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newsletter Merit Exchange Newsletter

Vol. $vol, No. 1: November 16, 2008.

What is Merit Exchange?

People ask me this question all the time, and I never know exactly how to respond. I've found that it's easiest for me to answer by making analogies to things people already know. Most people use, or are at least familiar with websites such as Myspace, Facebook, and Craigslist. Fewer people have heard of complementary currency, or local currency, such as Ithaca Hours or LETS, but most people are familiar with the idea of barter, trading goods and services directly with others. A complementary currency allows people to trade with each other without having to barter directly, similarly to how money does.

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Our Roadmap

Right now, Merit Exchange is under rapid development. We are currently signing users up to an interest list, which subscribes them to this newsletter. Our aim is to have the site ready to launch to interested users for testing in December. People on our interest list from the start will have the first opportunity to join this group of testers. When the site is deemed stable enough to launch for a broader audience, these users will be allowed to invite new users.

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What is an Economy?

People talk about "the economy" frequently. "The economy" is always on the news; it's a political issue. It affects peoples' lives, making people gain in the stock market or lose their retirement savings, making businesses thrive, or making people lose their jobs. But few people know exactly what it is. Wrapped up in this mystery is a sense of powerlessness; when our livelihood depends on something that we don't understand, we feel that there is little we can do when we go through difficult times. Merit Exchange is based on the idea that raising awareness of what an economy is can empower us when "the economy" is not working for us.

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Thank you!

If you are reading this site, you are probably very interested in Merit Exchange. Thank you for expressing interest in Merit Exchange and reading these pages!