you that it’s more simple than you’d think!

Can I pay my employees in Currents?

  • Absolutely!
  • This is one of the amazing ways to continue strengthening our local economy.
  • We have a dedicated Membership team who is here to support the education of your staff and HR in an exploration of adopting Currents into your payroll system.
  • As a reminder, all Currents earned by businesses or individuals are taxable income.

What are you doing to be inclusive of black and brown businesses?

  • There are multiple black-owned businesses at this time accepting Currents for their products or services.
  • We believe in a solidarity economy that can fortify the local small business owners and cooperatives that nurture our regional economy for the better.