in Link Post

Circles – a Basic Income on the Blockchain


I have to confess that Universal Basic Income (UBI) was the primary idea I had in mind when I created this website’s Culture category. The fact that this approach uses a blockchain and cryptocurrency as it’s implementation just makes it ever more appropriate for me to post.

I’ve linked to Circle’s website as my primary source above, mainly because it seemed like the most polite thing to do. However, I think the best place to look for actual details is on github. Here’s a TLDR taken from there:

[…]based on individualized cryptocurrencies and a social graph of trust between these currencies. This money system will be for the purposes of distributing and maintaining a globally accessible Universal Basic Income. When new users join Circles, a new personal cryptocurrency is created for them on a smart contract-enabled blockchain. This currency is then regularly minted and added to their account, forming the basis of Circles’ UBI properties.

Personally I’m in favour of UBI, as it seems like a tide which genuinely lifts all boats equally. For me the first solution applied to the problem of equality should be one which lifts those at the bottom up. I think the possibility that some people might abuse the system and become lazy is secondary to that.

As to whether this is the right solution: I don’t know. It looks pretty good. It also looks pretty complex, though, and that’s a problem. The UK (my home country) voted against proportional representation some years ago. The main tool those in opposition used to discredit it appeared to be its complexity.