Finance

HullCoin: The inspiring ‘social’ cryptocurrency is launching

By Oliver Smith 23 November 2017
Image: Getty/pixelfit.
Summary

Meeting HullCoin creator David Shepherdson.

It’s been a long time coming, but Britain’s first local cryptocurrency is about to launch.

HullCoin – first envisioned by David Shepherdson back in 2014 when he worked at Hull City Council – is a digital currency paid to those doing “socially-useful tasks” which can be exchanged for discounts at local retailers or reductions in council tax.

Today HullCoin is at the forefront of the alternative economics movement, its current pilot of 140 retailers, 73 organisations and 4,000 active users is a leading example of how cryptocurrencies can impact local economies for good.

“I came from a community development background, with very little tech experience, so it’s been an incredible learning curve,” Shepherdson told The Memo.

Now Shepherdson reveals that he plans to launch HullCoin by February 2018, opening it up for all of Hull’s retailers and groups to get involved.

Money for good

During its pilot HullCoins have been given out via smartphone QR codes.

They’re issued by groups like charities, schools, community groups and hospitals to reward their members’ work, whether that arranging activities or meeting personal achievements like giving up smoking.

It’s an inspiring project, that’s grown a huge fanbase.

“We’ve attracted a huge amount of interest from across the UK,” said Shepherdson, pointing to proofs of concept that his team have developed for the Welsh Assembly and other local authorities.

Overseas, HullCoin’s developer has signed an agreement with Pittsburgh in the US, as well as organisations in the Netherlands and Greece.

“The idea of being able to utilise this kind of technology to reward social good is incredibly powerful, but successfully launching in Hull is key to our future right now.”

In the coming months, his three years of hard work will finally pay off, for the good of all Hull.

Read more: Should the UK have its own Bitcoin currency?