Could a guaranteed minimum digital currency income pegged to population fight global income inequality?

Amidst scammy hysteria around ICOs and virtual currencies, there were/are very few real-world applications that seem viable, let alone sustainable.

Despite their flaws and frauds, and particularly when decoupled from perverse profit incentive, I think tokens and coins can play a meaningful role in global economies.

Or at very least for individuals trying to make a better life.

 

The GMC

This idea is similar to guaranteed minimum income (“GMI”), except global and virtual. I call it Guaranteed Minimum Coin (“GMC”) for lack of a better name!

The concept is simple. Every unique person gets coins deposited in their wallet upon positive unique ID, say, monthly, simply for being one distinct individual on planet earth.

Whether or not the coin’s market value grows, people can spend them in a marketplace that accepts donations of goods and services. So while the coins have equal market value to holders around the globe, delivery of goods and services can be distributed to and absorbed by geographies with the most need. The opportunity for innovative, cross-border philanthropy could be tremendous.

Oh, it’s also fun! You can bank your coins by scanning on a decent smartphone. Donate your coins. Buy them cheap from people who think it’s dumb. Become a scanner and open accounts for people who don’t have the latest tech.

So much more to say and speculate. Let’s discuss!

Meanwhile, here are more thoughts on the admittedly weedy details:

 

Evolving ID

Identifying a “distinct individual” is obviously riddled with issues—false positives, false negatives, fraud. But that’s ok. There will be errors. Lots of them. The ID will improve over time as technology improves. By charter, there will be a continuous deployment of evolving biometric tech. An independent, transparent, not-for-profit entity will steer implementations of the latest standards and facilitate open-source contribution in pursuit of greater accuracy with each passing year.

 

Why GMC?

GMI is a valid domestic debate that I won’t jump into here. But one can’t debate the astounding income inequality that exists across borders. And the imbalances are likely to worsen as resources continue to concentrate. Currency markets, by definition, are supposed to accurately reflect the relative values of people’s money, internationally, and they do that just fine as far as I can tell (failed and manipulated currencies not withstanding). And there’s nothing to say that a GMC coin in one geography wouldn’t become “worth” more in buying power than another geography. It could look like a currency in that respect.

But to the extent money is also just a collective fiction/faith in value, the power of a coin with global equality of distribution and readily understood scarcity (the global population of distinct individuals) could be profound.

Beyond the sheer power of globalized market forces (all forms of foreign aid and philanthropy are drops in the ocean comparatively) I don’t know of much innovative or disruptive action being taken to invigorate the combat against global income polarization. Laudable innovations like micro-financing are a step in the right direction, but we need more and bigger steps.

 

What about blockchain?

We don’t need blockchain for GMC. We need a ledger of encrypted biometric IDs to validate distinct identities, but they don’t need human associations. And the coins don’t need to be tracked. They just need to be validated by a hash as having been issued.

And so on and so on. Many more thoughts than I have time for here. You can check out my scribble below for the rough idea. The technicalities of implementation are admittedly way beyond me, but if you’re an expert, I’d love to talk to you about it!