A somewhat small city of around 100,000, somewhere in the middle of America in Texas, might be at the forefront of the 21st century if a mayoral candidate for the City of Lewisville gets his way.
Winston Edmondson, a former banker and a former techie as well as a contributor to SiliconAngle, says:
“As Mayor, I want to develop a municipal cryptocurrency. The City of Lewisville and its residents could benefit greatly from this technology. We could use it for everything from raising money for our police departent to making it easier for average citizens to invest in our municipal bonds.”
In effect, he wants to tokenize city debt, using the raised funds to pay for additional police officers and to build a Multigenerational Center.
Instead of raising taxes and make everyone pay, he plans to give a twist to bonds in a way that makes paying “taxes” voluntarily, or at least part of them, by raising money through transaction fees.
“Citizens could pay for goods and services from Lewisville businesses that accept Blue Coin, and each transaction would generate funds for the police department,” he says.
Actual details are sparse, making it somewhat unclear whether this would be limited to only residents, or whether he plans to tap global markets.
Nor is it clear whether there would be any demand form global markets if the latter is chosen as this would be a first of its kind once it launches.
But for residents he says he has spoken to a number of local businesses that are willing to accept the tokenized bond to be called Blue Coin.
“If two businesses have a similar product offering, but only one accepts Blue Coin, which business do you think citizens who want to support the police will go to? That provides a strong incentive to join the program.”
This would obviously be an experiment as no one has tried it before, raising questions regarding whether enough people would use it.
With only experience able to show, but if they’re getting a library out of it, or more police on the street, you’d think they might even consider it a civil duty to use it.
“One of the things that’s exciting about this space is that we’re so early that people have the opportunity to experiment.
They have the opportunity to come up with something that doesn’t have a clear path to success just to see what happens, to throw something up against the wall.
This will either work or it won’t. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, someone will think of something else,” Jason Tyra, a Dallas Certified Public Accountant who specializes in cryptocurrency, says.
This is an election promise, with Edmondson running against incumbent Mayor Rudy Durham who said “the city should not be involved in creating any currency.”
So it remains to be seen how Lewisville residents will vote this May, but the idea seems to be an interesting experiment that could work and potentially could work big.
The city of Berkeley, California, is considering of doing the same thing, so it might be just a matter of time at this point until someone tries it and we can all see whether it would be beneficial to bring bonds to 21st century markets.