WEALTH ICO: Basic Income to 1B+ People via Impact Investment

Shun-Yun Hu
Joint Commonwealth Fund
6 min readNov 22, 2022

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The JCF Team and Friends at Collision’22 in Toronto

(中文版: 請點這邊)

The wealth gap between the rich and poor has always existed, but is increasing at an alarmingly rate.

Universal Basic Income (or UBI) is a potential solution, but we all know governments are slow to act.

So why not start from us?

Joint Commonwealth Fund (JCF) is a social impact fund that invests in crypto assets to make basic income truly universal! Our vision is to cover over 1 Billion people with basic income by the year 2040.

Since our inception in 2018, we’ve successfully prototyped an index investment strategy that pays monthly dividend to all participants, half of which is equally shared as a form of basic income.

Last year (2021) the average monthly dividend paid was over 6%, and the year before (2020) was 2%. In 2021, all participants receive over US$300 of basic income, even if one started with just US$10 initially!

While $300 doesn’t sound much by Western standards, it IS a meaningful amount for many parts of the world, considering that 698M people lived below the $1.90/day international poverty line in 2021.

We believe that we’ve found a viable mechanism to build and scale basic income globally, bridge the wealth gap, and make poverty history! We want your contribution!

Is Global UBI Possible?

Funding UBI for over 1 billion people seems to be daunting. But a bit more analysis reveals that it is feasible, given enough time and persistent effort.

First, there IS more than enough wealth for everyone to enjoy an adequate life, given that the annual median income of the world today is US $850, meaning that half the world’s population earns above this and half earns below.

If the global total income is evenly distributed, everyone can have $7,000, almost 9 times what would be required for half the world’s 8 billion people to live comfortably. So the wealth is there! it’s just not distributed well.

Now, what does it actually take to provide basic income to 1 billion people?

We’ll make a few wild assumptions here, and you can argue for its correctness, but we’d like to present a baseline first.

Given the median income today is $850, and the poverty line is $1.9/day (about $700/year). Let’s assume an average basic income is just that, $850 annually. That means roughly $850B per year is required to support 1B+ people with $850 each on average.

Assuming an annual Return on Investment (RoI) of 10%, it would require $8,500B or $8.5 Trillion of Assets Under Management (AUM) to generate such profits.

To provide UBI continously, we might want to build up a profit reserve (much like how dems save water so we always have water even though it doesn’t rain every day). Depending on how “safe” we want the reserve to be, it could be from 2x to 4x of the profits required for payment, giving us between $17T to $34T AUM.

Now, today’s two largest asset management companies are Vanguard and BlackRock, each with about $8.5 trillion AUM. So the numbers we’re talking about aren’t so off the mark, and might even be supported by ONE private organization.

With the above analysis, we can see that even TODAY a private company is capable to support UBI for about 1 billion people with $850 a year, with just a conservative 10% RoI. Given 20 years, we might just build organizations specifically for such a goal!

Now what kind of assets and approach would help us get to $17T to $34T AUM in 20 years? We believe cryptos can.

Is Crypto the Right Asset?

Since late 2021 it has been “crypto winter” for the global crypto community. Several crashes of Bitcoin, the fall of LUNA, the bankruptcy of Celsius Networks and more recently, the second largest crypto exchange FTX.

All does not seem well with crypto.

However, we see this as the growing pain of the crypto/blockchain adoption and strong evidence of keeping the basics right: transparancy, accountability, and trust.

We can also see from the volatility of crypto assets that a purely “trust-based” crypto without solid collaterals may have too high a fluctation to be considered a safe investment by most.

If instead of purely “trust (bubble)-based” cryptos, we actually invest in tokenized assets with strong fundmantals, collaterals with Net Asset Values (NAVs), the growth of such assets might be the basis for a global UBI fund.

To make UBI really happen, one or two funds likely won’t do it! As not everybody knows or trusts crypto assets, nor do they know how to invest.

However, if we simply tokenize various types of existing, well-trusted assets, such as stocks, real estate, collectables, precious metals, or even companies, it might provide “safer” and more stable asset types for long-term investments.

In fact, one of the most predictable and reliable economic engine of growth has been the collective economic drive of entreprenerial activities. The average annual growth of the S&P 500 index since 1957 has been 10.57%.

The WEALTH Platform

One of the feedbacks we got from attending startup conferences WebSummit and Collision was: why not ask the great Silican Valley companies for donations? After all, the technologies they create are at least partially responsible for the increasing wealth gap.

While it might not be an easy request, what if we start to help future unicorn companies get off the ground with impact investment, and let a portion of their future profit be used to support social causes such as UBI?

Not only will it be attractive to founders raising funds, it’s actually something we can do TODAY!

If we can secure the promises of future tech billionaires that they’ll support UBI with their future profits, as these companies grow and succeed, so will the size and feasibility of such a fund for UBI support!

The purpose of WEALTH platform is to help entreprenuers with social impact projects or companies raise funds more easily from other entreprenuers.

So we’re not just envisioning one or two funds, but potentially hundrends to thousands of tokenized funds for impact projects, representing different asset types, and can have different degrees of openness and policies.

Why is this imporant? Becuase societies are well served with more social impact projects / companies. But funding has been one of the main pain and bottlenecks.

Traditionally funding from fellow friends and family is well practiced but not standardized. Why can’t we want a modern option that’s fast & easy?

Ideally, projects are listed with clear metrics for due diligence for both founders & projects. Founders can raise quickly within 1–2 weeks, and a portion of funds raised & future profits are reserved for impact / donation purpose (such as to contribute to a global UBI pool or other social causes.

If this doesn’t happen, funding for social entreprenuers are still difficult, ineffective, with a small success rate, as funds raised via existing means may not serve societal values and benefits well.

On the other hand, if actions are taken towards this vision, social impact entreprenuers/projects can then be well-supported and possibly accelerate societal change/growth more significantly. Social values increase and social problems are resolved better.

Here are what we consider a few Success Criteria for such as fund-raising platform for impact entreprenuers:

  • All projects listed are screened for clear social impact metrics & values (ex. family / individual impacted / helped).
  • Projects are advertised & supported within entreprenuerial circles by like-minded founders.
  • funds raised & profits are reserved for: 3% platform; 7% donation; 10% founder/team/advisors.
  • We want to build this ICO platform also via ICOs, which are raised in 5 rounds (end of 2022.Q4, 2023.Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4) with $1/2/3/4/5M, respectively.
  • major decisions (including milestones reached for the release of funds) are voted: 33% each for investors; founders; execution teams.
  • profit sharing are weighted: round 1~5: x5, x4, x3, x2, x1; teams: x3; founders: x3. This way, the earlier someone participates, the more profit sharing one is able to enjoy.
  • To provide better transparancy, accountability, and trust for the platform and our community, we intend to build open source software whenever possible and would like to open our tech stack as much as possible!

Today we’re excited to share the purpose and design of WEALTH, and we plan to do the first WEALTH ICO Launch for$1M USD on Dec. 10th, 2022!

If you’re interested to learn more or participate, please go to our official site at https://jcf.world to read our whitepaper, and leave your email so you’ll be notified when the public launch happens. Stay tuned!

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Shun-Yun Hu
Joint Commonwealth Fund

Founder of Joint Commonwealth Inc. (JCF), Co-founder of Imonology Inc. Someone who enjoys to observe, to think, and to create…