Kaini Industries, the company behind Hullcoin, has revealed plans to develop a new cryptocurrency that will be linked to the Hull’s community voucher Hullcoin through the use of smart contract technology.
Launched in 2014, Hullcoin is described as the “world’s first community loyalty point.” The token has no intrinsic value but can be used to redeem vouchers and discounts in participating vendors and retailers in the city of Hull, situated in the North East of England.
Kaini Industries’ CEO David Shepherdson and his six-person team created Hullcoin as a way to enhance cohesiveness in the community as well as to assist low-income individuals in making the most of their money.
Members of the community are able to earn Hullcoin through various methods, with the most prominent being volunteering in community programs. Once a user has completed a task in the program, they earn a number of Hullcoins, which they can then redeem in exchange for goods or services around the city.
Also, the platform developed by Kaini Industries can also be used in the issuance and tracking of aid. “The HullCoin (HC) platform has the capability within its design to supply credits or tokens that denote the issuance of aid. Like HullCoin the credits have no intrinsic cash value and act as an indicator, logged onto the blockchain, that work has been undertaken, or a contract has been delivered, releasing payment upon proof of work,” explained Shepherdson.
The technology can be used to ensure aid is given to the intended recipients while enhancing transparency throughout the process. Shepherdson added:
“In practice, the security of the HC ecosystem provides grant and aid distributors with a number of benefits including the eradication of fraud, transparency on what funds are where in the supply chain and an efficient payment infrastructure that can transfer funds globally and securely.”
Though Hullcoin has seen positive reviews around the city Hull, Kaini Industries now wants to create a cryptocurrency, with actual cash value, that would exist alongside the voucher token Hullcoin. This new digital currency would work like other digital currencies in that it would have a fluctuating value against fiat currencies.
Shepherdson believes the introduction of this new currency is important in order to facilitate the issuance of the Universal Basic Income (UBI); as technological advancements grow so do the fears that many people will lose their jobs to automated systems or artificial intelligence. UBI refers to a flat sum of money that a government would pay out to its citizens and is considered a solution to this challenge.
“Having a unit of value that is a net benefit to the community and economy, but isn’t money, fits well into the UBI model,” stated Shepherdson. The concept will be explained in detail through a whitepaper in the near future.
With the emergence of the Local Pound, Liverpool and the Local Pound, East London in the U.K., the new digital currency version of Hullcoin would become the third blockchain-based community cryptocurrency. It will be interesting to follow the developments of Hullcoin as well as the Local Pounds developed by Colu to see what effects community currencies will have on local economies. As the adoption of mobile payments increases, it would not be a surprise to see business improving by virtue of participation by merchants within these communities.