|federal reserve money||LETSystems||Ithaca HOURS||Time Dollars|
To join a LETS system, one only has to pay a small annual registration fee to cover accounting costs; it's not even necessary to earn LETS before "spending" one's promised labor. Balances open at zero and may fluctuate between positive and negative values thereafter. The LETS registry keeps count of each participant's balance, but does not yield or charge interest, so people may schedule their own cycles of credit and debt as they see fit. It is therefore possible that people could rack up large LETS deficits and then leave without fulfilling their obligations to the system, but because LETS account information is available to participants, those people would permanently damage their "credit rating" in the LETS community.
The unit by which LETS accounts are measured is the same as national currency, though unlike national currency, LETS is backed by promised service to the community.
For more detailed information, visit the LETS design manual or our directories of online payment methods and community currencies.