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New Financial Projects Gain Momentum in Period of Political Uncertainty

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Less than a week after a new financial blueprint for Europe was proposed, by a 50-strong group led by Thomas Piketty, another pioneering economic system that aims to reduce inequality has been gaining momentum in London.

On Thursday, December 13, the GoodDollar experiment – an ecosystem that explores how decentralised cryptocurrency and blockchain technology may enable models based on universal basic income (UBI) – received widespread praise at The Next Web’s Hard Fork Decentralized conference.

Following GoodDollar’s official launch, by eToro CEO Yoni Assia at November’s Web Summit 2018 in Lisbon, the project has quickly gathered impetus, attracting support from all over the globe.

GoodDollar Official Announcement – Yoni Assia, Web Summit Lisbon, Nov 07 2018

At a time when many leading economists fear a global financial crisis is looming, both Picketty’s bold blueprint for a fairer Europe – which includes significant levies on multinationals, millionaires and carbon emissions to amass funds to improve poverty, climate change, and other challenges – and GoodDollar are innovative alternatives to traditional financial systems.

GoodDollar’s worldwide interest has accelerated since its introduction, at an event in Berlin in mid-November, of an OpenUBI community, formed to encourage collaboration and discussion around UBI and its technological implementation.

At the Hard Fork Decentralized summit, held at Mindspace, in trendy Shoreditch, in the northeast of the capital, and sponsored by eToro – the social trading platform that has invested $1 million in GoodDollar – the project gained more plaudits.

Ira Ryk-Lakhman, a lawyer with Tadmor – Levy & Co. who is completing a Ph.D. at University College London, has joined GoodDollar because she believes “it is the future”– especially for the humanitarian causes that are close to her heart.

She spoke with passion to around 100 attendees at Mindspace. “According to UN data, upwards of 30 percent of funds allocated to humanitarian aid is lost because of corruption,” Ryk-Lakhman said. “This is mind-blowing. Further, over 80 percent of the funds that are allocated for charities do not make it to the final beneficiaries.”

“The solution is staring us in the face. We need to find something that is not susceptible to corruption or bureaucracy. Technology that does not go through the state but reaches the citizens directly. We already know what the future is: blockchain-based solutions, like GoodDollar, are the way forward. This is because blockchain technology is a public record, it is transparent, and it is immutable. As such, it is not susceptible to corruption and bureaucracy.” 

GoodDollar Interview Series – TheNextWeb 2018 – Ira Ryk-Lakhman, Dec 13, 2018

Ryk-Lakhman said that as GoodDollar, a not-for-profit organisation, is focused on improving wealth inequality it is likely to generate great levels of interest and adoption, crucially.

“Hype alone does not suffice to sustain cryptocurrency or blockchain,” she continued. “You have got to have an application: a practical way that we can utilise this technology in real life. What other way is better to get your coin recognised by the wider public than if you show the positive sides of blockchain, and highlight that it is not necessarily affiliated with speculation but rather with innovation, sustainability and charity?

“Using this technology for social impact will drive adoption, which is key to this industry. Blockchain technology allows us to tackle humanitarian crises and to achieve social impact. In 2019 I believe we will see much more application of blockchain technology to that end.”

Talking heads: Dr. Omri Ross, alongside Yoni Assia and Ira Ryk-Lakhman, discusses the technical aspects of GoodDollar

Later, Yoni Assia – who has been thinking and writing about UBI for over a decade– took part in a panel discussion alongside Ryk-Lakhman, and Dr. Omri Ross, an assistant professor in the Computer Science at the University of Copenhagen. The latter co-wrote the GoodDollar position paper, published in conjunction with the Web Summit launch, with Assia, and is positive about its chances of success.

“I’ve been an academic of blockchain for several years, and when Yoni explained GoodDollar to me I could see it was a good idea,” Ross told the audience at Mindspace. “I have been around a few UBI projects and this one is quite advanced [in terms of technical research]. This is a call to the community to help.”

Good turn out: Around 100 people attended the GoodDollar event at Hard Fork Decentralized

Assia revealed that already “around 30 different partners” have joined the OpenUBI community. “We were super-excited to see that we are not the only ones thinking about this,” he said. “There are super-intelligent people around the world that are looking at the same problems and trying to find various solutions.

“We have opened a group [http://t.me/OpenUBI] and, because GoodDollar is a not-for-profit organisation and there is no competition, we are trying to collaborate. We are now collaborating with around OpenUBI with about 30 different partners.”

Finally, Assia stressed the importance of GoodDollar not being centrally controlled. “We want to build something that will change the world and be as decentralised as bitcoin,” he said. “If it is decentralised then it is potentially unstoppable.

Giving people free money is very powerful. If this works, and we are able to create a system that actually transforms network effect into value, I believe all the rest will fall into place. I think it is a case of if you build the main thing, then everything around it will be built, eventually.”

He added: “We are inviting people to participate – whether it is early adopters, academics, builders, and those who want to help us establish GoodDollar through philanthropy.”

Join GoodDollar. The project needs builders, scientists, and experts in identity, privacy, and financial governance, as well as philanthropists and ambassadors. Email GoodDollar at hello@gooddollar.org, contact us via our social media channels (Twitter and Telegram) or join the OpenUBI movement.

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Bitcoin of 2020: On the Rise, Better Established, and Much More Stable

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Why Bitcoin is Continuing to Climb, from More Solid Ground Than Ever

Last night saw Bitcoin once again soaring up the market, with a 6% increase over the course of three hours. This continues a fantastic start to the year for the world’s largest decentralized currency, which is up 30% since January 1st, and pulling along with it several other primary cryptocurrencies, including Ether, Litecoin, Ripple, and Dash.

A Significant Moment for Bitcoin

January 2020 is certainly proving highly significant for Bitcoin. The sharp increases and painful falls of the past pale into comparison with now, as the current increase seems to come from a far better-established position with much more stability. Furthermore, the activity around Bitcoin is expanding in exchanges, banks, and other financial institutions, together with its legitimacy and relevancy.

World Economic Forum 

Last week, at the World Economic Forum annual summit at Davos, Switzerland, Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain technology were honored guests. Many of the billionaires, bankers and treasury ministers who gathered in Davos are still fairly skeptical about the decentralized economy, but despite this, they also realize that they cannot stop it.

The World Descends into Chaos, And Bitcoin is on the Rise

It seems that the more agitated the world agenda, the more Bitcoin’s popularity grows, and strengthens its status as a hedge against the traditional markets. The continuous climb of the stock…

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World’s Richest 22 Men Are Worth The Same As All 325 Million Women In Africa — New Oxfam Report Reveals

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“Wealth inequality remains shockingly high.” This is the sobering conclusion of Oxfam’s latest report, published on the eve of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020.

The 162 richest people on the planet boast the same wealth as the poorest 50 percent — 3.85 billion — in the world.

From Tuesday, January 21, close to 3,000 delegates — including 53 heads of state — from 117 countries, will participate in the WEF summit in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. According to the website blurb, the WEF Annual Meeting is “the foremost creative force for engaging the world’s top leaders in collaborative activities to shape global, regional and industry agendas at the beginning of each year”.

This year’s topic, for the great and the good of the business world and politics, is “stakeholders for a cohesive and sustainable world”. While the hellish fires raging in Australia fan the flames for climate change, the perverse irony that most of the 774 public speakers will have been flown into the summit will not be lost on the people who are truly concerned about the heating of the world.

Similarly, that many of the wealthiest people in the world will gather to no doubt use the WEF platform to further boost their richest, through additional business deals and contacts, while vowing to help those less fortunate is alarming to Oxfam. Hence…

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Cryptocurrency Prices Rally Towards Double-Digit Gains in 2020

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The cryptocurrency market has started 2020 with a huge bang, expanding by an impressive 23% within the first two weeks of the year. The overall market capitalization of the cryptocurrency market – a measure of the size of the market – has grown from $192 billion at the start of the year, to well over $240 billion by the middle of January.

Leading the pack is Bitcoin (BTC), which constitutes more than 65% of the overall market size. Going from just under $7,200 at the end of 2019 to a high of $8,800, Bitcoin recorded double-digit gains within two weeks. January 14 saw a spike of more than 11% in Bitcoin’s price, fuelling speculation that the two-year-long cryptocurrency recession could finally be over.

Bitcoin Price Chart

Among the many factors that contributed to Bitcoin’s price increase was the geopolitical upheaval emanating from increasing tensions between the USA and Iran, which led to a flight of safety capital by investors, to safe-haven assets such as gold. Already established as a manifestation of digital gold, it seems hardly coincidental that the prices of both gold and Bitcoin went up.

Another catalyst for the increase was the official launch of the CME Bitcoin options on January 13. The CME…

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