The Netherlands is about to become the first country to print money, according to a Dutch newspaper.
Amsterdam newspaper The Local said on Thursday that the government is considering issuing coins with the euro, a move that will allow consumers to pay for things like gas and rent, without needing a bank account or credit card.
The currency would be issued by the city of Amstel, located on the southern coast of the Netherlands, as well as in the Netherlands’ second-largest city, Utrecht, according the paper.
The move will be the first time the Dutch state has introduced a digital currency, The Local added.
The central bank said in May that it planned to issue 500,000 euros of banknotes, worth €9.3 million ($11.8 million), in response to an increase in the country’s inflation rate.
In the past, the Dutch government has been slow to introduce a digital payment system in a country where citizens and businesses are still mostly reliant on paper.
According to the paper, the government’s decision to move forward with the coin initiative comes as the country has been struggling with an economic crisis.
“The central banks are facing a very serious problem in the banking sector,” Bernhard Groen, a professor of economic history at Utrechts University, told The Local.
“I don’t think that it’s a matter of a shortage of money.
There’s just too much debt, too much inequality, and not enough of the kind of fiscal stimulus that we normally see from the central banks.”
The country has long struggled with a debt crisis, with the country having accumulated a staggering 2.6 trillion euros in its national debt since 2008.
In recent years, the country began to ease its debt burden by tapping into the countrys natural resources.
But that approach hasn’t been enough to get the economy out of a deep recession.