Complementary currencies are interpreted as systems which operate within different types of boundaries.
One of these boundaries, non-convertibility or a restriction on convertibility, distinguishes them from other non-official currency experiments.
The argument put forward in this paper is that a focus solely on the monetary aspects of these systems might pave the way for a neo-liberal model of currency multiplicity.
Only alternative currencies which are to some extent detached from the capitalist market offer a chance to achieve social and ecological goals. Furthermore, this theoretical approach offers a tool to critically assess existing complementary currencies and design new ones.