Are Ithaca HOURS real money?
Yes. At present, no monetary systems are backed by an actual commodity (such as gold), but instead notes are simply declared to be money by an authority (“fiat money”). In the case of U.S. currency that authority is the national government. In the case of Ithaca HOURS that authority is the board of the corporation.As such, Ithaca HOURS are taxable, and it is illegal to counterfeit them.
Ithaca Hours are not considered traditional “real money” like the US dollar or other government-issued currencies. They are a type of local currency or complementary currency that was introduced in Ithaca, New York, to encourage spending within the local community. Ithaca Hours are only accepted by participating businesses in the Ithaca area, and they were created to promote local economic activity and support local businesses. While they have value within that specific community, they are not widely accepted outside of it and are not considered legal tender.
*Sadly, we had to bring back ads too. Hopefully more targeted.