Sleepy Swiss town launches Tezos-backed Coronavirus aid program

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On Friday the Swiss town of Wetzikon — previously best-known for its idyllic pastures and church buildings — launched a blockchain-based program to assist small and medium-sized native companies affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Valued at 250,000 Swiss francs ($280,000), the preliminary aid disbursement will likely be funded with a municipal credit score line earmarked for the Coronavirus and will likely be distributed to the roughly 25,000 inhabitants of Wetzikon within the type of an eCoupon price 10 Swiss francs. 

Residents can entry the disbursement by way of a smartphone app, “ecoo,” which will likely be utilizing the aid program as a pilot trial for its platform. 

In keeping with their web site, ecoo is designed to assist entities reminiscent of governments and occasion organizers distribute earmarked funds within the type of cash and factors, and was constructed on the Tezos blockchain by way of a collaboration between the Swiss corporations Papers AG and a number of subsidiaries of Farner Consulting AG. 

On the app residents will be capable of convert their coupons into “WetziKoins” that they’ll later use to make purchases at native corporations. Native enterprise house owners can then convert the forex again into Swiss francs from the town administration, additionally by way of the app. 

Ruedi Rüfenacht, Mayor of Wetzikon, mentioned of the program: “Below the present circumstances it’s crucial for us to behave in favor of the native economic system in a sustainable method. With ecoo, we’ve discovered a viable answer to encourage the folks of Wetzikon to buy in native shops as a substitute of simply shopping for on-line or from wholesalers exterior our town. ”

Wetzikon just isn’t the one authorities that has explored utilizing blockchain know-how as a response to the Coronavirus. Financial institution of Canada exec Timothy Lane has earlier known as on central governments to arrange for Central Financial institution Digital Currencies (CBDCs) in an effort to encourage cross-border digital funds.