At the beginning of the year, Uitmuntend Limburg, a non-profit association founded by Limburg.net, the province of Limburg, RIMO, Het Belang van Limburg and Fairfin, launched the LimbU, a new “community” currency aimed at encouraging good habits in sustainability, community support, local products and short supply chains.
In today’s world, the development of these types of initiative is not backed by “hard” currency. Which is why the LimbU, as a “local currency”, aims to contribute towards actively uniting all of the positive forces at work within the province, ranging from private individuals to companies, associations to the public authorities, by encouraging them to show support for building a greener, more welcoming Limburg. Now, the initiators of the LimbU are stepping their efforts up a gear to develop the LimbU’s own payment app and platform, in conjunction with The Studio, Belfius’s innovation laboratory.
The LimbU is a local community currency for everyone who lives in Limburg. To start earning LimbU, all you have to do is take part in constructive civic programmes. You can then “spend” your LimbU with a number of partners (museums, swimming pools, restaurants, local traders, provincial partners, etc.).
A digital currency (or “e-money”) payment platform needs to be based on cutting-edge technology and has to be entirely in line with official regulations. Wim Van De Putte from Uitmuntend Limburg explains: “It was not easy finding the right partner with the required experience and expertise. But from the very outset, The Studio, Belfius’s innovation lab, impressed us with its ability to understand this complex issue and its willingness to meet the challenge. In fact, The Studio has its own scalable platform for creating a digital currency based on blockchain, enabling us to access the Belfius e-money licence. This gives them total credibility as well as the necessary security.
The LimbU platform is currently available in all of the local council areas across Limburg. After registering on mijnlimbu.be, private citizens can take part in the sustainable programmes run by Limburg.net. At the present time, nine municipalities in Limburg have decided to operate programmes in aid of good causes with the LimbU. As a result, their residents are able to become involved more at the local level. This number is likely to grow exponentially in the years to come – particularly as the result of this partnership.”
Ronny Neckebroeck from The Studio: “We are honoured to be part of such a beautiful project. Developing the platform and payment app is a major step forward along the way towards making the LimbU project a professional and sustainable initiative. Working with Uitmuntend Limburg, we will make the LimbU a success – we are sure of it. And our experience in innovative digital solutions and blockchain makes us the ideal partner for handling the technological side of this great story.”
As the Belfius innovation laboratory, The Studio is by no means finding its way with the LimbU project. Working with Flow Pilots, it has recently developed a mobility platform aimed at schools and local authorities, enabling schoolchildren to earn “virtual ducats” each time they walk to school or go by bike. This unusual reward system, which is also based on blockchain technology, is currently being rolled out in three Belgian pilot municipalities: Bonheiden, Peer and Crisnée.
At the beginning of this year, The Studio also developed Pengo, an innovative service that enables individuals to send payment requests via instant messaging platforms such as Facebook, Messenger and WhatsApp. The Studio also founded the start-up BrightKnight, which operates in the automation of robotic processes.