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Case for Universal Basic Income Gains Strength As Recession Fears Deepen

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Britain’s protracted and problematic Brexit from the European Union, coupled with China’s falling exports and America’s record trade deficit, has deepened fears of a recession at the start of 2019.

Those looking beyond the doom and gloom believe the case for universal basic income (UBI) is getting stronger by the day – and now technological advancements are making it a viable option, moving it from theory to reality.

UBI is a revolutionary economic concept whereby every individual is granted a fixed, minimum wage to cover basic needs. With the threat of a global financial crisis, projects that explore distribution mechanisms to assist the poorest in society are gaining interest and support.

For instance, GoodDollar, a research hub that is experimenting how decentralized cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology may enable models based on UBI with the central aim of reducing global wealth inequality, is generating interest from all over the world. 

In mid-January, French crypto-finance website VideoBourse spoke at length with Yoni Assia, eToro Co-Founder, and Chief Executive, who launched GoodDollar at Web Summit in Lisbon in November 2018.

“GoodDollar is a non-profit project eToro is supporting,” said Mr. Assia in the VideoBourse interview, acknowledging that his multi-asset investment platform has committed an initial $1 million. “The idea behind GoodDollar was that there needs to be a disruption to how money is being distributed and generated.

“One of the biggest issues in the world is a very simple thing: the rich get richer and poor get poorer. That leads to growing inequality in society, and eventually, that leads to very bad things. The way the system works leads to inequality – it’s how money is being distributed, and how money is being generated.”

Mr. Assia explained: “For example, let’s assume interest rate plus inflation is 10 percent a year. We know that 10 percent of the global population owns 90 percent of the wealth. So 9 percent of the 10 percent generated in interest rates would go to the richest 10 percent. Meanwhile, the remaining 1 percent would go to the other 90 percent of the population.

“That’s basically just because of how interest rates and inflation work, and that is because money has never been on the blockchain. If you could create mechanics within cryptocurrency that creates better wealth distribution potentially you could improve significantly inequality. By making the world more equal then more people can participate in the economy.”

Hence the launch of GoodDollar. In the months leading up to the announcement at Web Summit, a growing team of digital pioneers, economists and builders started experimenting and exploring what might be possible in this space, at the intersection between UBI and blockchain. The early momentum has been very encouraging.

In late November, GoodDollar helped establish an OpenUBI ecosystem with a number of other partners. The OpenUBI was launched to foster collaboration and discussion around UBI and its technological implementation. There is an OpenUBI meet-up in Berlin at the end of January, and in February there will be a GoodDollar hackathon event at eToro’s Israel office.

“A lot of our efforts are going into researching how to build GoodDollar in a purely decentralized way,” Mr. Assia continued in his VideoBourse interview. “On the one hand we’re trying to build a simple user interface so people can connect to it … on the other hand we want to build something that’s truly decentralized. We understand that for something like this to succeed, it needs to scale on a much wider scale than eToro.”

After a positive first few months, there are many more exciting things to look forward to in 2019 for the GoodDollar project. Mr. Assia, who will be speaking at Paris Fintech Forum 2019 later in January, revealed that “we’ll be launching the first GoodDollar experiment within the next six to nine months”. 

He added: “We definitely look at this as something that’s experimental, based on code and a lot of research that we’re doing. We have a few academics on the team and experts in legal and regulation and economics.

“I am a very big believer in a new type of innovative asset – like GoodDollar – that creates a paradigm shift in terms of how we think about money, and how money is being generated.”

As the markets remain volatile and global financial uncertainty looms, projects like GoodDollar could well revolutionize how money is distributed at scale – and sooner rather than later.

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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GoodDollar presents Decentralised Cryptocurrency at OECD Blockchain Policy Forum

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Yoni Assia, Chief Executive of multi-asset trading platform eToro, took the stage at the second Global Blockchain Policy Forum, recently hosted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), to present the not-for-profit GoodDollar project.

The blockchain ecosystem is moving fast with pressure on governments and institutions to keep abreast of the latest innovations. At the prestigious event, held in Paris, the OECD gathered industry leaders together for the second year in a row to discuss the hype around cryptocurrencies and the possibilities that the technology brings to make social impact and lasting change.

Mr Assia told delegates that GoodDollar is launching a decentralised cryptocurrency – also called GoodDollar, or G$ – powered by blockchain, in a bid to reduce global wealth inequality and “fix one of the biggest problems in the world”.

“Today, 94 per cent of the wealth in the world is actually held by the top 20 per cent,” he said. “An even more mind-blowing number is that the richest 26 people in the world have more wealth than the lower 3.8 billion.”

“A lot of very smart and very wealthy people understand that this is a big issue and they understand the responsibility of the elite, or top percentiles, to make sure that we fix this problem before it becomes too significant.”

Mr Assia explained that because of the development of cryptocurrencies and blockchain…

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eToro’s new open-source programming language is first step in bringing $500 trillion OTC derivatives market onto the Blockchain

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-Lira is first project born out of eToro’s acquisition of smart contract company, Firmo, earlier this year –

eToro, the global multi-asset investment company, has today released the details of Lira, a new open-source programming language for financial contracts. Lira is the first step in bringing the $500 trillion OTC derivatives market onto the Blockchain by introducing a new formal contract language.(i)

Lira is a domain-specific language that can be used to write OTC financial contracts for assets currently on the Ethereum blockchain. It is both secure and easy to programme whilst guaranteeing self-executing global settlement and automated trade reporting and monitoring. It’s easy tracking and compression will enable better collateral requirement efficiencies. Furthermore, it is the first decentralised finance (DeFi) project that will look to expand the code across different blockchains now that it is open-sourced.

Yoni Assia, CEO and Co-Founder of eToro, commented: “Bringing the OTC derivatives market onto the blockchain will bring more transparency and capital efficiencies to the industry. Activities in the post-trade cycle, such as settlement and the clearing of derivatives, are both expensive and a source of systemic risk. We believe that blockchain technology can provide a secure execution environment in which settlement is guaranteed by design. That is why today we are introducing a new formal contract language – Lira. This has the potential to open up and transform the derivatives market.”

At…

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eToroX launches new professional API trading program

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AlgoX Prime API introduced by blockchain subsidiary of eToro  

11 September 2019: eToroX, the blockchain subsidiary of global investment platform eToro, today announced the launch of its institutional-grade API trading programme, AlgoX Prime.

AlgoX Prime is the top-tier API program of eToroX Exchange, the eToro Group’s regulated and secure cryptoasset exchange. Employing the deep liquidity of eToro, tight spreads, and bespoke capabilities for cryptoasset trading, AlgoX Prime is carefully tailored to suit the needs and requirements of institutional-grade algorithmic traders from both the traditional and crypto spheres.

The program offers highly competitive fees, a free enterprise-grade market data package, and a high-quality, low-latency colocation service that incorporates professional-level connectivity, enabling direct access to eToroX’s dedicated, high-security data centre. The continuous and ongoing rollout will include an ever-expanding list of cryptoassets, increased volume from eToro, and much more.

From the Consensus invest:Asia event in Singapore, Doron Rosenblum, eToroX Managing Director, said “AlgoX Prime, our new API trading program, offers sophisticated trading capabilities to institutional and corporate traders. We believe that it will open the door for institutional traditional financial algo trading companies to trade cryptoassets, and by doing so, greatly increase market liquidity.” 

“The AlgoX Prime trading program aligns with eToro’s strategy of bridging the gap between blockchain and the traditional financial markets,” saidYoni Assia, CEO of eToro. “The ability to trade on eToroX using APIs will help…

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