Every community wants more volunteer work – but it can’t and won’t pay for it. The Hullcoin seems to be the perfect solution. The British coastal town of Hull is now using the crypto currency as a reward for good deeds. And everyone involved is thrilled.
Volunteers in the British city will soon get more than just a nice sounding thank you. The city of Hull thanks the Coins of the same name for their voluntary support or social service. Every inhabitant of the city can get them for a good deed. Associations, schools, hospitals and even prisons can apply to distribute Hullcoins. Who gets how many is then at their discretion. This could be the young pupil who is involved in the retirement home in his free time. But also a chain smoker who does without the cigarette.
But what motivates an entrepreneur to promote social services?
The example of chain smokers makes it clear how the Hullcoin strengthens a community through subtle incentives. Smokers, that is proven, burden the health system. However, the burden for the individual is so low that we do not care about it. Nobody steals a smoker’s cigarette. The Hullcoin now provides a (small) additional motivation to leave the cigarettes stuck in the future.
Residents can get the coin in as many ways as they can, and they can spend it again in as many different ways. A growing number of enterprises and Dienstleistern accepts it as a kind coupon. The companies individually determine the discount in their business. A baker may give 20% on his assortment for each Hullcoin, while the sports shop offers 35%. Most participating companies offer a discount of ten to 50 %. Companies are somewhat less free to choose what they want to discount. Hullcoins are a social project and should not be applied to alcohol or cigarettes, for example. But what about fast food? A small ethics committee, of course run by volunteers, decides which projects are suitable. Any company from the community can apply.
Companies generally benefit from a strong local community and see the coin not only as a cash benefit or voucher. The companies can pass it on to their employees or customers indefinitely. It never expires. “They are like a loyalty card,” explains David Shepherdson, one of the program’s initiators. Due to the social component, the discount has a positive effect on the company’s image. Common discount battles often make the “brand”, i.e. the image of the company or product, suffer. This is where the circle of small positive incentives continues. Everyone in the community is better off and yet the general public benefits from it.
Value of the Hullcoin is not fixed
The Hullcoin has no fixed value as opposed to financial consideration. This is an important feature in the social field. There is no obligation to pay tax on this crypto currency. Also, recipients of social benefits may receive Hullcoins without fear of restrictions on state benefits. This is an important step to really involve all members of the community.
The Hullcoin is technically based on the Blockchain. Every transaction is stored and visible forever. For some, the crypto currency could also be a kind of attachment to their curriculum vitae. Many companies are looking for a distinctive social profile among applicants. Hullcoin’s transaction history now provides credible proof of this. At the same time, the demands on data protection are increasing enormously. An open Bitcoin architecture could reveal unwanted details. After all, the National Health Service (NHS) also rewards some patients with the coins.
The Hullcoin thus consists of a whole chain of small incentives, which place everyone in the community somewhat better, without which someone is disadvantaged. The honorary office and social commitment will be strengthened and expanded even more. Until now, the task has been seen as a dilemma, as there is often no money for adequate remuneration and not everyone likes to work entirely voluntarily. The Hullcoin could bridge this dilemma and motivate even more people to get involved.
The non-profit company Kaini from Hull is responsible for the conscientious implementation. The British government is supporting the project with 240,000 pounds (around 270,000 euros). The idea of rewarding social benefits with a complementary currency is also well known in Germany: The “Chiemgauer” sounds like another crypto currency, but has existed since 2003 – printed on paper. In the Bavarian region Chiemgau it has a similar