Could Universal Basic Income in America Boost Global Interest in Cryptocurrencies?
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:-
- Tokyo 2020.
- Flying cars.
- Bitcoin's halving.
- Steem's SMTs & Communities.
- Tau Alpha.
- My midlife crisis.
- 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 Yang2020.com:-
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.