Many governments have been a little skeptical of digital currencies, expressing concerns with the volatility and security of these cryptocurrencies, but one is taking the exact opposite approach. On Wednesday, the Belfast City Council announced that they would be the using a digital currency specifically catered to their local community to help businesses and residents in the city.
Belfast Coin is the brainchild of Colu, a tech company based in the UK and Israel. It will be a locally based digital currency that is intended to help the city boost its economy while also meeting its environmental goals.
Colu currently operates digital currencies in four different cities and will be providing the payment platform. While Colu is used to developing these kinds of coins to be used by local municipalities, they acknowledge that they will not be using blockchain technology for the development of the platform to use for the program, despite the fact that they have used this technology in a number of other projects.
In Belfast, people are very excited about the opportunities that this presents for the city. “Being selected to be part of the city currency challenge means an important opportunity for Belfast, and I’m delighted that this has been made possible through our partnership with 100 Resilient Cities, and working with Colu,” explained Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Deirdre Hargey.
Colu has had a great deal of success with these coins in prior endeavors. They have worked with municipalities in Tel Aviv, Liverpool, and London with great success, and co-founder Amos Meiri sees this as a great opportunity for Belfast. “Belfast Coin will make a tremendous contribution to the city’s development – Economically, socially, environmentally and beyond.”
The Belfast Coin will be included as part of a presentation when the city is named as one of the 100 most resilient cities. This is part of a presentation from the Rockefeller Foundation that recognizes those cities that have remained resilient through tumultuous periods of physical, economic, or social challenges, yet have found a way to thrive.
As part of this award, the cities were encouraged the city administrators to partner with Colu, and this led to Belfast decided to make a partnership. Lina Liakou, one of the managing directors of the 100 Resilient Cities project, explained:
“As Belfast looks to the future, a chief concern will be maximizing important assets like its high quality of life while reducing a range of challenges including the social and economic disparities which exist between residents.
“The Belfast Coin is an innovative example of how the city, throughout its resilience process to date, has partnered with its public, private, and individual stakeholders to catalyze inclusive economic growth and build a strong future for the entire urban community.”
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