Most approaches dealing with monetary instability and its economic consequences are proposals to change the conventional system. Today's geopolitical environment is not conducive to a substantial reform of the money system. Another option is to design and encourage complementary currencies, both at the local level and at the supernational level which can serve as a safety net below the conventional money system. Such complementary currencies have performed additional functions that are useful independently of the current monetary circumstances. Examples of such systems are elderly and handicapped care, local unemployment and resolving the conflict between financial interest and long term thinking. Well over 90 percent of complementary currencies in use are electronic.
A complementary currency functions in parallel with the conventional currency. They are not designed to replace the conventional national currencies but to provide functions that the conventional currency has proven ineffective to cope with, eg crisis in pension funds, food aid and promoting sustainable thinking in business.