Could Universal Basic Income in America Boost Global Interest in Cryptocurrencies?steemCreated with Sketch.

in #cryptocurrency3 years ago (edited)


2020 is going to be an interesting year. A year of epic events, many of which are going to be overhyped, underdelivered, or just end up missing-in-action. 2020 is just too nice of a number to ride on.

To me, these are maybe the most notable events:-

  1. Tokyo 2020.
  2. Flying cars.
  3. Bitcoin's halving.
  4. Steem's SMTs & Communities.
  5. Tau Alpha.
  6. My midlife crisis.
  7. United States presidential election.

Item (7) is what I'm going to be talking about today.

2020 United States presidential election.

Like it or hate it, what happens in this event could have a huge impact on the world's economy. If you've not been following the campaigns this year, there's actually a "Asian" dude called Andrew Yang trying to run for president. And he wants to give everyone $1,000 a month. It's more well known to be Universal Basic Income, but he calls it the Freedom Dividend.

Here's the basis behind the Freedom Dividend as explained on

In the next 12 years, 1 out of 3 American workers are at risk of losing their jobs to new technologies—and unlike with previous waves of automation, this time new jobs will not appear quickly enough in large enough numbers to make up for it. To avoid an unprecedented crisis, we’re going to have to find a new solution unlike anything we’ve done before. It all begins with the Freedom Dividend, a universal basic income (UBI) for all American adults, no strings attached – a foundation on which a stable, prosperous, and just society can be built.

As technology improves, workers will be able to stop doing the most dangerous, repetitive, and boring jobs. This should excite us, but if Americans have no source of income—no ability to pay for groceries, buy homes, save for education, or start families with confidence—then the future could be very dark. Our labor participation rate now is only 62.7 percent – lower than it has been in decades, with 1 out of 5 working-age men currently out of the workforce. This will get much worse as self-driving cars and other technologies come online.

This basic income—funded by a simple Value Added Tax—would guarantee that all Americans benefit from automation, not just big companies. An additional $1,000 a month would provide money to cover the basics for Americans while enabling us to look for a better job, start a business, go back to school, take care of loved ones or work toward our next opportunity.

If this is the first time you've heard of this, you must have plenty of questions now. For that you may visit the FAQ page to get your questions answered. Personally I like the idea and its positive effects, although I'm not sure of its economic soundness. And getting big government involved?

He's rising up the national polls though, so I guess there's a growing public confidence. But I'm not here to convince you about him and his plans. Instead, I'm going to fast forward into a possible future where he becomes president and somehow gets the Freedom Dividend up and running.

What could happen to cryptocurrencies?

With $12,000 per year given to each American adult, there will be a total of $1.2 trillion per year coming out of the Freedom Dividend, assuming a conservative sign up figure of 100 million people. That's about 8 times the market capitalization of Bitcoin at the time of writing.

Obviously, cryptocurrencies are not the only thing that people can get into and the Freedom Dividend isn't actually adding more money into the pool out of thin air, but that large amount alone in the hands of many people could mean that a substantial amount would end up seeping into Bitcoin and perhaps the rest of the legit useful altcoins as the industry matures. Plus, if the Freedom Dividend works well for America, that could very well influence the rest of the world to consider something similar. That will likely further increase the chances of global crypto adoption.

So to answer the question of this post: Maybe a decent chance if UBI is sound in the near future.

Here's another interesting tidbit, Andrew Yang himself claims to be a crypto enthusiast. Here's a brief conversation about it in a recent Ryan Higa's Off The Pill podcast from the 29:25 mark, with Michelle Phan even mentioning the possibility of a Universal Bitcoin Income:-

Here's another talk on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, although I don't remember any mention of cryptos:-

If Andrew Yang gets elected in 2020, I think speculators would probably consider jumping into crypto. Couple that event with Bitcoin's halving could be a boon for my favorite crypto projects, Steem and Tau. But maybe that's just me hoping that I could get a toy cannon for my midlife crisis. Or a flying car. #Vision2020

Anyway, what do you think about his UBI plan? And can crypto help execute a similar plan, but in a much better way? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

Image from Pexels.

Disclaimer: Not to be taken as financial advice.
Vote @kevinwong as witness today.


I'll not go into details and lenghty comments here, but I do think UBI is absolute necessary since I see a future in which most of the work is carried out by robots and AI, hence we will only have a very few jobs for humans to handle. Hence we need a different compensation system for people to be able to get to the basic necessities (food and roof).

In my country the Nertherlands it is calculated UBI would not cost our government more money, since the expectation is that when implementing UBI today, most people will still do some kinda work; Maybe more voluntary work, but still turn labour into some value. Tests showed groups of people getting free money from the government, mostly will not sit still and do nothing anymore. The money our government spend on unemployment, can be used to pay for UBI and all the money the government will save from not checking up those who receive unemployment benefits, increases the amount of money that can be spend on UBI.

I dont see the reference of UBI and crypto. I actually think UBI will be implemented with our fiat money, no need for Bitcoin. Although it would be nice to use crypto, crypto is still by far to difficult for the mass. And even when handling and using crypto becomes as easy as handling fiat, I still don't see the need for crypto, or the necessity for the people to use crypto in a UBI world. Can you elaborate on that statement you made?

Which statement? The last part where I asked if crypto could do a better job with implementing something like UBI? There are a number of write ups about it from some google searches, but maybe my major concern is about assigning UBI to actual identities 1:1 and system of delivery. Maybe a blockchain is better suited for such a task? Plus, UBI necessarily takes from automation, some work unit, so viewing a blockchain as the simplified unit might make sense too.

A blockchain has certainly some good features that can be used in distributing money as well as handle identities. If this would be an implementation as how crypto is implemented today, de-coupled from fiat, no control, volatile, I wonder. Although I really would like to see crypto getting mature, and was hoping for a much shorter maturity adoption rate as so many other technologies; I start doubting this fact. Crypto to reach maturity may take another 1 or 2 decades. UBI we need sooner. Hence I believe, UBI will be implemented in different ways, using fiat, maybe powered by blockchain, but this could be a private one, or semi-private/public version; But I don't see Bitcoin or any of the altcoins playing a role anytime soon.

Added to that: It seems the fast majority trusts our financial institutions; They trust identity services used left and right by digital services; And the governments have identity information of its citizens. Hence distribution of UBI is as simple as the governments are distributing unemployments benefits today.

It is interesting that there are candidates in high politics who know the UBI at all.

The UBI's reputation at the beginning of the millennium was almost non-existent. At that time I heard about it for the first time. Later, in 2008, I founded a blog specialized only on the UBI, which brought me 700 visitors to an article at peak times.

In Switzerland, the referendum on the UBI in 2016 won 23% approval at the first attempt. Let's see how far the initiative will go next time.

In Germany we basically have such an income, but not unconditionally. UBI is a long-term view that basically takes into account the fact that in consumer-oriented external supply societies everyone needs an income, regardless of whether he goes to work for it or not. Every person always spends the minimum income because he has to live and eat. This money goes one hundred percent back into the cycle and it is economically only logical that everyone must have it, because no person can provide himself with shelter and food.

Decoupling work from income is the basic idea and those who do not understand this do not understand much about modern societies. If it is wanted, it will come. There is definitely no problem in financing.

Politics will change from letting go of the notion that politics needs to take care of "giving work to people".

There are some counter-arguments, but I am too tired to name them.

Midlife crisis? How old are you? LOL :D

It's definitely interesting that a lot of the tech / crypto community views UBI in a good light. It does seem somewhat sound with unprecedented automation in a consumer-oriented society.

Midlife crisis?

Being on drama steem is reducing my life expectancy, that's why :p

Maybe the best thing to do is to ask Yang what can make his Freedom Dividend plan to fail. It's always easy to find reasons why something will work. How about why it may not work? Thats a better way to gauge the economic soundness.

In any case, America should go ahead with it. If it fails/wrecks their ass, the rest of the world will gain by learning WHAT NOT TO DO; a much much better knowledge imo.

In any case, America should go ahead with it. If it fails/wrecks their ass, the rest of the world will gain by learning WHAT NOT TO DO; a much much better knowledge imo.

Lol what's more likely to happen are test communities. Too much at risk if it fails large scale. But then again, there are several communities already running with something like an UBI, with good results.

Hey there, Mister, you're too young to be talking about a midlife crisis (wait, at least, till you hit forty).

We could do far worse than Yang for US president -- still haven't made my mind up who to vote for...

Though I, certainly, know who not to vote for!

Good to see you still here and hope to post more :)


Lol good 2 see u. Is that pic your new dig now?

Hah! I wish... Just spinning around, looking for the light :)

Wafting warm ocean breeze your way from Sunny Florida
Original photo.jpg

I'll start to worry when my robot sex doll asks for a universal basic income. Barely can afford the lithium batteries as it is now

UBI chat has been few and far between for the past year or two but this could well spark a revival. The reasoning is sound, and self-driving cars (and lorries) could have a sizable impact on jobs, although this sounds a little way down the, err, road.

p.s. Sad that i am unauthorized to view your midlife crisis.

Updated link! Just a meme lol

Cryptocurrency has become my second and most important source of income in the past. If I had voting rights, I would have chosen Andrew—of course.

Thanks for spreading the word about Andrew Yang! He is not Chinese though, he is as American as they come :) And his parents are from Taiwan.

Thanks for correcting me! Rectified it "Asian" since that's his own pitch.
Edit: and if you happen to be active in his community, just know i've squatted on @yang2020 on steem in case he wants it!

I think Andrew Yang is genius and has a great idea with freedom dividend. Too much money already is wasted on corrupt deals and military industrial complex. I can see positive and meaningful impact of ubi in people’s lives and economy overall.

The only UBI that I've heard of that didn't involve some sort of theft is this one:

It involves everyone mining crypto on their phone. If it involves taxation, then likely Keynesian economic theory follows and hyperinflation after that. This is why we invented bitcoin, to avoid bailing out the banks in the future by giving an exit to people who don't want to be held captive to QE theft in their national fiat.

I glimpsed into the website and the white paper. Thanks for the link. Are you open for a debate on that?

Although I prefer a person independent form of government (which is what I find a really good idea as it would diminish this endless people gossiping in politics), I find the majority voting principle in it outdated, or are majorities based on such a principle not synonymous with intelligence.

Sometimes minorities have unusual proposals and if you consider it carefully, it is always minorities who questioned a habitus that was previously taken for granted. On the threshold to a change, which is enforced by the many on the basis of majority voting principle, you will never have consensus, since there will always be winners and losers with this form of principle. In order to appreciate the intelligence and reason of a human being, it is definitely necessary to have a concept that, firstly, develops the proposals in a longer consensually guided manner and then requires more than "yes" or "no" votes in order to accept a proposal as decided by the majority. The principle of systemic consensus always involves a series of proposals, which are evaluated on the basis of the least inner resistance (each proposal is initially taken for itself). With a scaling, for example from 0-10. 0 means: I have no resistance towards this proposal. 10 means: I have the highest resistance towards it. The averages are given according to feeling. The proposal with the lowest total resistance number is then adopted.

People basically do not like losers. Even the winners feel uncomfortable with the losers. A person feels most at ease when he goes home after a community meeting and has the impression that everyone is satisfied. Systemic consensus is therefore a framework that makes reason and consideration possible and turns away from the competition and winner-loser principle. It pays into humans want for weighing up between things.

However, I find the promises on the website rather questionable. No matter what people do, there will never be a real "end" to something, conflicts are and will always be part of human life ... I do not think it is reasonable to offer such a promising full-bodied prospect. Also here the inherent intelligence of the people is faster (the unconscious already knows that rescue promises never keep what they offer). Conflicts can be welcomed because they create space for cooperation. Those parts in a human who rejects conflicts do not want to take the time to grow and work on them.

This is not within the scope of what I was addressing. I am not a proponent of that website at all. I don't believe in democracy. It's a brutal system. I merely point the website out because it does propose a UBI based upon something other than theft.

As for majority / minority issues, I believe everyone should have to "opt in". It's an injustice to tie two cats tails together with the spoils going to who wins. The answer to a better balanced world is secession and localization. Kick the parasites to the curb and prosperity will return.

The average political will should not extend much past 5 acres. Only those issues that could be planet ending, such as nuclear power should be allowed elevation past the bedroom. Everything else handled more locally.

Oh, I see. Thank you for clearing up this misunderstanding. I can well understand your thought process of the local, I have it myself very often and basically live with a part of my existence according to it. But I would go further and say that one does not have to exclude the other. You point out the big issues and indeed, no government can ignore them, because without global cooperation we cannot achieve nuclear phase-out or any other climate goal. But locality only makes sense if part of the supply chain is provided by local units. For example, the question of Perma cultures in urban environments and in areas of single-family houses, where gardens could be reused and edible crops cultivated. Or the question of using products by repairing them and extending their lifespan. But since we live in a completely externally supplied society, this is an undertaking where you first have to free capacities, i.e. make the shortening of working hours possible and abolish full employment, because only in this way can energy be released for a different lifestyle. Niko Paech, a German economist, advocates a subsidiarity economy, he calls it the "post-growth economy". All this will take time as we are still in the cause-effect loop of the industrial age. One half wants to get out with one leg, the other half has only just started, to put it simply.

In my opinion and view of the world I would say that we suffer from exuberance, not from a lack of prosperity.

It is an interesting idea for sure, too utopian to become reality though. American politics and presidential races are very predictable, 2 morons picked by morons, one republican one democrat, always the same. They don't have the nuance to go all in on this kind of revolutionary deal.

I basically universally agree with this statement.. The USA is a long way from any altruism or radical revolutionary economic experiments being implemented on a federal level...

While 1000 USD might be enough to nearly cover basic living expenses for a single person without kids in some states it's woefully inadequate for many states especially California which has a population of 40 million alone. My rent and utility in a shared living situation hours from the Bay Area was 800 USD for a room!

100 million is a modest estimation indeed and getting big businesses to pay this tax while simultaneously attempting to invest in an automated labor force is akin to a penalty for evolving in a competitive and ever changing capitalist "free market".. That's an extremely "un-American" idea that will be seen as an over reaching government, giving handouts to lazy people..

Now, I'm in no way saying I agree with this, I'm just saying America will not be the testing ground for UBI anytime soon, nor will a young outside the box candidate be elected.

The states are at their most divisive state of existence since the civil war 160 years ago which wasn't about slavery it was basically also about the economics of the south having automated labour while the North had to pay their working class. An over simplified version of history but the point is governments especially the US do not make decisions for humanitarian reasons it's always about the bottom line and in the near future out of work Americans will just have to work harder or git out..

I guess you are probably right for the near future.

How was your life so far? Did you get along somehow well with ups and downs? I'd be interested to know. I don't know, there might come even harder times ahead of the world population, who can know?

When the population of a country is engaged in personal debates (as I perceive a country like the USA), it does so not only vertically, but horizontally. When a citizen thinks badly of another citizen, that transports mistrust. It does not really matter whether someone is lazy or hardworking. Those who are lazy today will be lazy with a UBI and those who are not will not be lazy. Having more or less money basically changes little about one's attitude and the image of man that one cultivates.

However, a UBI wouldn't be an over-intrusive function on the part of the government, though it could be seen that way when one is misunderstanding the concept - is that also your view or do you estimate other peoples views only?

The government would have one huge issue less that it needs to make its mark politically: getting people into work. Or even "creating jobs". Governments don't create jobs, they can only ensure that they offer attractive locations or subsidize certain industries.

If it is true that your government does nothing for humanitarian reasons, it would basically be working against itself. The only reason to govern at all is humanitarian (and ecological). Economy in its proper sense is to serve people, not the other way around. Certainly a UBI would not be a problem solver, but as a mental experiment it is unbelievably well suited to effectively loosen fixed thinking structures and to talk a lot more about what kind of life one wants to lead personally.

My own position has changed over the years. I am not having a hard position on this.

My life so far has certainly been a roller coaster but most of the downs were simply poor decision making and unnecessary risks..

Growing up middle class I had all the resources available to attain the same status my parents had but that was not a life suited for my tastes.

Despite my at times abysmal life choices that lead to some situations with low survival rates I've never received any sort of governmental aid or assistance. In fact I've been blessed enough to never require a doctors care and haven't been to a doctor since I was dropped from parents insurance at age 21..

I'm quite atypical though and lived on the fringes of society and not a single hard working tax paying American would call me an ideal citizen. Such is the case that I find myself 10,000 miles away from that land mass I happened to be born unto.. So long as I can help it, I've got no intentions to go back there anytime soon..

I'm not making a stance on whether or not it's an intrusion on the part of government as much as I'm saying the USA essentially considers anything that resembles socialism as a plague on humanity. This is despite the fact that the new deal in the 1930s was incredibly socialist and enabled the USA to pull itself out of the great depression..

I agree that the government works against itself and the majority of its constituency. I saw what happened when George H Bush's economic stimulus checks for 800 USD came in 2007 or 08 🤔 and it was a catastrophe. Jobs would definitely be created by the UBI for oversight as I assure you that most people given a grand aren't going to immediately start making great financial choices. Rent and basic needs wouldn't be the first things paid for unless it was somehow enforced..

My mind is reeling thinking of ways to abuse the UBI and I know for a fact that's the American way and until the culture and paradigm of consumerism etc changes I can't see UBI working the way it's intended..

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Thank you for giving me an overview.

Those who live from hand to mouth make their decisions on the basis of their possibilities. Nobody wants to be put on the street if they don't pay their rent. No matter how bad or good someone is with his money, he will always have to bear the consequences of bad housekeeping. Whether with or without UBI. You cannot abuse anything that covers merely your existence. It is impossible to live without food and shelter. Just because there might be a UBI does not mean that there is no executive or courts to collect money. The psychological pressure that rents and food emergencies create is not worth abusing. Even the stupidest of the stupid knows that.

I am a social consultant and deal with people on a daily basis who are classified financially at the lowest level. They are unemployed, many without some form of competitive education. But nobody wants to live on the streets from them either (in particular not families). To squander income and then produce rent debts is already a fact today and will continue to be. After all there are legal possibilities of account seizing, if someone actually thinks to have to behave that way, his income - all the same whether normal or UBI - would be simply seized from his account. Even better ... as this income would flow in, no matter what.

Other than that, it's not my business to judge other peoples money spendings. If they misbehave, they misbehave. I fully want to rely on the installed institutions who deal with short sided decisions and help people finding back on track by feeling the consequences. Not as punishment with an ill mind but as a natural consequence which would also occur when we would live as hunter gatherers who forgot to hunter and gather :)

Every person once in a while does something stupid or not well thought through. I think to show tolerance towards that we all welcome. It actually pays into what you said at the beginning: "most of the downs were simply poor decision making and unnecessary risks.." - I see a lot of people reflecting on their lives in this way, when you give room to this form of communication and ask the right questions.

May I ask where you live right now?

Thank you for engaging.

Interesting to see the perspectives from a professional in the trenches of what I think in the states we would call a social worker ?

I obtained a bachelors degree in sociology and never did anything within the field so I’m only speaking from an anecdotal perspective. But, I’m well aware of the basic premise of sociology and psychology and must
say that there is a significant segment of the population in the west that would absolutely put their living situation in jeopardy despite they’re desire to keep a roof over their head and some food in the fridge. Addiction and mental health disorders that are misunderstood or being self medicated don’t lend themselves to rational choices and this has little to do with intelligence.

Seizing an account of someone living hand to mouth is not much of a deterrent as they’re already well acquainted with a risky, precarious existence and in the case of UBI this raises a myriad of moral dilemmas to contend with.

If seized and controlled by an entity that’s at best a welfare state and at worse essentially a free range mostly imprisoned human. Where is the social mobility potential with UBI I feel is a legitimate concern as well ?

I’m happy to engage with someone and keep the discussion clean in an attempt to improve the quality of life for all. I’m sort of playing devils advocate here as well just to give a counterpoint. These ideas aren’t anything i am firm on or hold near and dear to my heart. I’d like to believe in the goodness of man and that goodwill would Be recognized and we can have a Star Trek like earth 😂..

I currently reside in Malaysia outside of Kuala Lumpur in the ports which are among the 5th busiest sea ports on the planet. I appreciate your replies and look forward to future correspondence with you. I also commend you for working with the under privileged and find it truly fascinating to be able to have a platform like steem where these discussions can take place.

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HaHa, thanks giving me the warning that you play the devils advocate. My man and I often take on those roles and mostly he plays the devil.

Yes, I am a social worker and what I learned in the past eight years is that you cannot and will not prevent people from hitting rock bottom. It's mostly a choice to live a suffering life (the unconscious). One has to get a healthy distance towards worlds and humanities saving thoughts and stay pragmatical into every single situation. I refer to what you said about the irrationality of people. Indeed, I see that - don't know if thats truly a mass phenomena - as a needed signal for those parts in us humans who remain intact in heart and mind.

What does experience tell you? When you thought of your counterpart as stupid, short minded, unhealthy, pathological: how did this person respond? What happened when you yourself were stable, good minded, humorous and encouraging? The person changed from a zombie into a reasonable person, no? :)

Think it to the end: Someone who is familiar with a precarious lifestyle has to be a loner. No kids, no spouse, no family which interests him/her. Otherwise you always will have people who interfere. Parents, brothers, sisters, grand parents, friends, spouses. This is actually their role and always will be. One does not have to like it but to feel that he counts when others point out something critical. In retrospective it often is interpreted as "care". The state wants to opt out as much as possible. I am telling every person in my consultancy that the state has nothing to do with personal conflicts and actually really likes people to take care of their own. I am not talking about politicians, I am talking about institutions like the courts, the police, the social workers, the unemployment institutions. They are happiest when people can take care of both their financial and emotional matters. In those cases, where interference is needed they still are happiest the less this interference had to last and be strict. People can learn to be more grateful for that. And they are when you let a funny light shine on it. I do that in my working with clients and in about eighty percent of the time we come out, laughing or smiling. The other twenty I just have to accept that life also is frustrating and sh.. happens.

So glad to hear that you do not choose the dark side. LOL ... though ... you and me and everyone has it and should embrace it. ... You know what happens with denial, I guess. Very well. :-D

Oh, Asia! The very unknown part of the world to me. But I dig into things from the East what comes with "Buddhism" or "Zen".

Yes, a pleasure talking to you.

The smart people will use that universal income to buy crypto. Socialism will destroy the dollar. When the asset bubble pops, governments will print unlike anything we've seen before. I call it the usd's last breath.

Is UBI socialism? Maybe a naive implementation. Unless you meant socialism in a very different way, or if you meant something other than the UBI.

The redistribution of wealth is the essence of socialism.

I do hope that btc will back to its track - running like a bull!

Maybe but how many posibilities he had to get the USA president, specially with a lot of competitión with others man more powerfull.
Well if he get the president chair is oviosly he help us to grow our dreams to be finantial money free.
Best regard.

Definitely if it goes that way kind of a little boost it can provide to each market

I believe will happen a decade from now... but with crypto, anything can speed up the process 🤑

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i don't know, as an idea is pretty awesome but based on humanity's greed i am kinda biased regarding its success.

Can art work on steemit substantially add to basic world hunger need in additional crypto income ?
Nice post

Wow. I just spent an hour listening to this Podcast and Mr Yang has some great ideas! He seems down to earth, smart, not egotistical and very practical. I plan to join the yang gang and see how far he can go!
Thanks for posting this info!

Hi @kevinwong

Do you think steembasicincome is consistent with #newsteem and #pob?
Do you think it’s different from any other botupvotes?

Thank you, I am trying to think this topic through right now.

Hmm looking at it I think it's no different from bot upvotes, and whatever coin they have is just like Steem, but well, heavily benefiting whoever came up with it. That's my first hunch.


You said:

2020 is going to be an interesting year. A year of epic events, many of which are going to be overhyped, underdelivered, or just end up missing-in-action. 2020 is just too nice of a number to ride on.

**Who would have known how profetic this was? It has been the year of the century perhaps. Perhaps a contest of the Top Ten things that happened in 2020 so far?/

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