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East London Gets Its Own Digital Currency

Rebecca Campbell
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:57 PM
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East London has become home to its own local digital currency, which is aimed at encouraging spending at local businesses.

Launched by Colu, a Tel-Aviv-based blockchain-powered platform, the Local Pound, East London is the second digital currency that the company has launched. At the beginning of the year, Colu announced that it had launched the Liverpool Local Pound (LLP) in Liverpool. Since the arrival of the LLP, more than 16,000 residents and businesses have started using the Colu app, which has seen purchases being made at bars, fitness clubs, restaurants and beauty shops.

Just like then, the aim is to provide a quick and easy method for people to pay instantly through the use of a smartphone while buying local and supporting local enterprises at the same time. Pegged to the British Pound, the Local Pound, East London, gives residents the opportunity to deliver a stronger and more sustainable local economy and community.

The U.K. is witnessing a growing trend when it comes to digital payments and localized currencies. In Scotland, the Scotcoin has been accepted at a pub in Glasgow, which can be used to buy one type of lager in a bid to encourage the use of the digital currency. Through the use of an innovative technology it’s providing communities the chance to deliver efficient financial transactions, which in turn facilitate local businesses.

Amos Meiri, CEO and cofounder of Colu, said:

Small businesses are the backbone of the U.K. economy, and an investment in local businesses is really an investment in the residents of East London. By introducing the Local Pound, East London, we plan to change the way people think about money in the heart of the U.K.

Colu is hoping that by combining digital payment and localized currencies it will produce a new way of thinking that encourages the community to think more about what it is they are buying and who from. When money is spent within a local business a larger portion of the profit then gets kept within that neighborhood, which gives local businesses the chance to compete with bigger organizations.

Why, though, has Meiri chosen places such as London and Liverpool to launch local digital currencies?

According to the CEO, it’s because these places have the ‘It’ factor:

It’s because these areas have a unique combination of intense community pride, trendy new businesses and a bustling tech scene, making them the perfect places to build a new digital, local economy.

Featured image from Shutterstock.