The Swiss city of Witzicon, formerly known for its idyllic pastures and churches, on Friday launched a blockchain-based program to support small and medium-sized local businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The first payment, estimated at 250,000 Swiss francs (280,000 USD), will be funded through the Coronavirus Municipal Line of Credit and will be distributed to nearly 25,000 residents of Wetzikon in the form of an electronic voucher of 10 Swiss francs.
Residents can access the payment via the ecoo smartphone app, which will use the tool as a beta guide for their platform.
According to their website, the ecoo is designed to help organizations such as governments and regulators distribute earmarked funds in the form of coins and points, and it was built on the Tezo blockchain as a result of a collaboration between Swiss companies Papers AG and several of Farner Consulting’s subsidiaries. . AG.
In the app, residents will be able to transfer their coupons to “WetziKoins”, which can then be used to shop at local businesses. Local business owners can then convert the currency back into Swiss francs with the city council, also via the app.
“In the current situation, it is important that we work for the benefit of the local economy in a sustainable way. With ecoo, we found a viable solution to incentivize Wetzikon residents to shop in local stores, rather than just buying online or from Wholesalers outside our city. ”
Wetzikon isn’t the only government investigating the use of blockchain technology in response to the coronavirus. Bank of Canada CEO Timothy Lynn urged former central governments to prepare to use central bank digital currency (CBDCs) to encourage cross-border digital payments.