COVID lock downs have had a massive effect on the world’s economy. The UK has been especially hard hit as COVID and Brexit made it a double whammy affecting the economy in 2020. Many countries have had significant increased demand for banknotes and coins. In some cases, there have been shortage. In times of banknote shortage, local areas have sometimes created their own currency. The most well know version of this was post WWI Germany where Notgeld was common. While Wales has not experienced shortages of hard currency, they have created a currency for local use in 2020.

Great Britain 50 Pounds | 2006 | P-388c | Queen Elizabeth II |
Source: Banknote World

Wales own currency?

Wales’ official currency is the UK Pound. But Wales has a history of local digital currency called Celyn. This ‘digital currency’ is not a bitcoin or a cryptocurrency. It is basically a zero-interest loan available to the community to spend on local businesses. Also, celyn is backed by the Welsh Government’s Foundation Economy which focused on supporting local Welsh culture and identity. This approach has the name of circular economic system. Basically, one person takes a loan from the mutual credit fund, spends it within the cooperative and then within a year, pay it back through services, money or products. It is a pretty basic economic system, but one that is needed right now in places where the economy has been stopped by COVID lockdown. 

Symbol Of Celyn Digital Currency for Use in Wales
Source: Celyn Cemru / FB

Sardinia created a similar system in 2008 during the economic downturn at that time. Their system called Sardex created a transactional management system that Wales is adopting. You can learn more about it here.

What is amazing is that people will find ways to survive and be successful. Money or some common financial system is key to a community’s viability. Also, even in hard times, people will develop innovative solutions to benefit their neighbors.

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