The Bowie Pound

Central Banks Nervous As Alternative Currency With David Bowie’s Face Goes Viral

Submitted by John Vibes via

One of the best ways for the general public to take power back is to develop alternative currencies — both local and global — that allow people to trade outside of the corporate-government banking systems and central bank notes.

Many people in different areas of the world have been moderately successful at implementing local currencies, such as Mountain Hours or Ithaca Hours, which have gained traction in the U.S.

In London, an interesting alternative currency bearing the face of pop singer David Bowie has recently come into circulation. According to Market Watch, the local currency is specialized for the Brixton community in southwest London. It is officially called the “Brixton Pound.”

Tom Shakhli, manager of the Brixton Pound effort, said:

“They are using it because they want to feel connected to the local area. Every time you use it, you’re like a financial activist. You’re taking part in this act which is subverting the norm, which is to hand over your £10 note very passively.”

Shakhli pointed out that the project is intended to make a statement about the foundation of money, as well as provide an alternative to the current monopoly.

Shakhli said that his main goal with the project is to ask:

“What is money? Does it have to be either printed by the state or created by the banks? Why can’t money be localized? Why can’t money feature a pop star or a black historian? Does it have to feature establishment figures?”

So far, there are currently 200 local businesses that have signed up to participate in the Brixton Pound program.

The increasingly popular Brixton Pound is making central banks nervous — and rightly so. Following the success of the Brixton Pound, new alternative local currencies are now popping up all over the U.K. The Oxford Pound, Kingston Pound, and Palace Pound are just a few of the currencies that have been recently introduced. The Bank of England has been forced to respond to these local currencies because of their popularity, deeming them “voucher schemes” and warning the public that they are unprotected when using them.

A document released by the Bank of England claims that:

“Local currency schemes lead to significant and unanticipated impacts on aggregate economic activity.”

According to the document, the Bank of England will also attempt to delegitimize local currencies by

“Design[ing] features and marketing material [to] help users recognise that local currency paper instruments are like vouchers and not banknotes.”

For the economy to really be in the hands of the people, it is necessary to decentralize the currency and to have an open-source network of competing currencies that are community based and easily exchangeable. While it is impossible to predict how we will trade a century or even five years from now, we can still observe how people are innovating within their own areas and take those lessons into account for when state and bank issued currencies finally diminish in value to the point where they are unusable.


9 Responses to “The Bowie Pound”

  1. ian says:

    An absolutely brilliant idea, though I can’t see some being happy.

  2. freebornman says:

    I’m not surprised the ‘central banks’ are nervous. Their ongoing fraud has been spotted by growing numbers of people.
    I just upgraded my sound system with a vintage Trio KA-6004 amp, I can now feel the bass properly represented. The old Cambridge Audio A5 (which I found on the pavement in Sheffield) may have been clean-sounding but it lacked badly in that trouser-flapping quality that bass SHOULD have. ‘Heroes’ is my favourite Bowie track, but do we really want an androgyne on our money?
    With that in mind, I propose the ‘Browne’ (not the one-eyed one) Pound.
    So much contemporary music just passes by, but some gems just shine brighter with every passing year. This is one of my favourites.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for that link Freebornman, I have loved Jackson Browne since I first heard ‘Doctor, My Eyes’ – great vocalist, great lyricist. I still think Bowie has an incredible vocal range which is often underappreciated – no doubt due to being an androgyne.
    Have you by any chance checked out Dave McGowan’s fanastic series on Rock music/ Military Intelligence and the Laural Canyon hippie scene? Go to Center for Intelligent America (google it). And much more besides. God bless Dave.

    • freebornman says:

      Wierd scenes inside the canyon. Fascinating read, that one. I was born in the 60’s, but I fell in with a bunch of older ‘freaks’ as a teenager, who kind of ‘updated’ me as to what I missed. Punk was my pre-packaged rebellion of choice, and ‘wierd scenes’ put that in context for me. I tried discussing Laurel Canyon with the leader of the ‘freaks’ I mentioned, recently, but he pooh-poohed it as ‘conspiracy theory rubbish’. Like JB says about ‘trading their tired wings’. Mofo is a rabid zionist since inheriting daddy’s money. Ho hum 🙂

      • Jennifer says:

        I really do feel that young people now are being severely short-changed in one of their (should be) greatest life stages – their immersion in great contemporary music (alright it’s for profiteering, tavistock whoos). But some of us had great Rock, Soul, and Reggae, that sounded original, authentic, creative and didn’t come all auto-tuned and drearily boring.
        Enjoy your pints!

  4. freebornman says:

    Oh, and I forgot to mention Hitler. DING DING DING I win the Godwin’s law prize. Hitler’s greatest crime, it would appear, was to print his own money as credit, hence the ‘German miracle’ Time magazine man of the year 1933 thing. That, and the fact that his no1 ambition was to destroy the bolsheviks, another chosen one project. Anyway, gotta sign off now to practice my goose-stepping and baby-gassing skills. Haha not really, just that the pub is open, and beer doesn’t drink itself.

  5. freebornman says:

    For Jennifer- this guy was a family friend and the best role model I could find at the time.
    Punk/jazz fusion he advised me as a youth, “if you wanna get laid, learn to play sax.” Only the good die young, his brain burst a blood vessel age 30 or so. Song titles like ‘tom waits for no man’ I mean I ask you. Research project for you. I’m amazed that there is video of Matthew Coe aka xero slingsby available online.
    SHOVE IT!!!

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