The people of Scotland might soon have a new medium of exchange to use instead of the British Pound. No, we’re not talking an impending secession for the United Kingdom and the formation of a new state currency. The Scots could be on the verge of going crypto.
Back in 2014, ahead of the referendum vote for independence from the U.K, a Scotland-specific bitcoin knockoff called Scotcoin rose to prominence. The idea was to distribute the digital currency to all Scottish people, giving them an alternative ready to use if a “yes” vote were to be secured. Unfortunately, Scotland voted “no,” and while Scotcoin held stable for a while, it was migrated to the bitcoin blockchain as a digital asset late last year.
Now, the New Economics Foundation has created a proposal for a new digital currency to operate alongside the current system: ScotPound. The plan is to distribute 250 ScotPound to each adult Scottish citizen, allowing them to make financial transactions with increased ease and efficiency, putting Scotland at the cutting edge of the 21st century financial system, as well as strengthening the independence of the local economy.
Big disclaimer: ScotPound appears to be designed as a big government, Keynesian economics-based scheme. The idea is to stimulate the economy and increase the purchasing power of Scots, while supposedly avoiding an increase in the national deficit, through a stimulus package fused with new technological elements. Think of it as a crypto bailout. Still, this could end up being a good thing for a couple of (possibly unintentional) reasons: First, getting the people involved in a currency separate from the United Kingdom increases confidence in the idea of an independent Scotland in advance of a future secession referendum. And second, a people familiar with a digital cryptocurrency are much more likely to be amenable to using another, like bitcoin, completely outside of government control.
The new economy is coming. Could Scotland be poised to lead the pack?
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