This article has been updated to clarify that the belfast coin will not be based on blockchain.
Authorities in the United Kingdom city of Belfast have partnered with Israeli payment firm Colu to issue their own digital token, a press release confirmed on May 8.
Colu, which operates local digital currency ecosystems in four cities, will issue belfast coin later this year in a bid to support local businesses.
Colu has clarified to Cointelegraph that the belfast coin will not be based on blockchain technology. Although the Colu About Us says that they are powered by blockchain at press time, a Colu spokesperson has clarified that the app is not actually blockchain-based.
The digital currency scheme comes as Belfast participates in the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities project, and will significantly benefit its progress, according to Colu.
“Being selected to be part of the city currency challenge means an important opportunity for Belfast, and I'm delighted that this has been made possible through our partnership with 100 Resilient Cities, and working with Colu,” Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Deirdre Hargey commented in the press release.
In contrast to Colu’s coins in London, Liverpool and Israel, belfast coin will contain an incentive element, rewarding participants for performing tasks such as civic volunteering.
As elsewhere, local businesses will form the backbone of the new ecosystem, accepting the coins via Colu’s app.
According to the company, the largest local cryptocurrency scheme in Tel-Aviv has seen usage by a quarter of the city’s 435,000 population.
“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. He added.
“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.”
As Cointelegraph reported, cryptocurrency awareness in the U.K. is increasing, with a top lawyer last week saying the economy should step up preparations for the technology’s increasing ubiquity.
In December of last year, the Canadian city of Calgary also announced plans to launch its own digital currency for paying for goods and services at local shops. Dubai’s government-backed digital asset payment system will allow consumers to use the currency to pay for goods and services as well.