YAP Cast

YAP Cast S3E5: “Can We Have Universal Money?” With Anna Stone



Join us on YAP Cast as we delve into the fifth episode of Season 3. This time, Samantha Yap interviews Anna Stone, Co-Founder of GoodDollar, a crypto-based UBI project. Universal basic income (UBI) is a social welfare proposal in which citizens of a given population regularly receive a guaranteed income in the form of an unconditional transfer payment, independent of any other income. Anna is an expert in the field of technology and social welfare, with a focus on building a sustainable and effective model for a crypto-based Universal Basic Income.

In this episode, she’ll share her insights on the impact of technology on social and environmental issues and the potential of UBI to address inequality, poverty, and economic instability.

Pioneering Financial Inclusion Through Crypto

Anna describes money as a technology that enables collaboration among people, emphasising its role in facilitating productive and aligned interactions. She traces the origins of money back to ancient societies where various valuable assets, such as shells and spices, were used as mediums of exchange. Anna believes that alternative money systems, like cryptocurrencies, have the potential to enhance collaboration among individuals.

From Economic Development to Blockchain Revolution

Anna shares her background in economic development and the pivotal role of financial security in addressing social issues. Her interest in microfinance and FinTech led her to explore the potential of blockchain technology. In 2017, she discovered the transformative power of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, which she believes can revolutionise the financial services industry and provide financial inclusion.

Anna’s understanding of money creation and control fuelled her motivation to explore alternative approaches, such as user-owned networks and separating money from the state. She highlights the importance of assets and incentives in designing a system that benefits those in need. This journey led her to embrace blockchain’s potential for creating a more inclusive and equitable financial landscape.

UBI: Promoting Financial Security and Inclusion

Anna explains that UBI aims to provide a standard level of income to every individual, covering basic needs and promoting positive outcomes. She highlights the positive results from various UBI experiments conducted worldwide. Addressing concerns about people becoming dependent on the state, Anna emphasises that UBI is predominantly used to improve lives rather than on vices like drugs or gambling.

However, implementing UBI at a governmental level poses challenges due to political and bureaucratic obstacles. Anna shares that the concept of a non-governmental UBI inspired the team at GoodDollar, sponsored by eToro’s founder and CEO, Yoni Assia. By leveraging blockchain technology, GoodDollar aims to create a global UBI system owned by its members. The decentralised nature of blockchain allows for the exploration of alternative solutions to financial inclusion and societal change.

About GoodDollar GoodDollar was inspired by Yoni Assia, the founder and CEO of eToro, who envisioned using public networks for public goods. Yoni’s commitment to Universal Basic Income (UBI) led him to invest resources in researching the creation of a scalable and sustainable UBI system using blockchain.

Anna, along with a team of professionals, took on the challenge of designing a protocol that would reward individuals and communities who contribute value to the network, rather than just miners. They explored opportunities in the realm of Decentralised Finance (DeFi) and leveraged the innovations in wallets and blockchain interactions. The goal was to find creative ways to fund UBI and enable the distribution of free money as a public good. The GoodDollar protocol serves as a new standard for UBI, allowing anyone to become a member and integrate their token or protocol to support funding.

By using crypto and decentralised economies, GoodDollar aims to empower individuals who lack traditional financial access and contribute to the advancement of UBI at scale.

GoodDollar: Exploring Blockchain-Based UBI Anna provides insights into the project’s launch and its components. The first component is a basic wallet that allows users to create a noncustodial wallet using web2 credentials like Facebook or Google accounts. This wallet serves as the smart contract account to receive GoodDollars. The second component is the protocol, responsible for minting and issuing GoodDollar tokens. A certain amount of GoodDollars is distributed equally among all ecosystem members daily.

Since its launch, over half a million people have been onboarded into the Good Wallet, becoming GoodDollar members. Anna reveals that GoodDollar has users from over 181 countries, with strong communities in countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Southeast Asian countries (Vietnam, India, Bangladesh), and various Latin American countries (Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Cuba). These communities are digitally connected and highly educated but often lack financial resources. However, they demonstrate incredible creativity in leveraging GoodDollar to create value and address their community’s needs.

Anna promises to provide examples of the use cases and the impact of GoodDollar in these communities, acknowledging the widespread interest in such crypto use cases.

Find out more about GoodDollar here

Follow Anna Stone on Twitter here