The city of Calgary became the first in Canada this week to offer its own digital currency, the Calgary Digital Dollar. Alberta’s minister of finance Joe Ceci unveiled the currency by buying a round of coffee using the dedicated app, Global News Canada reports.
The Calgary Digital Dollar is part of an initiative to promote the growth of small businesses and non-profit organisations throughout the city. The currency functions through a dedicated native application. Users can search for participating businesses through the app. In turn the businesses can determine the percentage of a transaction (from 10% to 100%) they choose to accept in Calgary Digital Dollars.
The application will also serve as an alternative to classified advertising sites like Craigslist and Gumtree. According to Global News Canada, “users can sell items for Calgary Dollars then use the proceeds to buy from local businesses.”
The currency is also being promoted with several rewards programs operated by the city. Gerald Wheatley, manager at Calgary Dollars and the Arusha Centre, outlined several benefits to Global News Canada: “You get five Calgary dollars for the first five ads. It’s a lot better than other classified systems, you actually get paid to post on it.”
Also, Calgary Dollars earned as rewards will allow customers to pay for local transit tickets. The currency also grants a 10% cashback bonus when used at the Victoria Park Business Improvement Area.