Micro-currencies on the rise as crisis swirls
A few paragraphs about halfway down the page:
In France, the standard term is "Monnaie Locale Complémentaire", meaning "local complementary currency”, it does not replace official money and there are over 20 such currencies in use in France.
[...] currencies are also growing in popularity in the UK, Italy and Germany, with the same objectives and similar results.
And contrary to these very local initiatives, the Bitcoin, an electronic cash system launched in 2009. Anyone can acquire these cyber coins and spend them on the web, as they so choose.