Sleepy Swiss city launches Tezos-backed Coronavirus help program

On Friday the Swiss city 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 help disbursement will probably be funded with a municipal credit score line earmarked for the Coronavirus and will probably 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 means of a smartphone app, “ecoo,” which will probably be utilizing the help program as a pilot trial for its platform. 

In line with their web site, ecoo is designed to assist entities equivalent to governments and occasion organizers distribute earmarked funds within the type of cash and factors, and was constructed on the Tezos blockchain by means 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 will later use to make purchases at native firms. Native enterprise homeowners can then convert the forex again into Swiss francs from the city administration, additionally through the app. 

Ruedi Rüfenacht, Mayor of Wetzikon, mentioned of this system: “Underneath the present circumstances it’s crucial for us to behave in favor of the native economic system in a sustainable method. With ecoo, we now have discovered a viable resolution to encourage the individuals of Wetzikon to buy in native shops as a substitute of simply shopping for on-line or from wholesalers outdoors our city. ”

Wetzikon will not be the one authorities that has explored utilizing blockchain expertise as a response to the Coronavirus. Financial institution of Canada exec Timothy Lane has earlier called on central governments to organize for Central Financial institution Digital Currencies (CBDCs) in an effort to encourage cross-border digital funds.