The Brixton Pound now has a cash machine - but opening hours may be a problem...

 
Emma Haslett
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The ATM will be open until 11.30pm (Source: brixtonpound.org)

There we were, thinking local currencies had been replaced by bitcoin hysteria. But it turns out one local currency is soldiering on - and has now gone as far as to get its own cashpoints.

Today the creators of the Brixton Pound unveiled their latest innovation - an ATM. But there's one significant drawback: the machine isn't always open.

Yep, according to the currency's creators, it'll only be available from 8am-11.30pm Tuesday to Sunday, and 8am-6pm on Mondays. Which means if a locally-sourced, late-night kebab takes your fancy of a Saturday evening, you're going to have to use your standard English pounds to buy it.

Launched in 2009, the Brixton pound was the UK's second local currency scheme (after the Bristol pound), and was designed to support local retailers by encouraging those living in the area to spend their cash with local retailers.


The ATM is on Market Row in Brixton Village (Source: Brixtonpound.org)

At the time, the scheme was well supported by the public sector, and continues to be - the cash machine is funded by the Mayor's High Street Fund, its creators said today.

After a flurry of similar schemes were launched during the recession (including the Totnes Pound and the Stroud Pound), things went a bit more space age with the introduction of Hullcoin, a cryptocurrency using blockchain technology.

The machine "gives locals and visitors to Brixton an opportunity to experiment with money that celebrates community and creates conversations rather than closes them off", enthused Tom Shakhli, one of the Brixton Pound's creators.

He added: “Our cash machine is the latest in our challenge to the conventional view that we’re moving towards a cashless society.” Hmm. Let's see how that works out.

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