East London gets local currency built on the blockchain

Colu digital currency
CASH EQUIVALENT: Colu has launched Local Pound East London, its second digital currency in the UK

Residents across East London can now make mobile payments at small businesses with a local currency launched by Tel-Aviv-based digital wallet provider Colu which makes use of blockchain technology. The launch of the Local Pound East London follows a roll out across the northern city of Liverpool in February 2017.

“Colu’s digital wallet application supports buying local, offering an easy and convenient way to pay instantly from a smartphone while empowering local businesses,” the company says. It also offers “peer-to-peer (P2P) and customer-to-business app-based payment platforms facilitating digital financial transactions at local businesses.

“Built on open-source, blockchain infrastructure, Colu creates the digital equivalent of cash with the flexibility to handle millions of transactions in real-time, all of which are verified and authenticated using advanced security protocols. Colu’s open-source technology protocol allows for direct exchange of digital cash, revolutionising the way money is transferred, creating a true peer-to-peer economy.

“Colu provides participating local businesses with a digital toolbox — vital business tools to help them better compete with large retailers, including a business dashboard that replaces the need for point-of-sale systems.”

A video gives an overview of Colu:

More than 16,000 residents and businesses have begun using the Colu app in Liverpool since its launch earlier this year, according to the company. Colu has also launched “several digital local currencies” outside of the UK, including Israel, and has nearly 50,000 users worldwide who have spent almost US$1m at small businesses using the app.

“I’m often asked why we chose to launch currencies in places like East London and Liverpool,” says Amos Meiri, CEO and co-founder of Colu. “It’s because these areas have a unique combination of intense community pride, trendy new businesses and a bustling tech scene, making them the perfect places to build a new digital local economy.”