Colu is the digital equivalent of physical cash that lets you exchange with your peers and merchants directly. It gives you real-time economic data, scales to address any size and evolves to adapt to future digital ecosystems without having to worry about transaction fees. Colu does this by using blockchain technology. This is the same technology used by Bitcoin.
What is Blockchain?
A blockchain, as defined by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), is a data structure that makes it possible to create a digital ledger of transactions and share it among a distributed network of computers. Using cryptography, the ledger can be manipulated by participants of the network securely without a central authority.
So with blockchain technology, you have digital cash, which you can use just like any other currency with instant and secure payments. For a basic primer on what blockchain is, you can check the WSJ blog.
Colu describes itself as economy in a box, because it is a complete solution that lets you create a local currency and build a local economy. With blockchain technology, it makes digital cash just like the cash in your wallet, providing secure person to person payments without fees.
While the backend may be complicated, Colu has implemented a three step process to let you create your own currency.
The Control Panel
An easy to use interface has all the tools you need in the control panel. It provides the applications to create, manage and monitor your currency. This gives each user complete access to how the currency is being used with ongoing audits.
The Mobile App
The Colu mobile app, available on iOS and Android, allows users to easily and securely send and receive payments directly. The app lets you discover participating merchants, pay without fees and keep track of transactions.
The merchant tools in Colu, can distribute local currency, manage transactions, expand offerings and help the business get discovered. Small businesses can create currencies to support their local communities by conducting financial transactions without any fees.
Small Businesses and Colu
As Colu says, the use of local currencies gets more people to shop, eat, buy and live locally. This lets small businesses create a sense of community with an inclusive local economy that brings residents and other merchants together with a payment system that doesn’t cost them a thing.
The value of money is derived from the exchange it offers. If everyone agrees a 10 dollar bill will get you $10 worth of goods, than that is what it will be worth. And similarly, Colu and other crypto currencies can have the same value if that is what it is worth to all the users. Colu is effective, flexible and available, with the added benefit of giving its users more control of their currency.
The challenge is adoption, which might take a while depending on existing financial infrastructure, ICT and the demographics of the population.