The Brixton Pound was launched at 7.30pm on 17 September 2009 as a physical paper-based currency and followed in September 2011 with the launch of an electronic B£ pay-by-text platform (retired in August 2018). The launch party was at Lambeth Town Hall. Rob Hopkins, David Boyle of nef and Derrick Anderson (Chief Executive of Lambeth Council) spoke to hundreds of curious Brixtonites. The party was a decided success with over B£6,500 issued. Brixton was the first urban community currency, and the launch had attracted mass-media attention. A pre-issue concept piece was pictured on blogs to advertise the event but was never printed.
As of 2018, around 250 businesses accept Brixton Pounds. Since the closure of the electronic platform, the team are looking at other ways of using a transitional system, including a blockchain approach to keep track of members' accounts. The shop currently has a lack of new B£1, but there are enough used notes in the system and no plans for a future reprint.
Brixton's most unusual claim to fame is their introduction of the world's first local currency 'ATM'. Set in the Brixton market, this ingenious machine dispenses rolled currency instead of the usual chocolate bars and bottles of fizzy drink.
Brixton is also unusual in Britain as having a community café as their centre. The Brixton Pound in Atlantic Road offers 'pay what you can' food and drinks, a cellar meeting room and a community hub, funded on the back of the pound initiative.
Most other currencies are printed with expiry dates, but the second and third Brixton Pounds do not feature one. As a result, the backing fund cannot be released for use by the scheme as it has to be retained to cover possible buy-backs. Some controversy exists if and when to retire the second issue.