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Need for change: GoodDollar’s website homepage is now out of date following Oxfam’s latest statistics showing the wealth inequality gap is widening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

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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…

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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…

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