An Ithacan reaches into his or her pocket. They are about to buy a movie ticket at Cinemapolis, but instead of grabbing a United States issued $10 bill, they reach for their phone. They pull up a new text message, which is linked to their online Ithacash account, type “Pay Cinemapolis 9.50” accompanied by their individual pin number and press send.
Ithacash or “Ithaca Dollars”, a new regional currency, will debut this May. Founder Scott Morris originally came to Ithaca in hopes of exploring what was happening with Ithaca Hours, a similar system that revolutionized local currencies when it launched in 1991.