Wales’ Complementary Currency System, the CELYN

A means for SME’s to trade surplus assets with each other, acquiring what’s needed whilst increasing liquidity, inter-connectivity and resilience for Wales’ SME sector


Backed by the Welsh Government’s Foundational Economy scheme, Circular Economy Wales is to create a ‘mutual credit system’, that we’re calling the CELYN, to help SMEs in our communities to be more resilient and interconnected. Work begins soon on the consultation and we’ll go live, initially in North Wales, early next summer (2020). Wherever you operate in Wales, please fill in our expression of interest form below, our aim is to roll out the pilot Wales wide!

If we follow the same success trajectory as Switzerland, Sardinia and eleven Italian mainland regions, together we could help boost local economies in Wales to the tune of an estimated £450m over the next decade in money saved and generated.

The CELYN digital currency network will help SME’s and Social Enterprises exchange the surplus services and products they need to operate without using cash reserves or having to access high street loans. This will help our local economies in Wales to weather economic storms and maintain local jobs. As the system evolves, credit can be used by employees and customers and the system can even eventually be used to encourage steps towards more sustainable living amongst the public.

We’ll be assisted in the set up by the Sardex team from Sardina who benefited their own economy to the tune of 50million Euros last year alone. Wales is similar to Sardinia in that SMEs make up 99% of our businesses, so this has the potential to significantly boost our community economies in Wales.

How does Mutual Credit work?

Based on the older Swiss WIR, set up in 1934, the Sardex was established in 2008 and was hailed by the Financial Times and the New York Times as having helped Sardinia’s economy weather the 2010 financial meltdown.

Sardex in Sardinia 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, not the individual seller. The buyer can then pay back with their own surplus goods/services, to other SMEs in the network, in turn providing them with what they need. This has to be done within 12 months to keep the system flowing efficiently; in effect a credit line with no interest. The seller, in turn, records a credit to their Sardex account providing them with purchasing opportunity.

Participants are expected to keep their Sardex account level within individually agreed maximum credit or debt levels - usually a few thousand euros. 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.

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Would you like to use the CELYN? Are you a business, public sector or social enterprise organisation? Sign our EOI list today! We launch Summer 2020.

Sign up