UBI scenario building draft

Tim Reutemann
3 min readDec 11, 2018


This is another one of these rambling drafts that I write mostly for myself. More about it in Liquid Rising — Yes, that’s the working title of www.liquid-reign.com part two.

So, that pathway to UBI problem, modelling currency design under migration and trade — lol that sounds almost like the title of an economics paper.

The currency needs to spawn at an even rate for each human being (universality condition).

Spawning at an even rate at per private key should soon be available on Ethereum. (consider that problem solved, off-chain if necessary). Handing one private key to one person is more problematic — This is where the “migration” condition imposes limits. We assume here that an evil AI already exists and is trying to turn the world into the Third Reich, so just to be on the safe side, every applicant for new keys outside the starting pool needs to be verified in their humanity i.e. Turing Tested. This is costly in terms of human attention spans and needs to be partially automatic or and involve offline action. Also, keys should only be issued temporary e.g. with a for 150 year validity span. Also, sybil defence requires some traditional tech.

First solutions are emerging via Democracy Earth Foundation and Estonian e-citizenship. E-Citizenship has the stronger proof, especially reg. Sybil, but is less accessible for marginalized people. Could use both, making it suitable for a two-stage migration process. The first stage (first solve a captcha, then do a life video interaction with a verified human) can be done by any node with internet access and provides no protection against the evil Nazi AI. The second stage requires you to show up in person at an Estonian embassy. Recognizing the difficulties involved in reaching one of those embassies, there should be some crowd funding for nodes who pass a weak Turing test.

recap: We got two key types — asylum wallet (WA) and citizen wallet (WC) spawning asylum currency (CA) citizen currency and (CC). We assume an even rate over time, defining spawning rate asylum (SA) and spawning rate citizen (SC).

Valuing the Currency

If SA (or SC) is >0, the currency is inherently inflationary. Taking this inflation into account can lead to a zero net present value for such currencies when newly created. That’s the problem that Bitcoin- or Gold-based currencies solves with a finite cap. Another common solution to the problem is to pay public servants in the currency (see Fiat Money 101). This allows for experiments e.g. at a city scale, where cities could buy human attention requiring labour from the population and accept payments from their constituents in the new currency (as done in Zug with Bitcoin).

This leads us to the second condition of the model: Trade. For reasons of scale- and fork-ability, the trade with non-citizens using different currencies is particularly interesting. This determines the value of the currency for the purchase of goods against the currently dominant local monopoly currencies, with the bitcoin price intermediating. We assume a decentralized exchange like etherdelta were any anonymous key can trade and that markets are magically good… yeah, sorry, Economists do that sometimes — market place design is a tough cookie. I like ether delta.


Assuming it starts with a city accepting the new UBI for its services and paying part of its wages in the currency. That city can set a minimum exchange rate for the currency via the ratio of the cost of its services in traditional and new currency. Gogogo Karl Heinz-Häsliprinz, we’re ready for rabbit prototyping.



Tim Reutemann

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