THE man behind one of the world’s most successful digital currencies has said proposals for a ScotPound (S£), unveiled in a 64-page report earlier this week, could help revolutionise the world economy.

Dan Andersson is co-founder of LEOcoin, the third-largest traded digital currency behind Bitcoin and Litecoin.

The New Economics Foundation (NEF) launched the currency plan in association with social and economic group Common Weal and said the S£ would boost the economy, benefit business and position the country as a world leader in financial innovation.

Andersson welcomed what he described as “NEF’s innovative proposal” and told The National: “Digital currencies have the potential to revolutionise the world economy. What has held them back to date is their accessibility. The NEF’s proposition of a ‘ScotPound’ is exactly the kind of ambitious thinking that could really bring digital currency home to the consumer.

“LEOcoin is already leading the way in demonstrating how a secure, internationally tradeable currency, existing outside the financial status quo, can galvanise the SME sector. I see no reason why it cannot radically change the way governments do business too. Once the dam is breached we’ll likely look back and wonder how we used to do finance any other way.”

The Commons Space team will hold a series of S£ launches in Glasgow and Edinburgh next week, including a briefing at Holyrood.

NEF said the digital currency would bring in an extra £200 million in tax revenues for the Scottish Government, would support small businesses and return spending power to the thousands of people in Scotland without a bank account or access to financial services. It would also establish a new public-interest institution “BancaAlba” as the sole issuer of S£s, which would operate a not-for-profit payment system called ScotPay.

NEF said this would be free to use for businesses, individuals and government, with transactions by mobile phone SMS or apps, online, or with voice recognition software. Everyone on the Electoral Register in Scotland would have an account opened with BancaAlba and would receive a citizens’ dividend of S£250. The NEF said this would add around S£15m to the money supply every year.

Duncan McCann, a researcher in economy and finance at NEF, said: “Over the past 25 years we’ve built up this experience of looking at smaller, community-based currencies. But there’s a gap between the very small community currencies and these large legal tender currencies which are the dominant form.

“What we’re proposing for Scotland is taking the learning that we’ve got from the past 25 years and applying it to a larger scale so we can start to see those macro-benefits.

“During the independence referendum the debate around currency was at best confused and at worse full of disinformation and the UK Government saying ‘Scotland could never use the pound’, which was absolutely not true.”

He added: “We had a number of supporters and trustees of our organisation asking us to become involved, but unfortunately that came too late to impact the referendum.”

McCann said it was something “that could be done today”, although he preferred a lead-in time of up to two years to “set it up properly”.

Common Weal director Robin McAlpine, said: “A digital currency is the kind of idea a modern, innovative and entrepreneurial government should be exploring. The process would also be instructive for a nation which might conceivably one day have to create its own currency.”

Professor Nigel Dodd, from London School of Economics, added: “Given that the currency question played a major role in the Scottish referendum debate last year, I have no doubt that the proposals for a ScotPound will inform future discussions in Scotland. NEF’s proposals are extremely clear and convincing.”