HullCoin is first local government digital currency in UK

The British city of Hull has introduced its own version of Bitcoin to help local residents suffering after government cuts.

A UK city has become possibly the first to launch a local cryptocurrency for local people. HullCoin has been coined by Hull City Council to help local residents affected by the recession and government cuts.

Residents in financial difficulty take part in voluntary activities and are paid in HullCoin, a local version of digital currencies like Bitcoin. HullCoin can then be redeemed at a local food bank, for example.

"It's about people on low incomes, in financial distress, being able to subsidise to an extent and complement their incomes," Dave Shepherdson of Hull City Council told David Gilson of CoinDesk this week. "As the currency matures, we can extend, so people can pay their rent and utilities, (or) pay for food through this sort of service."

Because cryptocurrencies are not officially considered currency in the UK, the HullCoin payments do not affect residents' benefits.

HullCoin is a combination of cryptocurrencies Feathercoin and Ven, which is a lower value but more stable digital currency. Hull City Council is mining currency using computers paid for by a donation from a mysterious benefactor, on condition that the windfall was used to help the people of Hull.

Kingston upon Hull is a city of around a quarter of a million people in Yorkshire in the north-east of England. Named as the UK City of Culture for 2017, Hull is notable in technology circles for being the only city in this green and pleasant land with its own independent telephone network, complete with unique cream phone boxes and its own local broadband provider, Karoo.

Although not yet recognised under British law, the best-known digital currency Bitcoin is accepted in some shops, bars and pubs -- but mostly insufferable hipster ones. In the US, digital currency ATMs have sprung up, and recently took to the track with Dogecoin sponsoring a NASCAR racer.

Featured Video
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

Force Friday and the best of IFA 2015

Attention Jedi in training: today is Force Friday. Also, the best of IFA 2015, a new personal safety app explodes in popularity, and new 21.5-inch iMacs are coming.

by Jeff Bakalar