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Widening Global Wealth Inequality Gap Can Be Narrowed By Universal Basic Income

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By Nir Yaacobi, Economics Lead, GoodDollar

Carrying the can: it is no fault of the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet that global wealth is becoming more regressive — but to redress the balance new thinking is needed

The global wealth inequality gap is widening, according to Oxfam. To coincide with the start of the World Economic Forum 2019 in the Swiss ski resort of Davos on January 21, the development charity published its annual report on the state of the world’s economy.

The headline-grabbing finding from the research was that 26 of the richest people on the planet own as much, in terms of assets, as the 3.8 billion people that comprise the poorest half of the globe’s population.

This time last year the figure released by Oxfam was that the wealthiest 42 people owned as much as the poorest 3.7 billion. That statistic is used on the landing page for GoodDollar, a research hub that explores how decentralised cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology may enable models based on universal basic income (UBI) with the central aim of reducing global wealth inequality.

Need for change: GoodDollar’s website homepage is now out of date following Oxfam’s latest statistics showing the wealth inequality gap is widening

The figure needs updating, to reflect the worsening situation, alas. As Oxfam’s 2019 report summary states: “Our economy is broken, with hundreds of millions of people living in extreme poverty while huge rewards go to those at the very top.

“The number of billionaires has doubled since the financial crisis and their fortunes grow by $2.5 billion a day, yet the super-rich and corporations are paying lower rates of tax than they have in decades.

“The human costs — children without teachers, clinics without medicines — are huge. Piecemeal private services punish poor people and privilege elites.”

The accompanying press release points out: “Billionaire fortunes increased by 12 percent last year … while the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity saw their wealth decline by 11 percent.”

The report promotes the urgent need for a new system. “We need to transform our economies to deliver universal health, education and other public services.”

At GoodDollar, we believe blockchain-powered UBI is the right tool to help fix what the report calls “inequality at home [with] developed nations currently failing to meet their overseas aid commitments [that] could raise the missing billions needed to tackle extreme poverty in the poorest countries by increasing taxes on extreme wealth”.

Simply put, a new decentralised mechanism is critical to tackling wealth inequality — and sooner rather than later, with many economists predicting another global financial crisis before long.

If the wealth transfer from the rich countries to the poor ones is operated by governments and authorities in individual countries, with their own interests at heart, then this approach is likely to finance the public administration in the rich countries and corrupt regimes in the poorer nations. Very little will arrive its destination.

“Upwards of 30 per cent of funds allocated to humanitarian aid is lost to corruption,” points out Ira Ryk-Lakhman, GoodDollar’s General Counsel, in a recent guest article on Cointelligence. “This is mind-blowing. Other estimates calculate that over 80 per cent of the funding that is allocated for charities does not make it to the final beneficiaries.”

A new way of thinking is needed to right the balance; GoodDollar and other decentralised, blockchain-backed UBI programmes should be explored. For instance, GoodDollar, once established, will cut out the middleman — in this case a government or custodial authority — and hand funds directly from the rich to the poor.

We believe that with the right decentralised tool the very rich people will be willing to donate more of their funds if they know it is destined for the right cause, rather than for a new tax that they will always find a way to avoid. Change has to come, and together we can narrow the wealth inequality gap.

Do you have the skills to help the GoodDollar project? We need builders, scientists, and experts in identity, privacy, and financial governance, as well as philanthropists and ambassadors. Contact us at hello@gooddollar.org, via our social media channels (Twitter and Telegram), join the OpenUBI movement, or visit our GitHub page.

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ETOROX DEVELOPS CODE TO TOKENIZE ASSETS ON LIBRA BLOCKCHAIN

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Thursday 20 June 2019

Facebook’s Libra project marks a seismic moment for global finance. As the dust begins to settle after Tuesday’s announcement, both the crypto and traditional finance industry are busy grappling with the challenges and opportunities presented by Libra.

eToroX Labs Blockchain Science team, comprising Chief Blockchain Scientist Dr. Omri Ross, Peter Emil Jensen, and Johannes Rude Jensen, was quick off the mark to investigate how eToro’s tokenized assets (and the technology behind them) would work on Libra’s initial prototype, and how well it suited the existing specification.

Dr. Omri Ross, eToro’s Chief Blockchain Scientist, comments: “The prototype of the Libra blockchain – the testnet – launched on Tuesday and is in beta mode until the launch in H1 2020. We were excited to explore a test implementation of eToro’s tokenized assets on Libra in Move IR.”

By exploring Libra’s capabilities, and using Move IR (the intermediate representation of what will eventually be the final programming language), they successfully managed to implement an initial version of eToros tokenized assets on the Libra Network.

Using a previous specification targeting the Ethereum blockchain, the team wrote and executed a basic implementation for creating digital assets (tokenization capabilities) on Libra.

Top two takeaways:

  1. In Move, resources (data structure types) cannot be moved or copied — an extremely constructive and beneficial capability, especially for digital assets, since it prevents accidental duplication…
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Facebook has launched a white paper today for it’s planned cryptocurrency – Libra

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11 things you need to know:

  1. Libra’s mission is to enable a simple global currency and financial infrastructure the empowers billions of people.
  2. Libra is a stablecoin which will launch in H1 2020. This will be fully backed by a reserve of real assets (a basket of bank deposits and short-term government securities). The balance of the basket can be changed if needed to offset major price fluctuations.
  3. Facebook won’t control Libra. They get one vote like other founding members of the independent Libra Association headquartered in Switzerland. This provides a level of decentralization and they hope to have 100 well geographically distributed and diverse members by launch. Other founding members include MasterCard, Visa, PayPal and Uber as well as not-for-profits such as Women’s World Banking and academic institutions. They have all invested $10million each.
  4. It is built on the Libra blockchain which is open-source and any developer can build smart contracts using the Move code language. Move was created to prevent assets from being cloned, to facilitate exchange into fiat and to make it easier to write blockchain code that follows an author’s intention without introducing unintended bugs. The prototype of the blockchain – the testnet – launched today so it’s in beta mode until the launch in H1 2020.
  5. The Libra blockchain is managed by nodes, which are servers that help operate the blockchain. Each founding…
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Cryptocurrency Exchange Analysis: eToroX Exchange Review June 2019

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eToroX is a crypto exchange that is a subsidiary of eToro social trading platform. eToroX has been granted a distributed ledger technology (DLT) licence from the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC). eToroX represents a bridge between the traditional investing and the new digital world.

  1. Supported currencies

eToroX offers 17digital assets: 5 cryptocurrencies and 10 Tokenized Assets. eToroX is in the midst of creating numerous variations of tokenized and digital assets. Seems like eToroX added the most popular cryptocurrencies to the current listings on its platform. The same strategy has also been used by other exchanges, in their early stages. eToroX’s current range of trading pairs and tokenized assets is surprisingly sizable, considering it was only released recently.

  1. eToroX exchange Fees & Limits

Trading fees refer to the actual cost of carrying out a trade (buying/selling) on eToroX exchange. The fees associated with a cryptocurrency exchange play an important role for users in evaluating the cost of trading relative to other exchanges in the market. Exchange fees currently are:

Withdrawal…

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