Monday 31 March 2014 9:09 am

Move aside Bitcoin, here comes HullCoin?

Follow Peter Spence

Hull City Council is jumping on the wave of enthusiasm surrounding cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Dogecoin, with the launch of its own currency, HullCoin.

Hyperlocal currencies are nothing new with the Brixton Pound, Stroud Pound, and Totnes Pound having all grown from a desire to protect local business by ensuring value stays within a local economy. But HullCoin is the first example of a cryptocurrency filling this space.

Additionally Hull City Council says it will use HullCoin to pay its poorest residents and voluntary workers. The council says that HullCoin can be used to tackle poverty by allowing these groups to pay rent or council tax, and in time could be used to buy food and goods from the local economy.

“We have agreed to take HullCoin in the Hull food bank, so if someone presents themselves for a food parcel, we will be able to print them a wallet number, and we will then issue them with the equivalent of three free hot meals through a network of community cafes. We will be able to turn their food parcel into hot meals through issuing a digital currency – that is where the value is created,” said Hull City Council’s financial inclusion support officer Dave Shepherdson.

Hull says that it hopes HullCoin will go beyond tackling poverty and will emerge as a widely adopted local currency. Hull City Council’s welfare rights manager Lisa Bovill said a ‘Hull Bank’ for the city’s cryptocurrency was the long term goal.