Colu is a blockchain-based local currency that’s already launched two currencies and has 50,000 users. Read our Colu review to learn more about the platform.
What Is Colu?
Colu is a blockchain technology platform designed to create digitized, local currencies. The currencies keep money circulating throughout a specific geographic area or community. In June 2017, Colu launched its second currency – the “Local Pound” – which will be used throughout East London.
The app functions similar to digital wallets. You can transfer money between addresses using QR codes. You can hold money in your wallet. Merchants can use the app to accept payments in the Local Pound.
The goal of Colu is to facilitate stronger, more sustainable local economies and communities. It lets locals pay “like locals” while giving local businesses a new way to connect with the community.
The company is led by CEO and Co-Founder Amos Meiri.
“Colu is about building communities from the wallet up, offering a way for locals to infuse their money with meaning by supporting local businesses…By introducing the Local Pound, East London, we plan to change the way people think about money in the heart of the UK”, Meiri said in press release announcing the launch of Colu’s Local Pound.
East London’s Local Pound is the second currency launched by Colu. In late 2016, Colu introduced the Local Pound, Liverpool. Since then, over 16,000 local businesses and residents have started using the Colu app daily.
How Does Colu Work?
Colu is built on open-source, blockchain infrastructure. That blockchain is the digital equivalent of cash. It can handle millions of transactions in real-time, while also verifying and authenticating those transactions using advanced security protocols.
Like other blockchain payment platforms, Colu allows for the direct exchange of digital cash. It creates a P2P economy with no need for a middleman – like banks with their high transaction fees and surcharges.
Users access Colu through a straightforward wallet infrastructure. It looks like other cryptocurrency wallets you may have used in the past. You can view your balance, transfer money to another Colu user, or accept money through your QR code.
Meanwhile, merchants have a digital toolbox filled with the tools they need to accept and manage payments. There’s a merchant dashboard that replaces the need for point-of-sale systems, for example.
Overall, Colu wants to foster a sense of community among local areas. It wants to help locals support independent businesses, while giving businesses a more efficient way to manage payments. Here are some of the key features:
- Easy to Pay: You don’t need to bring your wallet or credit cards with you. You can use Colu’s digital wallet to pay at local businesses.
- Find Retailers Through the App: The app features a map of local retailers that accept payments via the Colu app. Scroll through the list or the map based on your desired category – like bars and restaurants or clothing stores.
- Get More for your Money: Businesses offer discounts and special deals for customers using Colu currencies. You can build a relationship with your local merchants while also getting special “locals only” rates.
- Instant Mobile Payments: Pay right from your phone without reaching for your wallet. Basically, the merchant displays a QR code, and you scan that QR code using the Colu app.
- Mobile Support: Colu is available for iOS and Android through the app stores.
Colu is led by CEO and Co-Founder Amos Meiri. The company is backed by venture firms like Aleph and Spark Capital. Although Colu is best known for its two UK-based currencies, the company has also created currencies outside the UK – including Israel.
Colu also recently equipped Barbados with the technology needed to launch their own digital currency.
So far, there are approximately 50,000 Colu app users around the world. Those users have spent approximately $1 million through the Colu app.
The company’s About page describes itself as a “team of 40+ people” who are a mix of “tech enthusiasts, blockchain experts, product visionaries, and design virtuosos.”
Colu is based in Tel Aviv, Israel. In June 2016, the company announced that it had raised $9.6 million in seed funding, which followed after a $2.5 million seed round in 2015.
Originally, the company focused on creating colored coins technology – a top-level protocol on the bitcoin network that allowed bitcoins to represent other assets. However, the company felt there was a bigger opportunity in local currencies.
Colu aims to empower local businesses while making it easier for locals to shop locally. It introduces a unique concept – a local currency that’s only accepted in certain geographic locations or communities. So far, the app has already attracted 50,000 users.
In Jun 2017, they introduced their Local Pound to East London, which follows in the footsteps of local Israeli currencies and a Local Pound in Liverpool.
We’ll keep you updated on Colu as the company continues to grow!