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Basic income

guakaguaka Member Posts: 18
Automation is a great way to make human life better. But middle class jobs are disappearing. And I think some form of basic income is an important element to increase overall human happiness in the 21st century.

Auroracoin is an interesting step in this direction, where every Icelander will get a fixed amount of money. Only once though. For a basic income scheme to work money will have to be transfered every week or month. That is not an insurmountable problem with crypto. As @vitalik pointed out in the MSC skype chat:

have two kinds of tokens
class A tokens and class B tokens
class A tokens are nontransferable
1 per person, issued somehow
^ is the hard part
each class A token spawns N class B tokens per month, and perhaps also lets you vote
class B tokens are just money

Now the hard part, how to make sure that one person can not end up with 2 class A tokens? Vitalik wrote quite a bit about that here: http://bitcoinmagazine.com/7235/bootstrapping-a-decentralized-autonomous-corporation-part-3-identity-corp/ - but I don't yet see how this could work in practice. It's quite easy to copy someone's DNA, so it can't be just based on that. (http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/02/how-hide-your-genome could help with this part.)

For Auroracoin the hard part has been solved through the existing tech used in Iceland, but I think until another decade or so basic income is mostly needed in countries with a lot of poverty and high inequality in Asia and Africa.

I'm very happy to work on realizing a kind of basic income coin. Ethereum looks like a better platform to play with this than forking an existing coin.


  • mimarobmimarob Member Posts: 33
    Hi you seem to have come to the same conclusions regarding this as I have. Biometrics do not have these one sum for each distributional properties.

    My solution so far for this is to search for something that can be done (preferably online, dunno the 3d world status on this) but only humans can do. By keeping the humans preoccupied with this invented work, we make multiple personality benefits virtually impossible. The produce, if this cannot be made by computers, would have an inherrent value even though it is unusable as such, similar to craftsmanship such as hand-made carpets or perhaps paintings. People working inside this system would be self-suffient which is good because then we don't have to hear complaints from tax-abolishionists and alike.

  • MajikMajik Member Posts: 11
    How about maybe a digital ID coin that weeds out frauds and fakes over time through transparent social reputation and rating, community activity and engagement and identity safeguards all built in. To get this implemented sooner, I think government ID and Auroracoin example are good starting points. With some built-in flexible features, it can be made adaptable to different regions based on their needs and circumstances until they all reach a comparable global level of income that meets basic needs no matter where one lives. It seems a Coin/DigitalID/Contract built on Ethereum should be able to handle all this.
  • LeanLean Member Posts: 28 ✭✭
    @mimarob, don't worry about the third world. By 2025 everybody in this planet will have free Internet access. Companies like Facebook and Google are pushing hard to make it happen in the next ten years (and as an example, in India there are more cellphones and smartphones than WC toilets). The real issue is how you identify all the people... still lots of people born and have no identification at all, so how can you equally distribute a basic income if you are not registered and belongs officially to the system?
  • mimarobmimarob Member Posts: 33
    Great to here the internet connectivity is spreading, I heard it from another source six months ago.

    I also looked into go as a possibility, just don't really know how to go about it. Should we have people playing against computers or do we pose a more static go-problem, kinda like a sudoku? Could the problems to solve be auto-generated?
  • guakaguaka Member Posts: 18
    Well, Facebook is even trying to make it free to access Facebook, but not to other sites, which leaves me with mixed feelings.
    I'm much more excited about WMF's initiative: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Wikipedia_Zero - but of course there's not much money in there.
    Maybe the cryptocurrency world can come up with a better solution, that will connect *everyone* for free? It would definitely be in the spirit of a basic income for all.
  • dyamanakadyamanaka New MexicoMember Posts: 11
    edited March 2014
    I like the idea of basic income, but it MUST have stable purchasing power. This alone is a problem.

    If the A tokens are generating B token-money every month, you will get inflation. And if the velocity of B tokens escalate, you may even get hyperinflation and then a crash.

    MMO games have this same problem. They try to stabilize the game currency by withdrawing currency from the economy through fees. The idea is to maintain currency inflation between 0%-1%. But this narrow target is hardly ever reached.

    Putting on Tin-Hat...
    As for ID registration. The elites are planning to use RFID chips implanted for every person on the planet. Those who refuse, will get ostracized from the economy.

    I know this is not what you're saying. But the idea of government ID just makes me nervous. Vitalik's idea of community consensus sounds like a better way to go. It's not limited by trivial borders. We ALL live on Spaceship Earth (reference to Buckminster Fuller).

    Good luck with your idea :)
    Post edited by dyamanaka on
  • SatCaSatCa Member Posts: 29
    I like what you're saying. The problem can be solved, but then we'd require a completely remapped internet distribution network. Network providers will not let go of their power easily, can't blame them either.

    Will definitely work with you on a solution for this one if you shall lead me.
  • mimarobmimarob Member Posts: 33
    I had the idea of letting the better and better solutions to work / games have punch each other out, that way it will be a risk to buy a produce creating a hot-potatoe inflation effect. The old solutions are still there for view but can no longer be traded.
  • SatCaSatCa Member Posts: 29
    @mimarob: If you want the idea to cover only your country, then you may be able to evaluate/estimate...(I like your non-interventionist strategy though). I'm assuming we want a global solution, globally some of the market inefficiencies are protected by governments. That is a major issue. I'd love to have fresh brainstorming sessions on my forum. Would you care to join me there??
  • JasperJasper Eindhoven, the NetherlandsMember Posts: 514 ✭✭✭
    How do those self-regulating communities identify other valid self-regulating communities, though? I dont think a community can grow very large before they run into problems?

    Also, afaict the best such a system can do is to be Sigil proof, if invalid groups/persons are always below some level.

    If the coin is ultimately accepted by shops, themselves controlled by people, there is a way out a compromised system, burn over the UBI coin and start over.
  • SatCaSatCa Member Posts: 29
    Jasper, If you think about it...why is it that when we grow large we run into problems??
  • ranfordranford Member Posts: 25 ✭✭
    Great discussion, and I think the basic income is a really important concept and is only a matter of time till there is a truly global version (it would be nice if it were running on ethereum). Id agree with majik that a combination of gov IDs, social reputation systems will develop to the point to reduce the issues of multiple identities, and I can imagine that the cost of being found out and being excluded would also become a deterrent.
  • SatCaSatCa Member Posts: 29
    I feel the degree of trust to be placed on the Open source Community
    should be estimated by the free market, that is the best tool to understand the value in the system.
  • JasperJasper Eindhoven, the NetherlandsMember Posts: 514 ✭✭✭
    The reason big communities dont work so well is because people cannot know eachother personally well enough. Each step of trust in such a thing creates a potential mistake in trust, and you can only really know some particular number of people. Say, you can at indicate 10 people properly, then 1000 is probably about the maximum. But groups selecting groups probably does even worse? :/

    Also you cant assume all people in the system are smart, and people feel compassion towards assholes sometimes. Maybe they should but they shouldnt give them any power.

    *If* you have a system, you could fund it with that 'magic wallet' that scripts might be able to have. The idea of 'magic scripts' is that creation of coins needs to take place to ensure there is some inflation against hoarding, and PoW is a useless endeavor other than some security.(PoS doesnt infact in-effect increase the money supply) So *specifically selected scripts* can get 'magic' income. I reckon this can be experimented with now, with sub-currencies.(I suppose you could also try to tax things, btw)

    Maybe you can connect it to the value of open source activity as estimated by the free market... somehow. But there is a lot of how in there, i reckon? Things get exploitable pretty easy if you look at some approaches. This is why if implemented(not for testing/experimentation), 'magic scripts' need to be choosen meticulously, adversary, and attack angles considered. Also, magic income for each can be limited both just in case, and to control the level of activity.
  • ranfordranford Member Posts: 25 ✭✭
    BTW isnt the basic income formula you describe just a form of proof of stake where holders of stake must be unique individuals and stake size doesnt impact the number of coins created , no need for special token classes A and B, just the specific rules of the POS algorithm
  • ranfordranford Member Posts: 25 ✭✭
    my wish (if we want ether to really be a long lived underlying fuel for the future, as opposed to alternative blockchain2.0 offerings) would be that ethereum would be able to incorporate this kind of POS at least as a component of its overall mix of proof algorthims, rather than have it implemented as a coin on top of ethereum or somewhere else. It would feel like a much more encompassing, satisfying and fair base, where every citizen of our planet has a basic minimum stake in this and that being a member of our species were recognized, valued and rewarded as much or in addition to just the ability to hoard wealth. Ethereum is offering a fundamental infrastructure. It still offers early adopters advantage of generating ether from there stake earlier, as well as the POW mining. What better than giving every individual a stake in the fuel of the future. Base it off gov IDs with social reputation reinforced and make the cost of cheating very very high and the bounties for finding cheats very very high.

  • JasperJasper Eindhoven, the NetherlandsMember Posts: 514 ✭✭✭
    Barring developments moving faster than i think, eventually in some currency in the future, it might be a good idea to have contracts with magic wallets produce actual ether, and not subcurrency coins. But i dont think for the first ethereum we know how to do it well enough,(beyond some simple things) and the case isnt strong enough yet, so we may have to experiment with a sub-currency.

    Contracts that are permanent fixtures are sort-of equivalent to ethereum features. For instance it has been suggested that if CPU usage is high, clients may implement scripts that are coded and compiled into binary.

    Seeing it that way, you dont *really* need to have them as something else than contacts. Besides, contracts could be treated more flexibly, for instance you could add vote mechanism I mentioned.

    On another note, ether creation might not be enough to fuel something like UBI.
  • DaveHamillDaveHamill Member Posts: 4
    This is an important subject. I posted my related theory here:

  • Fior_SirtheoirFior_Sirtheoir Member Posts: 4
    edited March 2014
    The social paradigm of consumption and perpetual growth has to be overcome before any such thing will take root. I am very excited about ethereum, the concept pointed out to me something that I had been overlooking, the decentralization of everything. When the monopolies on the monetary system, energy, technology, etc..., which decentralization will bring, then, it is my hope, that the "natural order" will begin to come back into the everyday life of all humanity.

    I have a great deal to learn about computer science, but I am excited to to so. This technology has the potential to change the world, but we must be vigilant post-modernism will not pass quietly into the night. There are paradigms out there that will seek to destroy this in an act of self preservation.

    Again it is difficult to express my excitement.
  • sourcesource Member Posts: 5
    This is the killer app of Ethereum. Saving the world economy.
  • JasperJasper Eindhoven, the NetherlandsMember Posts: 514 ✭✭✭
    I am kindah serious on the 'contracts with magic wallets' thing. Firstly, and most importantly because then you dont have to be as deep into the ethereum project to try think about it very specificly. You just need to know how contracts work well. (I suppose you could do it in subcurrency)

    Secondly, because there is no reason to think mining for security and mining for some useful act will go together very well.(they might, but..) And the economic model and useful level of mining(also in terms of the environment) might not match well either. That said, i dont know those things work out in the first place.
  • coinfaqcoinfaq TexasMember Posts: 2
    I think a biometric check-in to access your tokens could work. It could require a visual scan of your ear, your eye, your face, or your hand that would only allow 1 token per unique biometric group.
  • Karl_SchroederKarl_Schroeder Member Posts: 37 ✭✭
    edited April 2014
    One solution that might only require always-connected status would be a constant ongoing stream of micro-transactions--pings, essentially--from a contract identified with your current (encrypted) GPS position. Potentially Orwellian in any system with third-party tracking and without services that could use fully homomorphic encryption to act as blind arbiters, but the point is the sudden disappearance/reappearance elsewhere, splitting or forking etc. of this pinging entity (which we'll call "you") would signal a breach of contract with the remedy being to escalate the effort at locating the "real you."

    Are we still thinking in terms of your identity being centrally registered in some way? Because what you really are anyway is the sum of a set of approximate encounters with people, subway turnstiles, banking machines, cell phone towers, conversations with friends etc. There should not have to be one single identifier that signals you, and in practice we don't identify one another by such a mechanism--we use gait, face, short-term memory of where you were last, sound of voice, email habits and a host of other mechanisms. If you DON'T use such a cloud of disparate mechanism you are flying in the face of Kant, by suggesting that there could be some access to "the thing in itself" other than the sum of qualities the object (in this case, you) possesses. We're going to have to suck it up and accept that things (and people) don't have "identities"--rather they are "identified" and that this process of identification is never completed and never fully authoritative. So, we'll move in a cloud of identifications, relying on the aggregation of these to guarantee a unified identity.
  • JasperJasper Eindhoven, the NetherlandsMember Posts: 514 ✭✭✭
    @Karl_Schroeder well, yes, because UBI relies on it. There might be some leeway to people having multiple personas.

    @coinfaq You cant just assume access the real world with measuring devices. And if you can you might need judges to look at if the things are working correctly/not being abused.

    Even if you could do a measurement and processing of the measurement, so that no two persons are identified as the same, and no person is identified as being multiple persons, then you still need to spread the equipment, control who is using the measurements, and the data must work in a system.(like ethereum)

    I'd earlier look at things that might be proxies to 'personas' like reputation/stake systems, size of transactions, combined with a system where people can sign statements about wether or not other people are individuals.(double personas) I suppose if you have content(books/pictures etcetera) and people indicate how much human-work that takes, and you know which entity registers, that is another proxy.

    Or games that computers cant do well, and which ethereum can know about.

    Mind that whatever you do, users of web wallets or compromised computers can easily have their personas misused. And that situation is currently terrible.
  • simons_frsimons_fr Member Posts: 3
    Thanks Guapa for this post. I think the OpenUdc project (http://project.openudc.org) has already solved some of the questions. The idea is to build a P2P crypto-currencies based on individuals and Universal Dividend (basic income)

    This project is based on openpgp and web of trust system, with some other information as age and place of birth. So you can check people identity.

    Based on a "relative monetary theory", prices will not get inflation with the time. People receive each month more than the month before, but there is always the same amount of money on the system relatively to the people in the system. If you start getting prices fixed relatively to the universal dividend (basic incombe), prices will not get inflation. Inflation is only a problem in non-free money system when some individuals create money for their own benefit and to the detriment of others, and so the problem is due to that non-free money model.

    Also an other implementation of this approach is visible here : http://ucoin.io

    I dont know how ethereum could help to implement this free monetary system. I'm not sure for the moment that it's necessary to use a blockchain as this projects use web of trust / openpgp. Based on humans trust, it should be less energy consuming.

    This question and this projects are maybe the most important to develop today because inequality in money creation is the cause of most of our actual society problems.
  • guakaguaka Member Posts: 18
    Here's an interesting blog post, Implementing a Basic Income via a Digital Currency http://declineofscarcity.com/?p=3499
  • cocococo Member Posts: 2
    if there were reviewable and crowdsourced metrics estating what is best to be used for free once is developed by some public task-work, we could pay those tasks with currency subjected to be spent in some other good goods in a certain time or that income being converted in another type of currency used for other purpose beyond getting finite resources (i.e. karma or gaming).

    i think i am writing about "basic work opportunitty in some eco project for getting eco food for tonight's dinner" instead of a basic income as conventionally knwown, which could work, but needs some additional central-buro, useful sometimes, but we can get to further automate this i reckon with de-centralizing in easy metrics valueing and publicking practically infinite tasks generally liked,

    i doubt hardly on distributing metrics (for estating values that could generate privileged rights in this example) because it is very obvious that we are harming the planet too much, and we suffer from "basic" goods access most of us..

    me talking too much for a first post, hi!

  • desperado_LCR_72desperado_LCR_72 Member Posts: 12
    Here is a proposal of Basic Income mechanism for the The People's Republic of DOUG - Ethereum based decentralized organization by androlo
  • koeppelmannkoeppelmann Member Posts: 51
    Hey - in my opinion the only thing that is unique of a human and can not be copied is its personal social network. And this makes really sense to use it for a basic income as a verification for people because be aware of this: If the basic income creates enough value to purely live on it, this value is always created by the community you live in.

    So I made a proposal for a coin where everyone can create an "account" that receives an basic income of unique coins (every account has unique coins). So this coins are worthless in the beginning and they only gain in value if people connect with each other and decide to accept each others coins (and trade them 1:1). So the incentive is to use all your social contacts and focus them on your one personal coin.

    You find a way more detailed proposal here: https://forum.ethereum.org/discussion/1598/basic-income-circles-reputation-market-based-approach-to-solve-the-identity-problem-sybil-attacs#latest
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