The Community Exchange System (CES) started as an experimental online LETS in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2002. In 2003 it was launched as the first mutual credit platform on the internet. CES pioneered inter-trading between communities when exchange groups in other countries joined, creating the first global, alternative exchange network. These different systems link through ‘Clearing Central’, a bridging facility created by CES. In 2008 CES registered as a not-for-profit organisation.
CES Australia hosts 20 active LETS in Australia. It is run by an unincorporated, volunteer-run organisation, using a clone of the original CES software. CES Australia is focussed on building awareness of community exchange, promoting best practices, supporting group administrators, and redeveloping the online trading platform. CES Australia is supported by a 1% levy on transactions and donations from trading groups.