GoodDollar is a people-powered framework to generate, finance, and distribute global basic income [1]. Its goal is to provide a baseline standard of living and reduce wealth inequality through the creation of a universal basic income (UBI) [2].
Reducing wealth inequality is arguably the greatest challenge of our times. The world’s 2,153 billionaires hold more wealth than 4.6 billion people – equivalent to 60% of the population. The most affluent 162 individuals have assets equal to the poorest half of the world. Individuals owning over US$100,000 in assets make up less than 11% of the global population but own 82.8% of global wealth, while adults with less than $10,000 make up 56.6% of the world’s population but hold less than 2% of global wealth. The United Nations has named the reduction of poverty and inequality in its 17 Sustainable Development Goals – first and tenth, respectively.
Despite efforts to address inequality, the economic crisis resulting from the coronavirus pandemic has only accelerated the trend. In June 2020 it was calculated that billionaires in America saw their wealth rise by 20% – or $584 billion – since mid-March, while some 46 million Americans filed for unemployment during the same period. Similar disparities are evident in other nations.
This crisis has triggered fresh enthusiasm to assess new approaches to capital and liquidity distribution. Universal basic income – the idea of providing unconditional payments to individuals – has emerged as a key policy proposal in over 20 nations in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. This presents a ripe opportunity to advance distributed, bottom-up approaches to basic income, which we believe can advance at a greater speed than federal implementations, as outlined in this white paper.
GoodDollar leverages new protocols and smart contracts to deliver a “trickle-up” value structure that places money in the hands of those who need it most. This is the reverse of the conventional trickle-down approach to capital, credit, and interest-bearing money.
G$ is GoodDollar’s digital asset that operates within the emerging ecosystem of decentralized and open finance. Each coin is backed by a monetary reserve of cryptocurrencies and thus has tangible value. G$ coins are liquid and convertible to other cryptocurrencies and will be available to buy and sell directly via the GoodDollar GoodReserve smart contract.
The value in the GoodDollar reserve comes from the interest that is generated from Supporters who stake cryptocurrencies in permissionless third-party protocols. Through the amassed reserve interest, G$ coins are minted and used to pay Supporters market-rate interest payments, while a daily amount of G$ is set aside to be distributed as basic income.
The GoodDollar protocol presents an opportunity to invest in equality – a “trickle-up” basic income economy that places liquidity in the hands of those who need it while uniting the incentives of all who hold G$, whether they choose to participate as a basic income Supporter or Claimer. Our mission is to present an economic framework that aligns those incentives with an accessible distribution method. The goal is to empower millions of first-time users through digital currency, by giving each individual access to tradeable, valuable assets. This paper also sets out a governance plan for the protocol through a decentralized autonomous organization (the GoodDAO), which will be managed by GoodDollar stakeholders.
Ultimately, the success of GoodDollar’s people-powered basic income economy relies on both a shared conviction that righting the balance of economic equality is the critical challenge of our time and a willingness to adopt new ways of thinking and products to address this global issue.
The project was founded by Yoni Assia, the co-founder and CEO of eToro, Europe’s largest social investment network, and based on his theory of social money first presented in 2008. eToro has financed the GoodDollar project as part of its corporate social responsibility initiative.
GoodDollar’s decentralized global basic income concept has the potential to effect positive change in the world while pioneering a fairer and more transparent circular economy.
[1] GoodDollar Goes Public, Nov 2018 [2] Assia, Y., Ross, O., Wealth Distribution Positioning Paper, Nov 2018 [3] Oxfam, January 2020 [4] Credit Suisse, June 2019 [5] The United Nations, September 2015 [6] The Institute for Policy Studies, June 2020 [7] ERC-20 Token Standard, November 2019 [8] Assia, Y., The Visible Hand, November 2008
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