To what extent can blockchain and crypto tackle income inequality and poverty?

in LeoFinance3 months ago (edited)

I’ve been digging around the good old internet for information on how ‘blockchain and crypto’ are being used to tackle income inequality and poverty, inspired by this week’s @eco-train question of the week which is to write something on blockchain and social good, so I narrowed the topic down to this one.

NB One of the things I've concluded after digging around a bit is this:
blockchain and charity.png

I know charity isn't necessarily the best means to alleviate poverty, but if people MUST give to charity, they may as well come through our chain. More on that later!

Arguments and evidence for blockchain and crypto tackling inequality and poverty

I looked at numerous articles (linked below) and found the following arguments and evidence:

  1. Peer to peer distributed ledgers weaken the power of corrupt governments and elites to control the money supply.
  2. Crypto is both a wealth preserver (against fiat inflation) and has the potential for greater explosive growth potential.
  3. It’s easier for people to acquire crypto than to acquire stocks or property.
  4. Blockchain technology has been used to help some of world’s 1.7 billion ‘unbanked’ people credit histories and thus access to loans.
  5. There are increasing numbers of charitable organisations which allow people to donate in crypto.
  6. Teaching people about crypto is a good way to increase their financial literacy.

All of the above may well be true, but I'm not convinced that all of them are effective means for blockchain/ crypto to tackle poverty/ inequality, at least not without undermining some of the key advantages that blockchian/ crypto has over fiat.

There's also quite a lot of contingencies to the above arguments..

Arguments one and two are true, but only IF crypto gains wider recognition and grows in value faster than fiat, and then its capacity to combat inequality/ poverty depends on which cryptos grow and is limited to only those who have it!

Number three is true, but there are very limited means whereby people can acquire crypto without having to buy with FIAT - HIVE/ that other chain I won't mention/ LBRY/ PublishOX/ BAT/ bits and pieces you can earn from Coinbase and similar initiatives - there may be a few more, but surly they are limited?

Four and five may well be the case - but these are not crypto exclusive - I doubt those loans are in BTC, they're probably in FIAT, and having looked at 'The Giving Block' - responsible for BTC Tuesday - all that happens there is people give BTC etc. to whatever charity and the charity spends it - it hardly seams like a win for the blockhain!

So taking four and five together - the first seems like a win for blockchain, but not for crypto, and vice versa for the other, where poverty alleviation is concerned.

Number 6 above I have no criticism of at all - I recommend everyone listen to this podcast on Banking the Unbanked - with Carlos Acevedo from Brave - he talks about how he used to run a 'crypto club' when he was a teacher in a school in a deprived area of New York, and how this got the kids thinking about finance - he even gave them Crypto when they graduated.

He also talks about the 'ideology' of Brave - paying people tiny micropayments for their attention in BAT (when they choose to watch ads) - all they need is a phone to be able to earn, and then from there BAT can be used to buy more data, for example.

I actually bought some more BAT on listening to it!

Hive and Leofinance have enormous potential to be leading projects in tackling inequality and poverty

This is just a brain dump at this phase, but I just can't help but think that this is the blockchain for combatting inequality -

  • Firstly, it's one of the few places where people anywhere in the world can sign up for free and start earning.
  • Secondly, there is already a solid track record of Hive and leo being used to lift people out of poverty/ tide them over pandemic income droughts.
  • Thirdly, there is scope to directly establish positive projects IRL and blogged about on Hive like the Decentralised Football Academy - you can support simply by upvoting them.
  • Even more simply, if a charity like OXFAM, or even an individual you know in need simply opened up a Hive account, you can directly support them by adding them as a beneficiary on your posts, they don't even need to blog!
  • Probably most obviously, you can just send someone Hive or LEO instantaneously, FOR FREE!

Maybe we're missing a trick here with marketing Hive - I mean, we want investors, right, and there's plenty of BTC millionaires who are prepared to donate a few thousand dollars worth of Crypto on 'BTC Tuesday' - well why the hell not buy some Hive or LEO instead, power it up and then use it to perpetually donate to a charity or person/ people of your choice?

Let's go with the cliche - you want to buy a village a well - well (excuse the pun) why not just send them a few thousand Hive initially to get the well up and running and then 100 Hive or however much it takes a month to keep it maintained?

All recorded on the chain, that's leveraging the full advantage of crypto and blockchain right?!?!

As far as I see it - Every single charitable crypto donation should be coming to Hive!

Of course you may not like the sense of 'patronage' that comes along with that, but surely all charity is a form of that?

And think of the 'virtue signalling' those charity-investors can engage in if they want to if they're making regular donations and it's all on-chain. So much more return on their investment! Or they can of course be anonymous too.

Thinking long term - if HIVE becomes known as the 'charity or development' chain (or something less patronising, that's one for a marketing expert) then it could mean more eyes, more people willing to buy Hive to power up and support development projects?

Maybe it's worth a try? I mean pictures of me eating my BBQd steak for dinner don't seem to have brought about mass adoption for some reason, so maybe it's time for a counter-intuitive approach>?

And we can have all of that 'classic charity donating' stuff going on at the same time as all sorts of regular people just blogging and writing and earning with there being no sense of it being like charity at all!

And maybe a few lambos into the mix too.

I'm sure we can have it all?!?

Anyway, enough, that sort of turned into two posts, I might have to elaborate on the second half a bit tomo, or at some point later on!

Feel free to kill the idea in the comments! Where's @pennsif when you need him, I'm sure he'd agree with me.


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Interesting links, I'll have to come back and have a look.
I've tried many approaches now to getting charities onto Hive, including the one I work for ... I've met with budget strapped councils (63% of their budgets cut between 2010 and 2018) ... and the local University interested in applied economics and social value ... so far ... very little ... well, nothing.
I think what maybe needed is an account manager who set up and looked after Hive accounts in the way you're suggesting - which is a very good idea actually.

I guess maybe it's a learning curve for them?!

You have to be pretty committed to get online and stick with it on here!

You know if Hive ever does mainstream - some kind of account management system - that may end up being a thing.

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It is a learning curve, plus capacity generally - they are just really busy doing charitable activities and so many of them are overwhelmed because of COVID-19. I was just thinking about the management thing and how we could get that going - maybe a retired volunteer (or someone with some income). If the account manager got into second layer tokens (and investment) as well, that would be grand.

Timely Post

As Leofinance grows and motivated People on the Hive blockchain seek a way to do good in the world ideas such as charity, relief, help, assistance, etc... come to mind.

I think the spirit of your post was that we can use Hive blockchain and the particular post reward structure to distribute the reward pool all over the world, to people willing to work. I feel that is admirable and is a great starting point for the next discussions, like What Do We Call It and How Do We Do It.

Every important journey starts with the first steps!

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I think paying attention to marketing would be crucial!

Actually managing this could be a nice little part-time job for a few people if it's successful!

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I agree, technical details and excellence are important, as is vision and work ethic, but good marketing is also essential.

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“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” is a quote from the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism

Hive Blockchain can serve both the purpose at same time for the people.

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That's a nice way of putting it, great use of that quote!

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I don't think crypto can tackle income inequality but it can help get people out of poverty globally through their meaningful engagement. I don't believe so much in charity as well, although it does have it use. And what better way to be charitable than using crypto. This way you ensure your donation reaches those it is intended for

Income inequality or gap is kind of difficult to tackle as people with financial advantage will always leverage on it. The rich will keep getting richer but with crypto, the poor can get rich.

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Well said!

Pretty much how I would have articulated some of that second half had it not just been a brain dump!

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I don't like the term charity personally, but in the context you use it I agree with the sentiment very much. Instead of just giving to the poor (and thus making them reliant on what you give them) Hive/Leofinance can empower these people to help themselves, help their community, and build a better future for themselves. This is indeed something that should be highly marketable - looking forward to your next post on the matter!

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You're right maybe even charity is the wrong word - Hive just seems to offer all the pros of 'charity' with few of the downsides!

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Looks interesting, sounds even better; powering up hive or leo to potentially curate people as charity or giving back. it's actually logical I know a lot of people out there are bitcoin millionaires honestly bin our marketing scheme they should be part of our target audience

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The charity thing wasn't the main thing I started writing about, but it did sort of end up taking over - I mean why give your money away when you can just power up here and give it away gradually without actually err giving it away?!?

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Yeah, it's makes it even more sensible, it means with a set target one can reward s larger set of people while keeping your investment and there's no way better to do that than hive, the possibilities will thrill pwot.

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I see Crypto as an added advantage, I don't know about others.
And I might wanna agree with you that it doesn't necessarily tackle poverty or income inequality

Your suggestion is great.
Using Hive tokens for charity works isn't such a bad idea or is it?
We can only hope this is taken into consideration. And I might wanna check out the post links you left below.

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Command accepted!

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Join Aeneas.Blog to earn more ASH for your unique content!
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Some of the articles are pretty good, the podcast especially!

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I bet they are

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Well, I'm still a value capitalist till the deepest cell and the notions of income inequality is a vague statement. For example, we are in the Western world and some guys study and get into real high paid jobs because they sacrificed their youth and some other start smoking weed the whole day, drinking and wasting time getting shitty jobs and low income in the end. Is this income inequality? For me it is not as it is a matter of tough choices done by a group versus the other. I speak for the same starting conditions, not of different countries or anything else. Work and investment leverage needs to be done properly and the one who takes the risk and wins, shall not pay for the ones being a lazy couch potato. I admire your courage and risk taking for example. You moved to a new country, where the language is still far from your native one, you try to build up something, with your savings. Why do you shall pay anything for someone who does not want to put in any risk or any work?

Getting people out of poverty is a total different thing and yes it can. First, crypto can bring education and infrastructure where is needed. Imagine building schools and hospitals without any aid from government.I bet they would be run much more efficient.

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I was really thinking more about the later - charity to assist with the basic building blocks.

I don't want to be gifting someone a dollar a day to fund their weed habit!

Mind you if someone else chooses to use their stake to do that, that's their choice!

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was really thinking more about the later - charity to assist with the basic building blocks.

Exactly, help the one who want to change and need that extra kick for it. Like this the world will be better one step at a time.

There is a German punk song saying, that is not our fault that the world is like it is, but it will be if it remains the same. Changing little by little helps.

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I like the idea of turning on their minds to crypto by funding little projects. "Who paid for the new well? Something called crypto." Not the government or a village elder, but our community.

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That is just one of the advantages I was thinking of - it goes direct from people to people!

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I wrote this post after reading your post link

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