If you want to go to Valais for shopping, now you can pay your purchases in farinets, the new ‘local currency’ of the canton.
The currency was launched on Saturday in the city of Sion; it comes in eight denominations: 1, 2, 5, 10, 13, 20, 50 and 100, and it has the same value as the Swiss franc. According to the organization, using the currency creates a spending power for the Lake Geneva region and boosts the local economy in a way that using francs and euros doesn’t always allow.
More or less 100 shops and businesses in the canton have agreed to accept the farinet for payment; shoppers can exchange their francs for farinets in various official bureaux de change including at the tourist office in Sion and the markets of Sion, Sierre and Martigny.
It's not the first canton lo launch a local currency: on May 2016, City Council of Zug in the east Switzerland presentd a pilot project allowing paying for municipal services with bitcoin.
The farinet is the Switzerland’s second local currency after the léman launched in Geneva in 2015. The léman is equivalent in value to the euro and can be used in more than 200 participating businesses in the Lac Léman region including Lausanne and neighbouring France.
Around 5,000 local currencies exist worldwide, including the Brixton pound and the Bristol pound in the UK, a currency that runs parallel to sterling, and the eusko in the Basque country while the city of Barcelona plans to launch a future local currency within 2017.
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