Liverpool, home of the 1960s English rock band, The Beatles, has become the latest destination to launch its own digital currency.
Launched a month ago by Colu, a Tel Aviv-based technology company, the Liverpool Local Pound (LLP) already has over 3,000 users.
Colu, which has already issued two digital currencies in Israel, decided to expand to the city in the North West of England after being contacted by Independent Liverpool, an organization that has many small businesses in the city, according to a report from The Telegraph.
According to Amos Meiri, CEO of Colu, local currencies are not a new idea, particularly in the U.K., but that the LLP will be different.
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.
Colu is expected to launch a digital currency next month in East London, called the Camden Pound, which will also be pegged to the pound, like the LLP, equalling to £1.
Anyone with access to a smartphone and the Colu app can utilize the LLP where users can top up their digital wallets with a credit card and perform transactions with quick transfers of money between accounts. First time users will be credited with five free LLPs.
A £25 monthly subscription charge will be taken from Colu merchants for the service and the technology company is planning to levy a 5 percent fee on users when they take money out of circulation.
It is hoped that this will encourage users to spend their money with local suppliers.
This is not the first digital currency to be launched in the U.K.
Aside from the Liverpool Local Pound, other local currencies include the Bristol Pound and the Brixton Pound. There is also the Totnes Pound and the Lewes Pound.
Far from shying away from embracing digital currencies, the U.K. is demonstrating that it is keen to keep up with technology. The fact that the issuance of digital currencies also encourages locals to buy and sell locally provides an incentive for more people to try the currency out and learn more about it.
Further afield, countries such as South Korea and Senegal are also considering implementing their own digital currencies.
Next month, South Korean FinTech startup BlockChain OS has announced its planning to launch a new digital currency called BOScoin, which it claims is an improved version of digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Senegal has also revealed that it will be introducing a national digital currency based on blockchain technology, which will be legal tender alongside the CFA Franc, which is the country’s national currency.
With banks such as the Bank of England and the Bank of Canada launching their own digital currencies and the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) completing a digital currency trial on a blockchain, financial institutions are keen to introduce their own digital currencies.
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