The City of Hull has taken monetary rewards to the next level by introducing its very own personal crypto-currency.
Volunteers and workers across the city may soon be able to receive discounts at their local shops and even reductions on their annual tax, thanks to the Bitcoin-like technology that values social tasks.
Named ‘HullCoins’ the initiative is an application of the blockchain technology used in digital currencies and has won £240,000 in government and charitable funding.
The purpose of the crypto-currency is to encourage integration within the community and to boost the social deeds residents carry out across the City.
Compared to Bitcoin, HullCoin is not a crypto-currency that can be bought with hard cash; instead it is earned by doing ‘social’ tasks that benefit the community. Residents can then use the currency on a discount basis, rather than straight payments.
Residents can earn HullCoins by undergoing various community tasks such as helping children to read, running youth clubs and arranging pensioner activities and then coins are given our as a QR code on mobile phones.
Even achievements or milestones such as giving up smoking will be rewarded as the action has a benefit on the community, by reducing the burden and costs on the health services.
Introducing the crypto-currency can benefit both the community and its residents massively, with the community getting beneficial contributions and activities and volunteers/workers earning their contribution.
More so, using HullCoin across other merchants and other areas of the community will give the entire city an economic boost by drumming up business for local companies and bring returning customers, as well as giving back to the community and boosting the social environment people live in.
Furthermore with the ‘coin’ that is earned the recipient has a description of the task they carried out in a reference style, which can help those struggling for employment give a reference when needed if applying for a job.
Organisations that can distribute HullCoins include community groups, charities, schools and job centres once approved.
HullCoin is currently in beta testing, with 800 volunteers, 73 issuing organisations and 140 retailers offering discounts. Plans for launching the currency is aimed at January 2018.