With the aim of boosting Wales’s economy by around £450 million over the next decade, CELYN will help local economies in Wales weather economic storms and maintain local jobs.
The digital currency network allows SMEs and social enterprises to exchange surplus services and products without using cash reserves or having to access high street loans. As the system evolves, credit can be used by employees and customers and will eventually be used to encourage the public to live more sustainably.
The set-up of CELYN will be supported by business-to-business system Sardex, which operates in Sardinia.
How does Mutual Credit work?
Based on the older Swiss WIR, set up in 1934, the Sardex mutual credit system was established in 2008 and was hailed by the Financial Times as the reason Sardinia was able to weather the economic crisis in 2010.
Sardex allows small and medium-sized enterprises within the local membership network to participate in the inter-trade of the goods and services needed to operate instead of using cash, bank transfer, or credit cards to settle transactions.
The euro-denominated amount, which in our case will be sterling, is recorded as a debt that the buyer owes the Sardex network of members, rather than the individual seller. The buyer can then pay back, with their own surplus goods or services, other SMEs in the network. This has to be done within 12 months to keep the system flowing efficiently; in effect, a credit line with no interest. The seller then records a credit to their Sardex account, providing them with a purchasing opportunity.
Participants are expected to keep their Sardex account level within individually agreed maximum credit or debt levels. Members must buy as well as sell, and the net amount of credit or debt on purchases and sales made on their Sardex account should net to zero over the course of a year.
Interested in participating in the Celyn once rolled out? Sign the EOI form so that we can get in touch as soon as the roll out reaches your area of Wales.