It has been done before and is in operation in a number of European cities already, which is why the Barcelona’s city council is preparing something similar.
The government lead by Ana Colau has announced that they are working on the design of a local digital currency, which will be used by local businesses and which will be implemented after a six-month trial period if the results have been approved by the community and are successful.
Part of the idea behind this new scheme is to reduce the costs associated with producing physical money. And official sources have reported that the digital currency can be exchanged with official coins and notes at any time.
The name of the new digital currency hasn’t been decided yet, but its purpose is to boost independent small and medium-sized businesses in Barcelona and prevent money being spent outside of the municipality. Businesses that sign up will accept payments for goods and services online or through a mobile device.
After the first six-month trial period phase, which will include seminars on its use and advantages, the results will be evaluated and its characteristics defined properly. Then it will be rolled out and put into use in the municipality of Barcelona.
Ana Colau, the new mayor of Barcelona since 13 June, proposed this idea in her campaign during the municipal elections. It is her aim to create this currency in order to develop local trade and commerce further, and in particular so that the wealth of the municipality is divided fairly between all types of businesses, whatever their size.
According to official sources, there are already 4,000 similar systems being used in cities all over the world. Amongst these are Bristol (with the Bristol pound), Toulouse, France (with the Sol-Violette) and Nantes, also in France.
For more information on how such a system might work, please visit: http://bristolpound.org/what