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Belfast to introduces incentive-based digital currency

Belfast City Council has teamed up with tech firm Colu to launch the UK’s first local, incentive-based digital currency.

Belfast Coin will operate as a rewards platform, aiming to encourage locals to carry out “impactful behaviours to further improve the city”.

Residents will get coins in return for things such as shopping at local businesses, volunteering and civic activity. These coins can then be used for purchases at participating shops and restaurants.

Slated to launch later this year, the project requires participants to download the Colu app and link a payments card to earn and use the Belfast Coins.

Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Deirdre Hargey says: “Belfast Coin will be introduced later this year and it’s our hope that it will initially give an economic boost to local businesses, as well as helping Council achieve other long-term goals, including environmental.

“This challenge gives us the opportunity to explore how a city currency can bring residents, businesses and city partners together to support inclusive growth – a key priority within our Belfast Agenda.”