Philanthropy is missing out on $2860 billion/year.

That’s $1 for every person on earth, daily.

It would lift most people out of extreme poverty‚ÄĒwithout depending on donations.

This isn't hypothetical. There is a concrete way to unlock this stream of money and give every human a UBI of $7 / week in the form of a direct cash transfer.
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All we need to do is switch to a new currency.

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WHERE THE MONEY COMES FROM

The $2860b‚ÄĒthat's how much new money governments print in a year.

Modern economies continously create additional money. It's inherent to our monetary system. But if we're doing that anyway, why not repurpose it as UBI and reduce poverty?

The amount of money on earth is always growing. The rate of growth differs per country and fluctuates over time. But globally, between 1994-2019, the amount of money has been increasing by about 8% per year on average.

This is on purpose. Governments (their central banks, to be precise) print extra money in order to prevent deflation.

Here's how that works. Companies get better at what they do over time, so economies are usually able to produce more goods and services each year. Example: say our economy got 6% more productive compared to last year. If we'd keep using the same amount of money to pay for these goods and services, these would all need to get about 6% cheaper.

That's deflation: prices go down. But as nice as that sounds, deflation is actually believed to be bad for the economy. So if we want to keep prices stable, theoretically this economy needs to add 6% more money to restore the balance. That is what central banks do. In fact, they usually overcompensate: erring on the safe side by 2%, the central bank will add 8% of new money, causing 2% of inflation.

Note that this is highly simplified. Inflation and deflation have many causes, and commercial banks also play role in money creation.

Also note that we're not talking about Venezualean hyperinflation here, or pandemic stimulus packages. Those are exceptions: situations where governments excessively printed money as a cheat code for more cash. That's a controversial practice, and it's often what people refer to when they discuss inflation and money creation.

We mean just the usual, steady creation of new central bank money, which is something all stable economies have been doing for decades at an average yearly rate of about 8%.

So if new money is constantly being created out of thin air‚ÄĒwhere does it go?

Newly created money flows into the economy top-down via the financial industry.

That system mainly favors rich nations, since they control the world's most valuable currencies. But even though it's not commonly thought of as such, this is a policital choice. We could simply decide to use the money for something else.
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We believe it’s fairer and better for the world if each year's new money would go directly to everyone on earth, irrespective of nationality.

One can try to make that happen in two ways:

01   The political route

Convince nations in control of the existing currencies to distribute their new money to everyone on earth

02  The permissionless route

Start a new currency that does this by design, then make the world opt in to it

WHERE THE MONEY COMES FROM

The $2860b‚ÄĒthat's how much new money governments print in a year.

They do this deliberately: it's how they prevent deflation. We could repurpose all of this new money as UBI.

The amount of money on earth is always growing. Globally, between 1994-2019, the amount of money has been increasing by about 8% per year on average.

This is on purpose. Governments (their central banks, to be precise) print extra money to keep up with their economic growth.

If the amount of money were fixed, economic growth would cause flation. Deflation is not nice. So nations‚ÄĒand their banks‚ÄĒcreate additional money to restore the balance. In fact, they aim to overshoot and cause 2% inflation per year, a rate they believe is healthy.
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Newly created money flows into the economy top-down via the financial industry. It disproportionately favors rich nations, since they control the most valuable currencies.
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We believe it’s fairer and better for the world if the new money would go directly to everyone on earth, irrespective of nationality.

There are two ways to make that happen.

01   The political route

Convince nations in control of the existing currencies to distribute their new money to everyone on earth

02  The permissionless route

Start a new currency that does this by design, then make the world opt in to it

MONEY PRINTER GOES UBI

Global Income Coin (GLO):
a cryptocurrency that generates basic income.

Later this year we’re launching GLO, an ethereum-
based cryptocurrency.

Once we're live, every human can verify their identity by going through a KYC process. Verified humans get a weekly airdrop of GLO for free: that's the basic income. The value of the airdrops will depend, but we’re aiming for $7 per week.
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If people and businesses adopt GLO as a means of payment, the fact that they're using GLO as money sustains the value of the coin.

Their combined transactions form the GLO¬†economy. As that economy grows, we can do the same thing central banks do:¬†slowly create additional GLO, targeting a tiny bit of inflation. The newly created GLO is what we'll airdrop‚ÄĒthat's where the basic income is paid from.
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If GLO replaces all government created money, this would amount to $2860b/year. That's what we estimate to be the maximum achievable amount. Our "total adressable market", if you will.

But 100% adoption is not necessarily the point. Any degree of sustained adoption has value, because it unlocks some level of universal basic income. GLO users form an economy that generates money ‚Äúout of thin air‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒmoney that complements any existing, donation-driven poverty reduction initiatives. The higher our GDP, the more we generate.

Global Income Coin is permissionless monetary policy change.

If you want to help reduce world poverty, just opt-in. Start replacing some of your dollar transactions. Each time you pay with GLO instead, you're shifting a fraction of money creation from the traditional system into a global UBI.

CONTRARIAN TOKENOMICS

GLO is not a stablecoin, but we’re targeting $1

Think of GLO as its own currency, similar to the dollar, euro or yen. There is no peg. Still, our ambition is for GLO to be less volatile than most cryptocurrencies. After all, we want it to be useful as money.

That’s why Global Income Coin will operate a USDC reserve. We’ll buy and sell GLO from the market, with a two-fold purpose:

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  1. Dampen the volatility of GLO by absorbing price swings
  2. Support the value of GLO during times of low demand

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In these interventions, we aim for an average price of $1. But again, this is not a peg. We’ll allow any amount of deviation up or down in principle. This makes GLO a so-called floating currency with a managed float.
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Few places will accept GLO payments at first, so we don't expect a lot of organic demand for the coin initially. During this early phase the reserves play an important role in supporting its value (purpose #2).

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As the ecosystem develops and GLO usage ramps up, its value should become increasingly self-sustained. The primary role of the reserves then shifts to volatility dampening (purpose #1).

Like real-world currencies, GLO is inflationary by design

Slight inflation encourages spending rather than hoarding. It invites economic activity rather than speculation. There‚Äôs no reason to hold on to your coins‚ÄĒtheir value won‚Äôt go up. So why not spend them?

GLO is the exact opposite of most cryptocurrencies

The popularity of a cryptocurrency is often measured by its market cap:

market cap = number of coins * value per coin

Because currencies like bitcoin constrain the number of coins, early holders reap the benefits of increased popularity.

The following is oversimplified, but think of it like this. Bitcoin is mostly used for investing in. If 60 million investors want to have $10k invested in bitcoin on average, bitcoin's market cap goes to $600 billion. Because the number of bitcoins is fixed at 21 million, this makes each indiviual coin worth $28.5k. If the number of people who want to invest $10k in bitcoin later doubles, the market cap doubles as well. But because the number of bitcoin is still fixed at 21 million, this increases the price of bitcoin to $57k. Early holders have doubled their investment.

With GLO, it's the other way around. Rather than for investing in, GLO will be used like normal money: for payments and savings. Say people and companies who use GLO want to collectively save and transact $10 billion worth of GLO. Then the market cap is $10 billion, and if that's also the number of coins in existence, they'll be worth $1 each.

If over time the demand for savings and transactions in GLO doubles to $20 billion, normally the value of each coin would increase to $2. But we prevent that by creating 10 billion extra GLO, which we distribute equally to all verified humans through the weekly airdrops. As the number of existing coins is now 20 billion, the value per coin goes back to $1. In the process, we've generated and distributed $10 billion worth of UBI.

GLO is digital money, not digital gold.

GLO is the exact opposite of most cryptocurrencies

When a cryptocurrency becomes more popular, it's total value goes up. This is often measured in terms of its market cap:

market cap = number of coins * value per coin

Currencies like bitcoin constrain the number of coins. This means that for the  market cap to go up, the value per coin must rise. As a result, when bitcoin becomes more popular, early holders reap the benefits.

Global Income Coin works the other way around. If the market cap of GLO goes up, we create more coins. This drives the value per coin back to $1. The new coins are distributed equally among all verified humans. So when Global Income Coin becomes more popular, everyone benefits.

GLO is digital money, not digital gold.

WHO WE ARE

Developed by the Global Income Coin Foundation, a non-profit

We’re incorporating in Zug, Zwitserland. The Foundation’s initial donor and founder is Sid Sijbrandij, CEO of GitLab.

Our operational costs and employee salaries run on philanthropic donations. Created coins are never used to fund the Foundation‚ÄĒno hands in the cookie jar. There‚Äôs also no premine, founder/investor allocation, or any other for-profit scheme for our creators, developers or donors.

We're a nonprofit that thinks and operates like a startup. Our team is fully remote, and we're hiring globally. If you're excited about using blockchain technology for societal good, consider joining. We're hiring engineers, marketeers, economists, traders, community builders, recruiters and many other roles.

Sid Sijbrandi
Sid Sijbrandij
Founding donor
HOW We're makING this work

Driving adoption by leveraging community, capitalism, and network effects


Global Income Coin succeeds when it reaches widespread adoption as a form of money. Getting there requires a lot of work. 

First: the development of infrastructure and services. The GLO ecosystem needs identifity verification for humans of all nationalities (i.e. KYC), wallet apps, payment rails, e-commerce integrations, fraud detection, and other tech to be a useful form of digital money in the first place. Second: vendor adoption. Businesses need to be convinced to accept GLO as payment for goods and services. Finally, we'll need to encourage humans to actually get GLO and start using it.  

This is infeasible for a single non-profit organization, especially at global scale. Rather than driving adoption directly, our strategy is to do this through three more scalable ways:

    1. Growing a social movement of GLO enthusiasts


    It's likely that most people who adopt GLO do this out of self-interest: if they verify their identity, they get free money every week. But some percentage will learn about Global Income Coin, resonate with the mission, and adopt GLO for altruistic reasons. Even if this is a relatively small group, they're an important group of users to foster for various reasons.

    For starters, they'll form the first group of consumers eager to spend GLO. They'll likely accept a subpar user experience in the early phase of the ecosytem. This gives the first vendors a reason to start accepting GLO. Second, as mission-driven advocates, they may evangelize GLO which drives adoption. Third, they may decide to purchase GLO on top of the free airdrops, which increases demand for the coin.

    A growing number of people is ideologically pro-UBI. We'll market purchasing and using GLO as the most direct way for individuals to contribute to enacting a universal basic income and alleviate extreme poverty in a systematic way.

      2. Incentivizing for-profits to do the heavy lifting


      Verifying the identity of billions of people is too much work for a single organization. We'll delegate that to crypto exchanges instead. If they take care of KYC and offer a custodial GLO wallet for humans they've verified, we send the weekly GLO to these. The exchange is allowed to take a fee for this service, creating a new revenue stream. This way, for-profits have a commercial incentive to drive the adoption of Global Income Coin.

      The relation between crypto exchanges and the Global Income Coin Foundation is analogous to commercial banks and central banks. Like a central bank, the Foundation issues the currency and determines monetary policy but doesn't directly service users of the currency. With fiat currencies, commercial banks fulfill that role. With GLO, it's crypto exchanges.

      In the same vein, we're considering incentive mechanisms for contributing to the ecosystem in other ways, like driving vendor adoption or developing payment infrastructure.
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      3. Once the ball starts rolling, network effects kick in


      The social movement will form the initial group of users, and incentivizing for-profits develop the initial infrastructure. That solves the cold start problem and gets an early economy going. Because of this, vendors have an incentive to start accepting GLO, as they'll be able to reach a new customer base. As more and more companies make this decision, more people will learn about Global Income Coin.

      There's little reason for them not to join and at least claim the free weekly airdrop, growing the base of consumers owning GLO. When more crypto exchanges enter the ecosystem, they'll need to compete for verified humans by offering a better service or lowering their fees, meaning it will become cheaper and easier to use GLO. These incentives play into each other, forming a positive feedback loop.
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      HOW We're makING this work

      We're a social movement, but we'll let capitalism do the work

          HOW We're makING this work

          We incentive capitalism to scale our altruism

              HOW We're makING this work

              An altruistic movement with capitalist wings

                  HOW We're makING this work

                  Growing a social movement at the speed of capitalism

                      HOW We're makING this work

                      Scaling a social movement at the speed of capitalism

                          HOW We're makING this work

                          Scaling a social movement using the powers of capitalism

                              HOW We're makING this work

                              A non-profit with for-profit execution power

                                  HOW We're makING this work

                                  We're a non-profit, but incentivize for-profits to do the heaving lifting

                                      Current status, our next steps, and how you can get involved

                                      We’re very early. Global Income Coin isn't available yet. The whitepaper is still a work in progress, but the draft is public. You're very welcome to read, add comments and make suggestions.

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                                      Beyond writing the whitepaper, we are currently focused on:

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                                      1. Hiring
                                      2. Partnering with crypto exchanges for upcoming token launch
                                      3. R&D on finance, economy, ecosystem and community

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                                      The GLO token launch is slated for later this year. This will be in partnership with one or more crypto exchanges. The exchanges will offer their users the option to verify their identities with Global Income Coin and receive the first GLO airdrops. If you are a forward-thinking crypto exchange, let's talk!

                                      We’re also finetuning the Global Income Coin model through R&D on four domains:

                                      • Finance ‚ÄĒ monetary policy, volatility management and reserve trading strategy
                                      • Economy ‚ÄĒ measuring and forecasting GLO usage, supply and demand
                                      • Incentive and ecosystem design ‚ÄĒ engineering the for-profit ecosystem
                                      • Community design ‚ÄĒ shaping the various ways for enthusiasts to contribute

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                                      We’re rapidly hiring in all of these areas, as well as in engineering, HR and legal.

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                                      If you're excited about our mission and work, consider joining! We work fully remotely, and hire globally.

                                      How you can contribute

                                      Spread the word‚ÄĒshare this page with a couple friends
                                      We’re using crypto for good. If this excites you, check Careers
                                      Join the discussion on Discord and our public draft whitepaper
                                      If you’re a member of the effective altruist community, let’s talk
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