Due to a government that has had the vision to research the options Social Trade provide for the community, Uruguay has been the first country adopting a countrywide C3-initiative. The main reason to start activities in Uruguay was the lingering effect that the Argentinian peso crisis still had in this country that had been rather prosperous in earlier decades.
The C3 Uruguay harbors a double accounting system in which both pesos as well as dollars can be administrated. This reflects the reality of the Uruguayan financial system where the use of dollar has a agreed place. Consequently members have an account in which the units have the same value as the national currency – the Peso – and another where the units are nominated in dollars.
Important members in the C3U are the tax office the national pension fund and several important companies offering electricity, gas, housing, telephone and internet-services. The wide acceptance of the unit assures potential members that there are sufficient opportunities to spend within the C3 and is an important pillar in the growth strategy of the system.
Several Latin American governments have shown interest in this innovative approach to reinforce this important sector in society. The C3U example has been researched by SELA (Sistema Económico Latinoamericano y del Caribe) which organisation offered the Uruguayan government support in the dissemination of this STRO methodology.
Another important partner of STRO in Uruguay is the movement of cooperatives, who requested support to establish a dedicated inter-cooperative C3 that could cooperate with C3U.
Other targets of C3U is to establish a pilot that can be seen as a showcase how the C3 software called Cyclos can be used by Micro Finance Institutions to provide banking services to rural clients through the intermediation of mobile phones, using SMS for payments and other facilities. One can expect that once this pilot has been proved the potentials of this a second generation microcredit will start.