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Normandy acquires a local and digital currency, a first in France



In recent days, residents of the town of Saint-Lô, in the Channel, can pay their purchases with Rollons. This local and digital currency will soon be circulated throughout Normandy.

The "Fishing" in Paris, "Eusko" in the Basque Country, the "Gonette" in Lyon, the "Sol-violet" in Toulouse … and now the "Rollon" in Normandy. The president of the region, Hervé Morin (The Centrists), had promised in June 2016, it is now done: Normandy also holds its local currency. For now, this regional alternative to the euro, a first in France on this scale, is limited to the city of Saint-Lô, where the Rollon was put into circulation on June 29th. It will be gradually extended to all of Normandy during the summer and autumn. In the prefecture of la Manche, 80 traders (brewery, bookstore, grocery store …) are already willing to accept this currency.

Another originality compared to most of the forty or so local currencies Hexagon, the Rollon will be 100% digital. On a mobile application, users will be able to buy them for euros at an exchange rate at parity: a Rollon will be worth one euro. The euros thus converted will be deposited in a partner bank, Crédit Agricole Normandie Seine. The Normans can then pay their purchases via their smartphone or with their contactless payment card. A dedicated application will also allow them to geolocate the project's professional partners.

Promoting short circuits and organic products

Like other local currencies, Rollon's vocation is to encourage local commerce. Since they can only spend the money inside the region, its users are pushed to consume locally and resort to short circuits. The goal is to create a virtuous circle, by encouraging partner traders to settle their suppliers in Rollons. The initiative aims to be "eco-responsible": to join the Rollon network, companies will have to respect certain criteria, such as decent working conditions or the use of local or organic products.

The creation of local currencies was made possible by the law of July 2014 relating to the social and solidarity economy (ESS). This text recognizes so-called "complementary" currencies as a means of payment provided that a structure of the ESS is at the origin. It is in this logic that was created at the end of 2017 the association of the Norman currency citizen (AMNC) to support the Rollon. The choice of the name of this digital currency however returned to the Normans: consulted on social networks, they chose to pay homage to Rollon, the Viking chief at the origin of the Duchy of Normandy in the 9th century.

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