Introducing Blockchain UBI Potential At UBI-Nordic

Nir Yaacobi
Nir Yaacobi presented GoodDollar's blockchain UBI in Oslo
Nir Yaacobi presented GoodDollar’s blockchain UBI in Oslo

Potential For Blockchain UBI Was Discussed In Oslo, The Norwegian Capital

The GoodDollar team was delighted to be invited and take part in UBI-Nordic 2019, held in the Norwegian capital Oslo — officially the world’s most expensive city, fittingly — in early April, and hosted by BIEN Norway. It was important to discuss the potential for blockchain UBI.

I travelled from Israel with Gilad Barner, Community and Operations Manager, and I believe we opened the eyes of the 100 or so delegates, the majority of whom were not familiar with the great potential of blockchain — especially with regard to large-scale universal basic income (UBI) solutions.

Following a reception and guided tour at Rådhuset — the Oslo City Hall, where the Nobel Peace Prize is granted — and after the mayor spoke about the importance of UBI, I took part in a panel session at the summit, which was subtitled Visions for a Brighter Future, and held at Chateau Neuf. We were honoured to be the first blockchain-backed UBI project to attend the prestigious conference. Judging by the reaction and interest we received, hopefully we succeeded in breathing fresh air into the community.

New Friends

Gilad and I met many very enthusiastic people who have been focused on UBI for a long time — some more than three decades — even at a global level. Pleasingly, they were open to the idea of blockchain as another tool to help this happen. We will be sure to maintain the relationships within this community, and hope that we can collaborate with both individuals and their projects, sooner rather than later.

Some of the attendees, speakers and organisers have been engaging in UBI as far back as the 1980s. We encountered a lot of interest and openness about the subject of blockchain. Hopefully, GoodDollar made an impact, as we wore GoodDollar t-shirts and manned a stand.

GoodDollar was afforded a 75-minute slot to present our ideas, the project and the potential of blockchain for UBI, and it was great that it intrigued a lot of the audience; we ran out of time for questions: a good sign. We incorporated some additional storytelling from Gilad and also from Julio Linares, a good friend and an activist in Circles UBI and BIEN. Some of the questions revolved around the use of GoodDollar, some about the identity mechanisms, and there were queries around transaction fees, the technological choice of Ethereum et cetera.

After my presentation, in response to a question about GoodDollar’s use cases, Gilad showed delegates a snippet of the Hackinequality video — GoodDollar’s hackathon for reducing wealth inequality using blockchain technology on March 2019 — and spoke about the interesting ideas that the nine teams came up with, and how the community can come up with ideas to use GoodDollar. It made clear: in the open-source space, concepts can come from the community and not necessarily from us.

We are already looking forward to the BIEN Congress 2019 — which takes place in Hyderabad, India, in August — and next year’s UBI-Nordic, which will be held in Sweden, when we aim for GoodDollar to be already a project of a larger scale. When we launch our pilot later this year, we aim to achieve more recognition within the community, and beyond.

My sense is that those involved in classic UBI theory, who might find the central bureaucracy frustrating, appreciate a new chance to push this subject forward. Together we can accelerate UBI on a global scale, and this visit to Scandinavia was a key episode in the development of GoodDollar.

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