Joel Robideaux, the Mayor-President of Lafayette Parish in the US state of Louisiana revealed last week the local government had brought up a proposal to develop its own digital currency.
The city-backed cryptocurrency should be released through an initial coin offering (ICO), a fundraising course that has ended up with a negative image due to several scams. Robideaux included a mention of the plan in his annual address at the Heymann Center, where he spoke of Lafayette as a tech hub.
If the project is accomplished, Lafayette will not be the first US region to come up with its own crypto coin. In February, we announced that Berkeley, a city in California, planned to conduct an ICO to release its own digital currency and collect funds for social projects.
Robideaux said the region needed a digital currency to “develop solutions targeting government inefficiencies, and, more importantly, alternatives for financing public infrastructure.”
He emphasized that cryptocurrency should not be associated with money laundering or other illegalities on every occasion. He said:
“It’s not just a bunch of global libertarians that want unregulated, untraceable and secure digital currency transactions. It’s the recognition of global stakeholders that the world of banking, finance and payment systems is forever changed, that the world of healthcare, government and possibly every other industry is about to be disrupted.”
Despite his confidence in the project’s prospects, Robideaux did not give specifics of how the municipal cryptocurrency would work – for instance, Berkeley’s digital coin is expected to be backed by municipal bonds. He unveiled that the funds collected from the ICO would be used to “build a living lab of blockchain researchers and developers.” However, the costs and the location of the proposed lab were not revealed though.
Besides blockchain, other creative technologies like artificial intelligence augmented reality, and machine learning should represent a priority for the government, was Robideaux suggested.