Before the pandemic, Moacir Conceição Ramos made his living flipping burgers for customers doing odd jobs in the stylish houses on nearby Ponta Negra beach. These days, instead of cash, his customers pay with a digital currency known as Mumbuca, which is accepted only in Maricá. Mumbuca has become like 'oxygen for the economy", says a founder of the digital payments platform, E-dinheiro, on which it runs. Maricá 's basic income program provides a monthly stipend in Mumbucas to more than one quarter of the town’s population, and town funding for registered 'microentrepreneurs' allows informal workers to stay home as the virus spread. More than 40 municipalities across Brazil use E-dinheiro to help towns like Maricá circulate their own currencies, keeping money in circulation locally.

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