The Free-Money concept of the monetary reformer Silvio Gesell attracts protagonists of a monetary order based on a competitive issuance of private money, which should be the appropriate order of a seastead´s economy as derived from the seastead´s philosophy. Although Free-Money, constructed as a cash-based medium of exchange with a built-in appreciation rate, has been practiced (more or less successfully) since the mid-twenties of the last century until today as “anarchistic” complementary privately issued money, the original idea is a concept for the strictly monopoly of issued state money. It is a theory without practice and the practical experiments (without theory) have, within a complementary currency environment, not shown any evidence of being a superior concept for one form of private money compared to other forms of private money without a specific mechanism for a velocity driver.


The Author

Dr. Hugo Godschalk (Den Haag, 1957) studied economics at the University of Münster/Westfalia (1974 – 1979). He then spent 5 years as research staff at the same university. Following his Ph.D. in economics in 1982 with a dissertation on electronic money, he started his career in the payments industry at the Gesellschaft für Zahlungssysteme (GZS) in Frankfurt. Since 1993, he has been the managing director and founder of PaySys Consultancy in Frankfurt am Main. Since 2000, PaySys Consultancy has represented the European Payments Consulting Association (EPCA) as the German founding member. In 2011 Hugo initiated the Prepaid Verband Deutschland (PVD) as the platform of the prepaid industry in Germany. He represents this group as managing director. He was a member of the advisory board of the German Association of the Regiogeld initiatives and since 2003 has been a member of the advisory board of PayComm (database community of the European payment industry).He has published several books, expert reports, and many articles on monetary and payment related topics (reform, history, innovation, regulation, complementary currencies, etc.).



Hugo Godschalk (2017): Free-Money matters: Some Considerations for a Seastead’s Monetary Order, in: Victor Tiberius (Ed.): Seasteads. Opportunities and Challenges for Small New Societies, Zurich (vdf), pp. 125-142.