Northern Irish capital plans its own currency – boom thanks to Belfast Coin? | BTC-ECHO
More and more governments, central banks and state monetary authorities are turning to the potential of their own cryptocurrencies. While the examples of successful government coins are currently scarce, most cities and regions are still shying away from the delicate challenge of having their own currency.
The first European city administration to take this step is the capital of Belfast, Northern Ireland. As the city council of the British exclave this Wednesday, May 8 in a press release announced, the metropolis wants to issue its own digital currency this year.
Belfast Coin rewards citizens for recycling
Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether and Co. you should not be able to exchange the so-called Belfast Coin simply using the British pound. Rather, the city wants to reward exemplary behavior: shopping locally, recycling, volunteering or participation in civic activities – for all this, the inhabitants of the metropolis soon receive incentives in the form of the Belfast Coin. This should above all cheer on the economy of the region.
We hope that the Belfast Coin will help local businesses to gain economic momentum and help the city council achieve long-term goals such as environmental improvements,
explains Grainia Long, Resilience Commissioner of the city, the motivation behind the cooperation with the British-Israeli Fintech Colu.
This provides us with the opportunity to explore how a city currency can bring together residents, businesses and city partners to support inclusive growth.
Amos Meiri, Managing Director of Colu adds:
The Belfast Coin will make an enormous contribution to the development of the city – economically, socially, ecologically and even beyond.
First, the city now wants to enter a pilot phase and find business partners, in which the citizens can pay with the Belfast coin in the future. If this succeeds, the official launch of the funding project should be made later in the year.
Rockefeller project aims to create defense mechanisms
The city currency is part of a broader regional promotion strategy. Since 2016 Belfast member of the Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities Initiative. In addition to Athens, Cape Town or Jakarta, this promotes cities and communities worldwide. The funds will be used to build up defense mechanisms for future economic, social and environmental challenges. On the other hand, initiative aims to create growth above all where these same challenges can already be felt today.
The fact that the Northern Irish capital is part of the worldwide resilience initiative is no coincidence. Thus, between 1998 and 2007, the former industry stronghold was behind London the fastest-growing economy in the United Kingdom behind London. However, the financial crisis hit the country hard. Since 2008, the formerly galloping growth stagnates. This year, the British exclave even recorded the slightest economic gain of all Britons.
Belfast and Brexit – Where is the future of Northern Ireland's economy?
It is also unclear where the future of the Northern Irish capital lies, despite a prolonged negotiating period to hard Brexit – and thus to a hard outer border between the UK and the EU. The fate of the inner-Irish border is considered the sticking point of the ongoing negotiations on the British exit. The Republic of Ireland insists on the free movement of goods and passengers between the brother countries. London, in turn, wants to prevent a special role in the United Kingdom, including at the price of customs controls.
Should such a hard border break out between the Irish Republic and the once contested Northern Ireland in October, this would not only bring devastating consequences for the economy on the green island. From the Northern Irish side, this would primarily hit the capital, Belfast.
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