Four alternative currencies that are breaking out

Bitcoin is not the world's only alternative currency enjoying success.

Paul Kemp-Robertson in his excellent Ted talk last month notes three other alternative currencies that are gaining traction.

Kemp-Robertson says people are opting for alternatives because governments are falling out of favour and technology catching up.

"People are actually trusting business people more than they're trusting governments and leaders," says Kemp-Robertson.

"So what's happening now, in the digital age, is that we can quantify value in lots of different ways and do it more easily, and sometimes the way that we quantify those values, it makes it much easier to create new forms and valid forms of currency."

Bitcoin
alternative currency bitcoin
This spring Bitcoin's total market worth hit $1 billion.

Starbucks Star Points
alternative currency bitcoin starbucks
In its recent quarterly filing, Starbucks reported 30 percent of transactions are carried out through points cards rather than cash.

Amazon Coins
amazon coin alternative currency bitcoin
Amazon coins are used for buying apps and games. Anyone who buys a Kindle Fire in the US is given $5-worth of the currency or 500 coins. Amazon is the number two player in the tablet space and is estimated to have sold 1.7 million tablets during the March quarter alone.

Tide Detergent
tide detergent bitcoin alternative currency
New York Times Magazine broke the story about bottles of Tide detergent being used to buy and sell drugs. Liquid gold, as its known, has a strong brand recognition, and it is something everyone needs. And if thieves shoplift it, the criminal penalties are lower compared to other property crimes. Thieves will go to great lengths to get their hands on Tide. Last year the detergent was on the National Retail Federation’s list of most-targeted items.

Image of bike rider by Radu Razvan