DCSIMG

Forget a currency union - here comes Scots Bitcoin

Could Scotland be set for its own Bitcoin? Picture: Getty

Could Scotland be set for its own Bitcoin? Picture: Getty

  • by MARTYN MCLAUGHLIN
 

WITH the debate over what currency Scotland would use in the event of a Yes vote this September at a stalemate, it is a 21st-century alternative.

Every Scot has been invited to claim their windfall of a dedicated national online currency designed to fend off the dangers of traditional markets.

Known as the Scotcoin, the cryptocurrency is envisaged as the Scottish equivalent to Bitcoin, the digital tender that is now recognised by nations and companies the world over.

Those behind the initiative say the new currency would offer people “another option” amid continuing uncertainty over whether Scotland would be able to keep the pound, describing it as a “Plan B” in the event of any potential “major disruption to the current financial system”.

Already, a handful of businesses across the country are accepting Scotcoins as payment, and Derek Nisbet, the architect of the voluntary scheme, believes more will follow.

“This is a one-shot opportunity for Scotland to truly become an international powerhouse if we can take back the power of our monetary issuance as credit, as opposed to issued debt with interest from privately owned and operated banking interests and cartels,” the Edinburgh venture capitalist explained.

“There has been interest from many people keen to see Scotland become its own entity, with its own financial interest and governance, but these interests should include a complete overhaul of the current financial and banking situation, whereby Scotland is neither governed by the privately owned Bank Of England or by the European Central Bank and Brussels.”

Nisbet, who left his job with a Fortune 500 firm after becoming disenchanted with the financial sector, stressed that the free market will ultimately decide how much the new currency is worth.

However, there are early indications of its modest valuation, with some firms allowing it to be exchanged against the pound. The first, Dornoch Castle Hotel in Sutherland, values one Scotcoin as the equivalence of two pence. Its maiden transaction saw a customer buy a dram of Benriach single malt for 160 Scotcoins.

Nisbet hopes to create a billion Scotcoin economy, with every adult resident entitled to 1,000 units. Existing businesses will be given 5,000 Scotcoins, while charities and start-ups can claim 10,000 and 25,000 respectively in an effort to kick-start its circulation.

He also stressed that the Scotcoin project is “totally non-political” and “not tied to any party or governmental organisation,” adding: “I wish that the Scottish people would be given all the facts, and that is not simply a vote to either stay within the Union or become a small state of Europe.

“There needs to be another option there, to withdraw from the Union and European Union, and create a sovereign state with its own government issued currency as credit. Why is this not an option?”

 

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