Time Banking

time banking

Time Banking refers to an economic system that uses units of time as currency. A Time Bank, also known as a Service Exchange, is a community which practices time banking. The unit of currency, always valued at an hour’s worth of any person’s labor, used by these groups has various names, but is generally known as a Time Dollar in the U.S. and a Time Credit in the U.K. Time Banking is primarily used to provide incentives and rewards for work such as mentoring children, caring for the elderly, being neighborly—work usually done on a volunteer basis—which a pure market system devalues.

Essentially, the ‘time’ one spends providing these types of community services earns ‘time’ that one can spend to receive services. Time Banking had its intellectual genesis in the U.S. in the early 1980s. Today, 26 countries have active Time Banks. There are 108 Time Banks active in the U.K. and 53 officially recognized Time Banks in the U.S.

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