We had to take the sad decision in the middle of 2023 at last to close Bristol Pay CIC (formerly Bristol Pound CIC), as we were no longer able to deliver any meaningful work for the community. We tried for three years to raise funds to create Bristol Pay, as a potential way forward for local currencies, delivering social and environmental impact through radically rethinking our concept of 'the economy' and 'economic power'. But despite trying every approach we could think of, we couldn't raise enough to get the project off the ground.
We are aware that there is an ongoing interest in the work we were doing, and hence the decision to set up this site. Through this site, you can contact us for information to help with your local currency projects and academic studies. You can also buy souvenirs. Finally, we are in the process of writing a book documenting the entire history of the organisation, which will be available here in due course (estimated to be spring 2024).
If you'd like to pre-order a copy (scheduled to be published in September 2024), please click the link below. It will take you to the crowdfunder supporting the publishing of the book. The crowdfunder will operate for the whole of November 2023.
The Bristol Pound operated from 2012 to 2021. It was the first local currency to have digital and paper money from the outset, and the first to enable the payment of local taxes in the local currency.
Its aim was to raise awareness of the importance of localisation of trade, for reasons such as reducing food miles (and thus reducing CO2 emissions), and building community wealth by trapping money in the local economy.
The thinking behind Bristol Pay was very different. It aimed to provide a non-profit closed loop payment platform, diverting some of the estimated £60m per year (2019 figures) that leaves the city in digital payment charges, and using that money to support the local voluntary sector.
Additionally, it was to have a series of fun challenges, helping people to experiment with day to day lifestyle changes that could make a positive social or environmental impact, like taking shorter showers or getting involved with community projects. Think of it like a fitbit - but with impacts well beyond physical fitness.
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