Colu, the company that digitalised the way we support our local businesses, are back with big plans.

Not content with simply sidestepping the banks as described by the BBC, they have recently announced plans to launch Liverpool’s first cryptocurrency, which will be issued as a reward when spending in local businesses.

Don’t worry if you’re not totally clued up on the crypto world, we’ve delved into it for you and found that this could be extremely exciting for Liverpool. We also used our time with Colu to ask them all the questions you’ve wanted us to ask.

What is a cryptocurrency?

Put simply, it is a form of currency, except it’s exchanged digitally without the use of notes and coins. It is decentralised, meaning that it doesn’t have a central issuer or regulator which essentially gives all network participants a stakeholding. Cryptocurrency is issued and exchanged by a form of technology called blockchain, which creates a very secure system that works for the participants; not for lining the pockets of bankers!

Check out this guide to blockchain for some more info https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WG7D47tGb0&feature=youtu.be

What are the benefits of cryptocurrency?

Security

One of the main benefits is how secure the platform is; information stored through blockchain technology is considered unhackable. Wide-scale use of cryptocurrencies could also prevent financial crime and data theft.

Open-sourced coding

This allows talented developers to build extra benefits into the technology to enhance the network further, think Minecraft for money!

Low cost

Using blockchain to send, lend or accept money can be done on the blockchain for a fraction of what banks charge for the same services.

Trust

Participants in a network are stakeholders and validate transactions, the blockchain can’t be manipulated by whoever issues it for their own benefit. This building of trust allows for community finance options that traditional banks are often too inflexible to support.

What does the cryptocurrency mean for Liverpool?

Supporting local businesses has a positive impact on our community in a few ways. Firstly more money stays in our economy when spent locally (65p of every pound, compared to 35p spent in a chain), it keeps people in jobs and creates a real community.

By rewarding everyday purchases made at local businesses, there is more money kept in Liverpool to allow for investment in the community. By receiving a cryptocurrency reward for supporting local businesses individuals acquire a stake in their local communities, becoming, in part, an ‘owner’ of their local community. The value, or worth, of the community coin is determined mostly by the total amount of purchases made with the Colu wallet in your local community, but also by fluctuations in cryptocurrencies.

Who are Colu?

Founded in 2014, Colu are a blockchain company that launched in Liverpool in December 2016. Since then they have begun working with 315+ businesses across the City and Wirral areas. Despite the main team not being based in Liverpool they have invested significantly in the city and the launch of their cryptocurrency is a step to showing of that it is now the Liverpool community that will join in the success of Colu, through the Liverpool coin, in an open source and decentralised way. Complicated, but exciting.

How do small businesses benefit?

Small businesses benefit from not paying fees to Visa or there bank, who ultimately don’t provide as much value as the Colu App to local communities. If small businesses pay local suppliers with money collected through the app, they pay 0 fees, again helping to inspire more money to circulate in Liverpool.

How Do I Get My Hands On Some Crypto?

Download Colu and click opt-in! Then complete £30 worth of purchases at local businesses (there are over 315 to choose from) by June 13th and you’ll be one of the first to receive Liverpool’s first crypto reward!

Open your app, top-up, opt-in and support local.

Find out more about Colu’s Liverpool cryptocurrency here: https://www.cc.colu.com/

If you have any more queries or if we haven’t explained it well, give Verity an email on [email protected]