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Belfast to launch city-wide digital currency this year

Image Via Irish News

Mon, 13 May 2019, 12:00 pm UTC

Belfast City Council has entered into a partnership with UK & Israel based tech startup Colu to launch a city-wide digital currency.

Dubbed “Belfast Coin,” the digital currency will operate as a rewards platform, encouraging residents towards impactful behaviors to further improve the city. It is the UK’s first city-wide digital currency designed to encourage positive everyday activities.

Residents would be able to receive Belfast Coins in return for activities such as shopping at local businesses, volunteering, civic activity, and more. The token will be accepted as payment at local businesses across the city, including shops, cafes, restaurants and more. Residents will be required to download the Colu app and connect a payment card as a source of payment.

Slated to launch this year, Belfast Coin will be introduced as part of the city's participation in 100 Resilient Cities. Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC), the organization helps cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social, and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century.

Earlier this year, the members of 100RC's global network were called upon to work with Colu to develop a city-wide currency. Belfast was one of six cities invited to participate in a workshop at Colu's Tel Aviv office, and is now advancing towards the next step of implementing the city-wide currency.

Colu said that the project will currently focus on signing up a range of partners and building an ecosystem of stakeholders. This may include major institutions in the city, such as large employers and higher educational institutions, who intend to boost economic and social growth in the city.

"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 Council achieve other long-term goals, including environmental,” Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Deirdre Hargey said.

“This challenge gives us the opportunity to explore how a city currency can bring residents, businesses and city partners together to support inclusive growth - a key priority within our Belfast Agenda. It's also really exciting to be working alongside other global cities to learn from each other about urban problem-solving and sharing best practice."

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