November 8, 2018updated 03 Jan 2019 3:38pm

Blockchain for good: Universal Basic Income cryptocurrency launched by eToro

By Ellen Daniel

Investment platform eToro today announces the launch of the GoodDollar experiment with $1m in funding from the company.

The aim of the experiment is to reduce global wealth inequality through a concept called Universal Basic Income (UBI) cryptocurrency, using new technologies underpinned by blockchain.

UBI is a concept where all citizens receive a regular sum of money to go towards the cost of living and stimulate a country’s economy. With the emergence of cryptocurrency, several platforms have been looking into ways of using blockchain as a way of implementing and distributing UBI.

Launched at Web Summit  2018 by eToro CEO and co-founder Yoni Assia, GoodDollar is an open source community project  that aims to do just that, assist “local communities, non-governmental organisations and governments in experimentation with and implementation of UBI policies utilising novel blockchain based solutions”.

How would a universal basic income cryptocurrency work?

GoodDollar aims to create a non-speculative universal basic income cryptocurrency to find ways to reduce wealth inequality on a global scale. It uses a global distribution mechanism deployed via smart contracts to continuously distribute to any verified participant for free, creating a global, open UBI.

The platform will incorporate a monetary inflation mechanism designed to benefit the poor by allocating them most of the newly minted currencies.

The use of a transparent, decentralised system also combats issues with corruption or bureaucratic inefficiency.

Yoni Assia  believes that the idea could go some way to alleviating inequality:

“Inequality is the crucial economic challenge of our time. In 2017 just 1% of the world’s population owned more than half of the wealth. With the rise of technology unemployment, the tech industry needs to find solutions for those with less to participate in the economy and pursue their purpose.

“The merging of blockchain technology, growing support for UBI and the realization that wealth inequality must be reduced, may finally converge into a new global economic system that would give all humans the financial freedom to pursue their purpose and happiness.”

eToro is calling on “brains, ambassadors and funders” to join the initiative.

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