Consumers in the Berkshires, western Massachusetts, United States area will soon be able to shop in-store and online, and complete person-to-person transactions using a digital version of the BerkShares local currency.
Digital BerkShare users will be able to download a mobile app, link it to their bank account, then transfer funds to set up and load a digital wallet with the currency they can use to make purchases at the 400 companies that currently support BerkShares in paper form.
âWith the app, they can use their phones or tablets to make purchases in BerkShares at participating businesses, much like they would use a commercial mobile payment system,â says BerkShares Inc, the non-profit organization. lucrative who issues and manages the currency.
âThe merchant subtracts this amount from the buyer’s BerkShares account and transfers it to his own.
âTo make sales, merchants can place a static QR code next to their cash register, which the customer scans, then enters the price and shows the cashier to confirm.
âAlternatively, a merchant can generate a unique QR code on their own device, which will automatically withdraw the amount from the customer’s BerkShares account.
âBerkShares can also be used to transfer money from one person to another or to an organization.
“Initially, such transfers will have to be made with both parties at the same location, but an option to do so from different locations is being planned.”
âBehind the scenes, digital BerkShares will use blockchain technology to facilitate ongoing transactions,â adds BerkShares Inc.
“The ongoing transactions will occur separately from the involvement of the two local banks where the deposit accounts are based.”
BerkShare was launched in paper form in 2006 to support cash recirculation and reinvestment within the local community by facilitating local transactions without “sending money outside the Berkshires to distant head offices and financial institutions” .
It is being deployed in digital form to “improve the currency’s ability to support the Berkshire economy”.
The digital version should be deployed “after the holidays at the start of 2022”. The first 6,000 businesses and residents to download the app and create a digital wallet will receive 10 digital BerkShares as a reward.