How a coastal town on the Portuguese Riviera modeled a coin for the post-pandemic economy
The world is yet to witness the full potential of cryptocurrencies when it comes to changing and modeling socio-economic systems.
Cascais, a municipality in the Lisbon District of Portugal, is preparing to launch an innovative cryptocurrency, developed for boosting the local economy while incentivizing sustainable behavior, Diário de Notícias reported.
Dubbed Cashcais, the coin is poised to drive a circular model of production and consumption–changing socio-economic ways of doing things in the coastal resort town.
“We have been working for more than a year with Universidade Nova de Lisboa, and with Nova SBE, to set up this entire process of local digital currency, very much based on the three main vectors of sustainability–social, environmental, and economic”, said Carlos Carreiras, Mayor of Cascais, about the project that has been carried out in a partnership with the two universities.
The official launch date has not yet been announced, but Carreiras had already taken on this project as one of the pledges for the start of his third term.
According to the town authorities, the launch of Cashcais is expected to “stimulate the local economy in the municipality.”
“Whenever users make purchases from participating partners, they will receive a cashback–a refund of a percentage paid,” the municipality explained the underlying economic objectives.
With regard to the environmental and social areas, “good practices that help reduce the ecological footprint and social disparities in the municipality will be rewarded in Cashcais.”
The Cashcais accumulated can be later used for purchases from participating partners.
In prep since 2018
“Cashcais’ strategic vision is to be a currency for everything and everyone, establishing a circular economy in the municipality,” explained the municipality.
Carreiras described the coin’s issuance as “a gigantic step forward,” which he believes will be followed by many local authorities worldwide in an effort to “increase the local economy while safeguarding social cohesion and the preservation of natural resources.”
An inquiry is being carried out “with the objective of evaluating and analyzing the market, in order to incorporate the interests of the citizens in the design of the currency,” the municipality assured.
According to Carreiras, the municipality has been preparing to issue a local cryptocurrency since 2018, when Cascais’ City Points application won the UN World Summit Award for digital innovation in governance and citizen engagement–becoming the first municipality to achieve this distinction.
The awarded application allowed citizens to accumulate points when performing certain actions such as recycling, giving blood donations, using public transport, or adopting an animal.
Cascais’ City Points can be exchanged for local goods and services, including tickets to shows, cultural venues, and biological products for sale at Quinta do Pisão–with offers and exchanges varying over time.