The UK city of Belfast is getting its own cryptocurrency, known as the Belfast Coin.
The result of a partnership between Belfast City Council and British-Israeli tech company Colu, it is being billed as the “UK’s first incentive-based digital currency” as it will function as a rewards platform for residents.
Participating residents will collection Belfast Coins for a wide selection of actions, including volunteering, engaging in civic activities, participation in environmental intiatives and shopping at local businesses.
Those who earn the cryptocurrency will then be able to spend it at local businesses, including shops, cafes and restaurants.
Belfast Coin: How the Belfast cryptocurrency will drive economic growth
The Belfast Coin, which is part of the Northern Ireland capital’s participation in The Rockerfeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities project, is designed to encourage positive everyday activities and support the ongoing use and development of local businesses.
It is hoped that its introduction will help not only to boost the city’s economy, but grow the sense of community within Belfast.
“Belfast Coin will make a tremendous contribution to the city’s development: economically, socially, environmentally and beyond,” said Colu CEO and co-founder Amos Meiri.
“Just as importantly though, Belfast Coin will bring all the different elements of the city closer to each other, by empowering residents, businesses, NGOs, community groups and educational institutions to work together towards the same goals.”
It is also hoped that the initiative will have a positive impact on the quality of life for Belfast residents, particularly given the city’s fraught and divided history.
“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,” said Lina Liakou, Managing Director for Europe & the Middle East at 100 Resilient Cities.
“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 catalyse inclusive economic growth and build a strong future for the entire urban community.”
The Belfast cryptocurrency will be launched later this year, with support already secured from businesses in the city’s Cathedral Quarter.