Can virtual currency change the socio-economic ways of doing things in Cascais?, Source: Giovanni Sighele, on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Cascais to reward sustainable behaviour with digital coins

Cascais to reward sustainable behaviour with digital coins

From Cascais to Cashcais

The Municipality of Cascais (Portugal) is working on a project with the New University of Lisbon and Nova SBE for the development of a local cryptocurrency to be used as a way to boost the town’s economy and to also reward sustainably responsible behaviour among the citizens. The currency will be called Cashcais although it is not yet determined whether to be used through a mobile application or a physical card.

The ambition is for the coin to bring about a circular economy

The virtual money allows you to accumulate points when performing actions as varied as recycling beverage packaging, making blood donations, using public transport or adopting an animal. These points can then be exchanged for goods such as tickets to shows, tickets to cultural facilities or biological products.

It will also involve receiving a cashback percentage in the form of Cashcais on the purchase of certain products. As is clear, however, this goes beyond purely economic considerations and extends into the social and environmental spheres. The Municipality argues that it will be meant as a way to rethink recovery in the post-pandemic times.

The initiative envisions encouraging “good practices that help reduce the ecological footprint and social disparities in the municipality will be rewarded in Cashcais", and “good practices or actions that promote the health of the citizens themselves and who help improve the quality of life will be equally rewarded” with this new virtual currency, as cited by Diário de Notícias.

According to the town’s mayor Carlos Carreiras, Cascais has been preparing for a virtual local currency since 2018 when the City Points application won the UN World Summit Award for digital innovation in governance and citizen engagement, becoming the first municipality to achieve such a distinction. A launch date for the digital coin has not been concretized just yet.



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