“The Zinne is an alternative to, not a substitute for, the euro,” said Sophie Hublot during a press conference on the launch. A Zinne is worth a euro, and can be bought at a number of stores.
The bills are printed on watermarked paper with holograms to avoid copying. They will be printed in values up to 20 Zinne.
The idea is to support the local community by directing consumption towards local independent and socially/ environmentally responsible businesses. At the time of launch, around 90 businesses in Brussels had signed on for the project, including Brasserie de la Senne.
Similar local currencies already exist in Namur, Liège and Gembloux. Brussels Environment experimented with an alternative currency, the Eco-Iris, in two Brussels neighbourhoods in 2012 but it was scrapped a year later.
The Zinne hopes to avoid a similar downfall of the currency by allowing traders to exchange their Zinnes for Euros. Individuals, on the other hand, will not have the same option.
A list of places that accept the zine can be found here.