The Encointer Association has launched Leu as a new, digital local currency for the city of Zurich. You can use Leu to pay for local products, events and services at selected locations, send it to your friends, and receive it from others.
You can buy Leu from another person or work for it like you do for other types of currency. There’s also another way: Leu was conceived as a form of community generated income that you receive on a regular basis when you actively take part in the Leu community.
We’ll explain to you right here how it works, where you can pay with Leu, and why we created this currency. We’ll also tell you a little about who we are. Get inspired and join the Leu community!
Do you run a business and would like to accept Leu? We’ll explain how it works right here.
Do you want to stay up to date with Leu? Then subscribe to our newsletter, which is available in German.
First, download our “Encointer Wallet” app:
Then, create an account and protect your balance with a PIN.
On the map of the world, choose “Leu” as your community (Leu won’t remain the only community on here for long).
All you need now is some Leu, which you can acquire in the following ways:
Someone can give you Leu or reward you with Leu in exchange for a favor.
Attend a weekly cycle. The app will tell you when the next cycle is set to take place. To register, you’ll need a few Leu from someone who is already in the community.
You can now use the Encointer Wallet app to earn ⵐLEU 44.00 every ten days. All you have to do is attend a “gathering”. A gathering is a physical meeting of around 10 members of the Leu community at a randomly selected location in Zurich. The app will show you when and where the next gathering is due to take place.
The idea behind these gatherings is to ensure every person is only able to receive their universal basic income once a week – without needing to register to do so or prove their identity. This is why all our gatherings always take place every ten days at 11:50 am, making sure a person can only attend one gathering at a time.
We refer to all the gatherings that take place at the same time as a “cycle”. New credit is awarded to every person who takes part in a cycle.
Here’s how a gathering works: you meet up with other members of the Leu community who have been assigned the same meeting spot as you. You then click on “Start gathering” in the Encointer Wallet app. This brings up an entry field in which you can tell our system how many people arrived on time to take part in the gathering.
Once all in attendance have done so, the app will display a QR code. All present should scan this code at the same time. This confirms to our system that there are indeed as many people at the gathering as was previously indicated. Once you’ve done this, you’ll receive your Leu within 48 hours. And that’s it!
At present, you can pay with Leu in select businesses in Districts 4 and 5 in Zurich. Once Leu has gained a foothold, we will organically extend its area of use to the rest of the city. Here you can see which businesses accept Leu.
Even so, you can use Leu right now to pay for products and services by and from all members of the Leu community.
The complete Leu commercial cycle is set out in this infographic:
Our aim with Leu is to boost local businesses in Zurich and launch a monetary system based on equal opportunity. We mean “equal” in the sense that all community members regularly receive the same amount of Leu, regardless of how many Swiss francs they are worth. In other words, a person’s socio-economic status plays no role when it comes to earning Leu: every person is the same and deserves to have the same opportunity to receive Leu.
We see Zurich as just the beginning. Inequality reigns everywhere, which is why we’re planning to establish new communities all over the world who can receive a basic income based on the same mechanism as we are using for Leu.
This is why our app is called the “Encointer Wallet” rather than “Leu” – it serves as a hub for all local currencies. Our vision is that one day you will open our app and – alongside Leu in Zurich – see many other communities with their own currencies.
We are the Encointer Association. Based in Zurich, Encointer is run by volunteers. Encointer was founded in 2020 by Alain Brenzikofer, Department Head at Supercomputing Systems Inc. and founder of Integritee Inc. We have no commercial aims and are not seeking to turn a profit. Through open-source software development, we wish to provide as many people as possible around the world with access to a local currency and a universal basic income.
Further information – including detailed explanations of the software we use – is available at encointer.org.
If you would like to support our work, you can donate some money via Twint. Scan the QR code below with the Twint app or click here. We appreciate any amount.
There isn’t one! If you follow the instructions provided above, you’ll receive Leu. That’s all there is to it.
At the outset, ⵐ LEU 1.00 corresponds to CHF 1.00. Depending on supply and demand, the exchange rate to the Swiss franc may change over time.
All members of the community will regularly generate new Leu at each cycle. In isolation, this would lead to inflation, as it would mean more and more money being “printed”.
To counteract this, the Leu that you possess will continually decrease in value. In specific terms, a Leu loses 5.6 % of its value each month. In other words, it doesn’t pay to save.
Aside from preventing inflation, this devaluation has another goal: we want Leu to circulate, i.e. by spending it on products and services and receiving it from other community members. Leu is by Zurich, for Zurich, which means it’s there to support local Zurich businesses. That works best if no one hoards Leu.
Yes! Our goal isn’t to bring down the Swiss franc; Leu is being launched as a complementary currency. There have been plenty of local currencies in the past – and there still are today, including the Brixton Pound in England, Chiemgauer in Germany and Mumbuca in Brazil.
Once all the attendees at a gathering have started to inform our system how many people are there, it is not possible for others to join the gathering. In other words, if you join a gathering late, you will sadly not receive any Leu and will have to wait until next time. This rule is intended to prevent anyone from being able to attend two gatherings during the same cycle and receiving twice as much Leu.
Absolute transparency is essential to us in this initial phase of the Leu project, which is why all account balances and how much money is in circulation are publicly visible – albeit in pseudonymized form. Your name and address are not listed anywhere, and the Encointer Association does not know your identity. You are free to create a new pseudonym every week to further enhance your data privacy. Neither the account balances nor the transaction history will be published in the second phase of the Leu project.
The community controls it: Leu is earned in proportion to the number of attendees at a cycle. A publicly visible blockchain ensures compliance with these rules.
In order to register for a cycle, you need a tiny amount of Leu. Someone who already has Leu can either send you some. Or you can buy 1 Leu for 1 Swiss Franc at the bar Sphères.
In order to be assigned, you need to have registered before the deadline indicated in the app which is two days before the cycle itself, at midnight GMT.
If you have registered as a newbie, but still haven’t been assigned, this means that the cycle is overbooked. Leu cycle can only grow by 1/3 from one cycle to the next. This is important because we assume that the majority of cycle participants is honest and knows how it works. Therefore, we require previous reputation for 2/3 of participants. Please try again next time and register as early as possible to increase your chances to get assigned next time.
If you have registered as a bootstrapper, reputable or endorsee and you have not been assigned, this may be because there are not enough locations defined for your community.
It would be best to restart the gathering and decrease the vote accordingly.
If your internet connection is down or you phone battery went low, you can retry to submit your attestations within 24h after the cycle took place.
It can take up to 48h before income can be claimed.
Currently, one person per gathering must claim the income explicitly. The app tells you that a claim is pending and the first person to claim will trigger issuance for the entire gathering. (This will be automated soon.)
If you still did not receive any income, that must be because your claim violates one of our rules. Likely reasons are:
– you have not attested enough legit attendees
– you have not been attested by enough legit attendees
– you have voted for the wrong amount of attendees