Shops to ignore pound coin deadline

Trade association says shortage of new coins means they will continue to accept existing version.
Thousands of shops are likely to ignore the Royal Mint’s deadline of Sunday to stop accepting old £1 coins.

A trade organisation representing 170,000 businesses has advised its members to continue taking the coins, because the changeover period with the new coins has been so short.

Mike Cherry, the national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses , said companies had embraced the new £1 as an invaluable way to reduce counterfeiting. Many had modified coin-operated equipment, while others separated out millions of old coins to be melted down.

“But the changeover period has been fairly short,” he said. “While no business is obliged to accept the old coins beyond the deadline, it would help if small firms knew they were allowed a short transition period to collect the old coins if they wish to, and are willing to bank them, but not give out to customers.

“This would provide a useful community service, allowing customers a few weeks to get rid of the final few pound coins in circulation.”

From midnight on Sunday 15 October, the coins will lose their legal tender status. After this date, shops and restaurants should no longer accept them. With a week to go, about 500m are still in circulation.

Poundland said more than 850 of its UK stores would continue accepting the coins until 31 October.

Barry Williams, the discount store chain’s trading director, told the Telegraph it was a “no brainer” to continue to accept the old coins.

“Providing an extra convenience for shoppers to lighten their pockets while doing the weekly shop, rather than making a separate trip to the bank or post office, will come as good news,” he said.

Advice for retailers on the Royal Mint website says: “You are under no obligation to accept the round £1 coin from your customers and you should not distribute the round £1 coin. Please update your staff on what they need to do.”

A Treasury spokesman said: “We will have received more than 1.2bn round pound coins by the time they cease being legal tender. We have worked with industry for over three years to ensure a smooth transition to the new more secure £1 coin.”

While major banks are encouraging customers to allow enough time to hand in their old coins, they have said they will continue to accept deposits of round £1 coins after 15 October.

The new coin, which resembles the old threepenny bit, entered circulation in March and has security features to thwart criminals.

The production of the new coins followed concern about round pounds being vulnerable to sophisticated counterfeiters. About one in every 30 £1 coins in recent years has been fake.

Token vs Coin — what’s the difference?

The terms ‘coin’ and ‘token’ are often used alike. In practice, there are some differences… sort of.
One of the problems of such a new and cutting-edge sector, particularly one that arises from the grassroots, is that regulation tends to lag behind the technology. The same is true of language. Terms are created and evolve as they are needed, and there is not always clear agreement about what they mean.
Two terms used to describe units of blockchain value are COIN and TOKEN. Their meaning and usage overlaps considerably and they are often used interchangeably, but — strictly speaking, at least — there are some differences.
Function vs form
Very broadly, a crypto coin is just that: a coin, or means of payment, whilst a token has wider functionality.
The express purpose of a coin is to act like money: as a unit of account, store of value and medium of transfer. Coins tend to take the form of native blockchain tokens like bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Monero (XMR), and so on, though they do not have to. ChronoBank’s Labour Hour (LH) tokens, which are hosted on Ethereum, can be considered as coins. Their purpose is solely to act as a form of money, storing value over time and enabling businesses to account and pay for services. They are created as ERC20 tokens for reasons of convenience.
Blockchain tokens do have value, but they cannot be considered money in quite the same way that a straightforward coin can. Tokens are generally hosted on another blockchain, like Ethereum or Waves: 2.0 protocols that allow users to create them using the core coin (e.g. ETH or WAVES — though there’s some debate about whether ETH and WAVES, both of which act like ‘fuel’ for their systems, are coins in the same way that BTC acts as a simple currency).
Tokens offer functionality over and above that of digital cash. They may deliver value to investors, beyond speculative returns; this is one of the purposes of ChronoBank’s TIME token. That can occur in a variety of ways, though typically through buybacks (since dividend payments entail regulatory problems). They may be used to hold votes by the community on key business decisions, or even technical changes to the platform.
Blurred lines
In practice, the line between coins and tokens is not clear and sharp. Both are used to transfer value, as a means of payment, in a similar way to that both USD and shares are used to reward people for work (though predominantly the former). It’s possible to host coins as tokens on 2.0 platforms, as is the case with LH on Ethereum. And the purpose of coins can go beyond simple payments; Crown (CRW), for example, uses batches of 10,000 coins locked in ‘Trons’ — masternodes — as a kind of electoral college for governance votes.

Whilst the language will no doubt continue to evolve with the technology, most people therefore agree on the broad strokes: coin = cash, token = everything else.