Liverpool's Own Digital Currency Keeps Banks Out of the Loop

By Gary Cutlack on at

Local currency expert Colu is trying to kick the banks out of small communities and businesses across the country, with its app-only digital currency popping up all over the place -- and in the form of the hyperlocal Local Pound Liverpool.

There's a massive list of Liverpudlian businesses that accept the digital money format on the Colu Liverpool site, which mostly includes places that'll sell you coffee, a sandwich, a quirky photo frame or some artisan venison sausages.

The idea is this; you use it like a virtual wallet, with the money going directly to small businesses and entirely cutting out the banks from the process. That's great for businesses, as card payments and the hardware needed to process them usually come with monthly subscription fees and/or transaction percentage charges, so that's more money going to the bearded baker or stressed looking coffee shop owner, and less on the way to the evil global machine's banking system.

There is a sort of catch to using it, though; any money you want to extract out of the app and convert into the more widely recognised pounds format as recognised by landlords and Easyjet, incurs a 1.5 per cent commission charge, which is how and why and the real reason Colu has bothered doing it.

If you don't like the idea of paying even that, try learning to be a plumber and offering to fix things for people in return for coffee and cake. That always works. [Local Pound Liverpool via BBC]

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