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Group Currency - Tutorial

Tutorial commoncoin

Commonfare groups give you the chance to create your own currency to use within the group. This is an advanced feature that requires some technical experience to set up an instance of the Social Wallet API. While you can do this manually, we have sought to make the process more straightforward for those who have experience with Docker and Docker compose, command line tools, and a bit of server configuration.

If you want to know more about groups, check the tutorial.

Creating a currency

To create your Group Currency, you need to be an admin of the group.

Go to your group page, then click ‘Create currency’.

You will be asked to insert:

  • Name of the currency
  • Code of the currency (the equivalent of USD for US Dollars)
  • Endpoint
  • API key

Step 0001

How to get the endpoint and the API key

Note: this part uses more technical language. If you don’t understand, ask someone who might have experience with programming and servers.

For security and privacy reasons, Commonfare won’t host the instance of your currency. You will need to generate an endpoint and API key by yourself, which means also that you have the complete control on your group currency.

This means that you have to run it on a server of your own, which can be accessed from the Internet through a domain name or a IP address.

1) Set up your server

The first thing you need to set up is a server. If you don't have a particular preference, or you don't already have your own server, one option is to use the Amazon Web Services, which has a free option. In addition they provide detailed documentation to get started with Docker, which is important for the next step.

2) Install the Social Wallet on your server

The currency backend system is provided by an open source tool called Social Wallet, that you have to instantiate by yourself. There are several way for doing this, and the one that we suggest is by installing and running the ‘dockerized version’ of the Social Wallet on your server. You can find this dockerized version on github, along with the instructions for configuring and running it.

If you would prefer not to use Docker, you can manually set up the Social Wallet API (and get your Endpoint URL and API key) following the instructions here.

3) Add the endpoint URL and API Key in Commonfare

Once you have successfully installed and started the Social Wallet on your server, you can copy and paste the endpoint (e.g. and the API key in the ‘Create currency’ page of

4) Use the currency

Congratulations, the currency has been created: all the group members will now have their own wallet. They will be able to find it on their group page, and can make transactions with other Commoners in the group as you would with Common Coin (see the tutorial here).

Step 0002

Admins have also access to the central wallet. It works as any other wallet, except for the fact that this is the only wallet can have a negative balance, in order to be able to generate currency to be distributed to the group members.

Step 0003

Do you have questions or remarks about this tutorial? Write a comment below! is for, with, and by people.

Do you want to join? You will need only an email address, and we will never use it for other purposes.


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February 19, 2019 at 13:55

i have one question: the admin can only issue currency to all group members at the same time, and the same amount? but not to individual group members?

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February 20, 2019 at 14:46

The admin of a group has access to two wallets: the central wallet of the group, being a group admin, and its own wallet in the 'group currency', being a group member. The admin can send 'group coins' to any other member of the group from both wallets, so if coins are sent from the central wallet, they are actually taken from the (infinite) pool of the group coins, otherwise thay are taken from the admin's own wallet. In both cases the transactions can be done towards one member only, not to all group members. Hope this answers your question.

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February 25, 2021 at 02:29

Penso che l'utilizzo di Amazon Web Services, anche se comodo, sia poco coerente con i principi e i valori che questo tipo di comunità potrebbero idealmente portare avanti; non è che abbiamo altri fornitori di servizi in un qualche modo più "etici"?

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October 18, 2021 at 18:56

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