A monetary system can be a fantastic thing to move society forward. It enables free trade and entrepreneurship. More importantly, a financial system that rewards success can create competition between industries; it promotes technological progress and innovation at a pace the world has never seen before.
However, there is one cancer at the root of our modern financial model that remains untreated – the issue of economic inequality.
The unjust distribution of wealth has led to extreme poverty for billions of people. About 2, 000 people have the elite status of “billionaire”, while 80% of the entire human population survives on less than ten dollars a day.
Even worse, nearly half a billion people are struggling to feed and clothe their families with a fraction of that: just ten dollars a week. These Figures can no longer be ignored.
If the financial paradigm is to evolve into a paradigm that offers opportunities and income to all, we must all engage and participate in the solution.
GoodDollar has the potential to eliminate several problems in our global economy while maintaining overall structure and stability.
In 2008, eToro co-founder and CEO Yoni Assia wrote his thoughts on a new digital currency in an article titled The Visible Hand . The concept would focus on creating a more transparent economy – in which interest rates are the same for all individuals and institutions of culture and learning have a far greater intrinsic value than the large corporations.
Such a project may have seemed ideologically optimistic, but since the success of Bitcoin and decentralized blockchain technology, the creation of a transparent global economic system that establishes a financial balance is within reach.
Yoni briefly commented on his 2008 article at the beginning of our interview, saying: „The original concept has evolved considerably since then. As we witness the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, it reinforces my belief that basic income is the most sensible way to meet the challenges of the coming decades“.
What is Universal Basic Income, and Why Is it Important?
For those who don’t quite understand what a Universal Basic Income is and how it could benefit billions of people, I asked Yoni to start our conversation with a little clarity.
He said: „The basic principle of Universal Basic Income is the provision of an unconditional, regularly recurring cash payment on an individual basis, regardless of the employment status or social position of a person“.
It may be a small challenge to get larger companies on board with this plan, but it is possible.
If enough people around the world are committed to GoodDollar, the participation of large financial institutions will be inevitable. Yoni also talked about why this project is so personally close to his heart: „The issue of wealth inequality has occupied me most of my adult life. It is a crucial economic challenge of our time. I have long believed that a solution is conceivable if all the elements are aligned“.
How far has the project come in terms of development and implementation?
There is no doubt about Yoni Assia’s commitment to GoodDollar, as the project was funded with $ 1 million by eToro at the beginning. Since then, it has received more financial support from both eToro and other interested parties. However, the key to the success of the GoodDollar project is the participation of people of everyday life.
„After about 18 months of work, the team has now launched a simple application that allows anyone to set up an account and start applying for a daily amount of basic income“.
Yoni also stated that „The GoodDollar team has made progress in advancing a concept to create a decentralized Basic Income into a working product and economic model to create a sustainable basic Income on a global scale“.
Could a “robot tax” create funds for UBI and ensure that employers avoid automation displacing people’s jobs?
There are many people today who are concerned that automation will replace people in the workplace. In fact, it is speculated that 800 million jobs will be made redundant by automated systems by 2030.
However, Industry 4.0 aims to eliminate everyday tasks and free people for more productive areas of work that would greatly benefit the progress and success of the companies they work for.
The UBI would provide ” a basic level of financial security so workers are not paralyzed by unfulfilled, marginal wage jobs without having the freedom to pursue better opportunities such as coursework or training„.
Yoni Assia added : „I do not believe that a robot tax will prevent employers from automating human jobs. Automation and innovation will always drive industries, and the relationship between human workers and technology will continue to adapt. The more substantial question is who benefits from this progress, who is lagging behind, and what is the quality of life for these workers ?“
Balancing the dynamics between employers and workers would give people much more freedom and mobility to improve their skills and work in a better quality work environment. “This is exactly the trend we can see today in industries with highly skilled workers, such as technology.”
What is needed for GoodDollar to succeed?
GoodDollar focuses on establishing financial equality with the help of blockchain technology, lifting people out of poverty and creating new economic opportunities. „One of the challenges of working in the blockchain space is that there has been a lot of buzz around the blockchain that allows for financial inclusion, but very little evidence that it works“said Yoni.
„For us to be successful, we need to bridge the gap in user experience when using blockchains and develop products that are as easy to use as any payment app like Venmo or PayPal.“
Our industries are still learning how to fully leverage blockchain technology to „bringing useful products to the market“, but GoodDollar is making further progress by using blockchain technology to put financial freedom back in people’s hands.
The GoodDollar app has already received an unprecedented level of interest and support. The next goal for the team will focus heavily on the „Market intelligence“to improve the public’s understanding of crypto assets and the opportunities they represent. „We believe that through the wide dissemination of good dollars, according to the principles of Basic Income, these are held by millions of users“.
GoodDollar.org is a non-profit organization founded in 2018 with the vision of creating a distributed, global basic income that is freely available to people. GoodDollar launched its coin with Basic Income Coin (G$) in September 2020. In the six weeks since launch, nearly 50,000 people from over 160 countries have signed up and created wallets, and about 20,000 active users have applied for a daily basic Income in G$ every day.
“My life’s mission is to make capital markets accessible to more people so that they can improve their wealth and reputation.
With GoodDollar, we are aligning this mission with the populations that have traditionally been most excluded from these systems“.
― Yoni Assia