The Spanish city council of Lebrija has launched a virtual currency it calls Elio. But based on the report by Diario de Sevilla, the cryptocurrency will not be used for large payments but only for small and medium-sized businesses.
Elio is pegged to the euro, which means a single Elio is equivalent to one euro. For the first rollout of the digital coin, 600 families will be given between €20 and €200, and the funds can be spent in local businesses via the app.
Although December 31 was the initial deadline set for holders to use the token, some technical delays led to the extension to March 31, 2021.
Elio will be used to facilitate local transactions
The deadline to use the Elio was Dec. 31 but, according to the report, this has been extended until March 31, 2021.
According to the announcement, the main goal of the cryptocurrency is for the facilitation of local transactions in the COVID-19 period.
The city has also announced that it will send economic aid of 400 Euros to 393 local businesses who will receive the equivalence of the funds via the Elio virtual currency.
Mayor of Lebrija Pepe Barroso commented on the launch by pointing out some of the benefits. According to him, “it will ensure that the aid received is directly reversed in local shops.”
David Perez, who is the head of the City Council’s Technology Department, also commented on the development. He explained that the city’s cryptocurrency is pegged with Euro, users who want to enjoy its benefits would need to download the app.
About 165 shops and businesses in the city have already signed up and have started using the digital currency for transactions.
Elio will achieve a multiplier effect
Barroso reiterated that the use of Elio means that the economic aid will be invested directly in local business, which will improve the economy of the municipality. He advised people to download the app from the App Store and Google Play Store to handle Elio transactions.
According to the report, families can buy goods or pay for services in the city and get charged half of the amount with the virtual currency and paying the other half via traditional means.
And the incentive offered by the City Council will achieve a multiplier effect on the city’s economy, according to the report.
The launch of the digital currency is coming at a time when governments are paying serious attention to central bank digital currency (CBDC).