Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland wants to issue its own cryptocurrency as the digital currency trend continues to spread, Public Technology reports May 14, 2019. Belfast’s City Council plans to use the cryptocurrency as a way of encouraging residents to patronize local merchants and also to promote a sense of civic duty among the population.
Belfast Coin: Combining Cryptocurrency and Civic Responsibility
Reports indicate that Colu – a tech firm based in Israel developed the cryptocurrency for the Belfast City Council. There are already plans to launch the Belfast Coin later in 2019 for which project teams are running tests at the moment.
The city administration wants to use cryptocurrency adoption as a way of boosting the economy of Belfast while creating a societal landscape that encourages greater participation from all stakeholders involved.
Grainia Long, the city’s Commissioner for Resilience says that the Council will invite business owners to participate in the project, allowing consumers to make purchases using Belfast Coin. Commenting on the project, Long declared:
“Belfast Coin will be introduced later this year and it’s our hope that it will initially give an economic boost to local businesses, as well as helping the council achieve other long-term goals, including environmental improvements. This challenge gives us the opportunity to explore how a city currency can bring residents, businesses and city partners together to support inclusive growth.”
The project also includes an app which users will have to download upon the launch of the cryptocurrency. Residents in the city will earn points by patronizing local stores, volunteer work, and other civic duties.
Bespoke Cryptocurrencies Aplenty
Belfast joins the likes of Seoul and Dubai as major cities looking to launch their own cryptocurrencies as a way of boosting their respective local economies. Back in 2018, Seoul Mayor, Park Won-soon announced that the city had plans to create S Coin–a cryptocurrency for use within the South Korean Capital.
If Belfast’s plans become a success then it would be a break from the norm as far as state-issued tokens are concerned. The bear market of 2018 hasn’t been particularly kind to many locally focused cryptocurrencies created to spur internal economic revival.
Colu, the team creating Belfast Coin also developed a similar cryptocurrency for the city of Liverpool back in 2016. However, this project failed to gain any kind of foothold following the devastating and prolonged bear market period that characterized 2018.
City councils aren’t the only ones dabbling into cryptocurrencies. Large banks and corporations like JPMorgan, Samsung, Facebook, and Nike have also announced plans to create their own cryptocurrencies.