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New Welsh currency to be launched to boost businesses

08 Dec 2020 3 minute read
Eifion Williams will launch Celyn at a virtual event on Friday.

Wales’ first complementary currency is being launched this week in what the organisers hope will provide a multi-million-pound boost to the post-covid economy.

Celyn is the creation of Circular Economy Wales who said that their aim is to form a unique complementary currency known as a mutual credit system for Wales.

Celyn has worked closely with the successful Sardex in Sardinia which was established in the wake of the 2008 global crash and is estimated to have saved the solvency of thousands of small and medium businesses.

Backed by the Welsh Government’s Foundational Economy scheme, Celyn is an innovative local currency that gives users an instant, zero-interest credit facility to spend with other businesses in the network.

In times of cash shortage and economic challenges presented Covid-19, Celyn aims to help community facing businesses and services to thrive and saving them from collapse as has been the case in other countries.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “The extraordinary scale of economic challenge we face in Wales requires extraordinary responses. The Celyn project brings something genuinely new to the pool of ideas we have available to us and demonstrates the success of the Challenge Fund in action.”


How does it work?

To acquire goods and services through the Celyn, a credit line is established.

Members typically use mutual credit for small, but essential transactions to acquire the stock they need to operate, safeguarded by zero interest.

Members then have 12 months to settle the debt by offering surplus goods, to the same value, to the membership – without using any cash.

As an electronic credit system where no interest is charged, participants pay fees to cover costs.

Eifion Williams, CEO of Circular Economy Wales explained: “Celyn is a practical solution to strengthening our foundational economy in Wales and will help entrepreneurs manage and grow, whilst supporting local businesses.

“We are putting Welsh communities on the map by launching Celyn. Whether it’s helping to keep cash in the business, providing access to tools and services you need, or opening the door to new customers and revenue streams, Celyn benefits everyone.

“Celyn can only operate in Wales – so all the activity it will create helps only communities in the Welsh economy.”

He estimated that if Wales had initiated a copy of Sardinia’s Sardex mutual credit system in 2008, and it had followed the same growth trajectory since then, Welsh SME’s would now be strengthened to the tune of £256 million in additional turnover and by a further £190 million saved resulting from using a SARDEX styled cashless Business to Business (B2B) transactions system.


Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport in the Welsh Government Lee Waters MS said: ““Trialling novel approaches to strengthen the Foundational Economy is a core objective of the Challenge Fund.

“The Celyn project is a great example of experimenting with an innovative approach to retain wealth within our local economies and communities, helping shore up those businesses we all depend on.

“I am delighted that Celyn has adapted an approach developed in Sardinia to reflect our local priorities and I urge business and public sector partners across Wales to engage in this project.”

If you are interested in enrolling to the virtual launch of Celyn on Friday December 11 at 10am you can do so here.

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