The California city of Berkeley wants to launch an initial coin offering of tokens, backed by local bonds. The main aim of the ICO is to attract financing for programs for homeless.

Berkeley, known as a center of liberal political sentiments in the US, will be the first city in the US to attract financing for the city's budget with the help of the initial coin offering. Tokens will be secured by municipal bonds issued by local authorities. Token holders will be able to spend them in shops and restaurants, and also pay for apartment rentals.

The reason for Berkeley's administration to embrace a new method of funding is Donald Trump's reluctance to finance housing and support services in sanctuary cities like Berkeley, where the homeless population is growing as the city follows the policy of vast support of illegal immigrants, that includes prohibiting police or city employees from questioning people about their immigration status and refusing requests by federal immigration authorities to detain people.

The city counted nearly 1,000 homeless people last year. This represents a 17% increase from 2015 and a 43% increase from 2009, according to city data.

"Berkeley is the center of the resistance, and for the resistance to work, it must have a coin," Berkeley city council member Ben Bartlett said.

The Berkeley administration formed a working group to develop the strategy for the ICO, which includes specialists from IT-startups Neighborly, UC Berkeley Blockchain Lab.

It is expected that the ICO could be launched by mid-May after receiving necessary approvals.