Electronic tokens will let residents register for secure online identities with the city, redeem rewards and make their wishes known via polls.

The City of Dublin is about to embark on a blockchain-based venture. Dublin awarded a $150,000 contract last November to Columbus-based Software Verde, and CEO Joshua Green says his company is wrapping up work on the technology.

The contract has three goals: To allow citizens to register for a secure online identity with the city, to reward community volunteerism and to keep a finger on the pulse of the city using a blockchain-based polling method.

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The unique “simple ledger tokens” to be issued by Dublin are intended as a small incentive to folks who sign up for the digital identities and also those who volunteer in the community. They might be spent, for example, on Dublin pride merchandise such as hats or T-shirts. But the tokens won’t be worth actual cash.

Dublin also wanted to create a secure, immutable polling system for residents about matters of interest in Dublin, such as new city initiatives or engineering projects.

All three components will be implemented using a relatively new iteration of blockchain technology.

Green says he believes Dublin is the first city in the United States to issue its own tokens though a few other U.S. cities have issued their own physical currency for local bartering.

Cynthia Bent Findlay is a freelance writer.