They're not exactly the U.S. dollar. Or the Japanese yen. Or even the British pound. The global recession and the weakening U.S. dollar
have brought increased attention to local currencies, virtual currencies and units of accounts that don't quite make it as official tender. Unlike the almighty greenback, most
alternative currencies have not been recognized by national or local governments as the official means of exchange.
Nevertheless, depending who you ask, they have purchasing power and fulfill a niche -- whether for an investor looking for a safe investment, a small baker looking to draw local
customers or a jet setter in search of work space virtually anywhere in the world. Fortune
takes a look at some currencies that aren't quite currencies.
NEXT: Special Drawing Rights