November 7th, 2018 was our first official public announcement of the GoodDollar experiment. Web Summit was kind to invite Yoni Assia, CEO and co-founder of the world’s leading social trading platform eToro, to speak about a project he’s been working on; The GoodDollar experiment is a series of tests with the ultimate purpose of reducing wealth inequality through blockchain technology. Its mission is to build a new, global, open-source cryptocurrency - called GoodDollar - to distribute money using the principles of universal basic income (UBI). In fact, Yoni has been writing about the growing risks wealth inequality introduces and has set a goal to develop an alternative economical structure. Recently through the support of eToro, a team has been formed (Join Us).
What is GoodDollar?
We think Yoni probably explains it best. Here you can learn how Yoni views the problem of wealth inequality, and learn of the GoodDollar experiment approach. The 15 minute presentation is called “The Social Evolution of Wealth” and was first unveiled at Web Summit 2018:
A Deeper Dive
Following this presentation at Web Summit, a more intimate gathering was organised for the press. There, Yoni presented the project again in a shorter format, and was then asked questions from members of the media.
“How do you suppose poor people will get to the platform … they don’t know that the platform exists. Either they don’t know how to use the platform or they don’t have the standard media - smartphone, whatever - to use the platform. So, how do you get to the poor people?”
Yoni explained that from previous experience with eToro, they assume that “there isn’t a direct correlation between the sophistication of people, necessarily, and how poor or rich they are”. He continued: “Initially, we are expecting the smartest poorest people to join this … Surprisingly, today there are more people with mobile phones and connection to the internet than people with bank accounts … Giving away free money is a very good way to bring in more people.”
To best experience the vibes, see the full video of the press conference:
Inequality & UBI in the Crypto Age
A day before the official launch of the GoodDollar, we held an intimate roundtable at the Web Summit Venue in Lisbon, the Portuguese capital. We were inspired and humbled by the Altice Arena, an impressive structure and architectural work by the Portuguese architect Regino Cruz. GoodDollar shares the innovative vision of the structure, which was built with a resemblance to a futuristic spaceship. Just as it was constructed to change the landscape of Lisbon for the long term, GoodDollar is a long term initiative with the aim of improving the landscape of global wealth inequality. It was unfortunately limited to only 15 participants. “Unfortunately” because there was massive oversubscription as many more had signed up to hear about “Inequality & UBI in the Crypto Age”. Gilad Barner, our Community and & Operations Lead, indeed led the community and the discussion about the problem of wealth inequality, described classic UBI, and raised potential solutions available in the crypto age, including experiments being conducted at GoodDollar.