A new digital currency arrived in the UK city of Liverpool, with the initiative aiming to support small local businesses.
The Liverpool Local Pound is an app-based model, similar to other digital currencies used in Bristol, Brixton and Totnes. The function of the service is to record transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain network. The digital currency is linked to pound sterling, with one unit of the Liverpool Local Pound equalling £1.
A group called Independent Liverpool are behind the new service, with the technology provided by Israeli blockchain start-up Colu. Aimed at small independent retailers, the service is available for a monthly subscription of £25.
The Liverpool Local Pound gives small retailers a personlised service, collecting data to provide insights on customer loyalty and mapping out tailored discounting.
Technology provider Colu had previously trialled the blockchain network service in neighbourhoods in Tel Aviv, Israel and are now looking to introduce a new local currency to East London as soon as next month.
The company raised $9.6 million in June last year after specifically targeting the development of digital currencies in local communities.
“Local currencies are not a new idea, especially in the UK”, Colu CEO Amos Meiri told the Telegraph.
“The reason they never picked up and became something big is because they were managed by non-profit volunteers, but we are a very ambitious start-up with investors behind us.”
The digital currency in iverpool is already reported to have accrued 3,000 users.