Naples mayor rails against the euro, calls for municipal cryptocurrency
It going anywhere might be a long shot, but it would definitely be a unique addition to the cryptosphere.
In an extensive multi-part Facebook post, Luigi de Magistris, mayor of the city of Naples in Southern Italy, has called for a new municipal cryptocurrency to break the city free from "unfair" debt and "anti-Southern discrimination."
The detail-light, rhetoric-heavy post railed against Italy's national government and the "potentates who rule in Rome," and described the euro as a "putrid" currency that would not be recognised by Naples.
"Before a government with obvious anti-south traction... working to hijack most of the resources towards the rich, giving only alms to the south, we must launch an historic challenge, never thought nor implemented so far," de Magistris wrote.
A cryptocurrency for Naples, he suggested, could be the key.
The scree has recent parallels around the world, most notably with the Catalonian Independence drama. As with Catalonia's governors, de Magistris has highlighted the tourism revenue brought in by his own region and its significance to the country as a whole, while maintaining that the region is being drained by the capital.
Naples isn't the first region to look at cryptocurrency as a ticket to greater economic independence.
Venezuela might be the best known example with its Petro, but its disastrous launch probably hasn't instilled much confidence in the potential of national or pseudo-national cryptocurrencies.
Russia might be another clear example. They are exploring different types of national cryptocurrency with the explicit goal of undermining the US dollar's prominence as well as trying to roust potential allies for a BRICS multinational cryptocurrency and generally aiming to get into cryptocurrency on the ground floor.
Iran might be another clear example, although it seems unlikely that Naples' governors see their region as being in similar shoes. Iran is moving towards a national digital currency out of necessity, given the stranglehold of US sanctions on one side and the stark example of Venezuela on the other.
India is also exploring a national digital currency, although it's motivated more by sheer practicality and the ever growing costs of minting physical money.
It's not clear whether Naples will really be following through with its mayor's demands, but if it does, it will probably be a fairly unique case. National digital currencies are an increasingly crowded field, but pseudo-national regional financial independence currencies are still an exotic oddity.
Maybe the closest equivalent is New York Coin.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VET, XLM, BTC and ADA.