CirclesUBI RPGF Nomination


My name is Julio Linares, co-founder of CirclesUBI and Public Outreach for the Basic Income Earth Network. I would like to nominate CirclesUBI for the Retroactive Public Goods Funding program.

CirclesUBI is a p2p protocol based on the issuance of personal crypto-currencies which relate to each other via a Web of Trust (WoT), a social graph of trust. The purpose of the Circles money system is to distribute money in a way which will, over time, lead to the equalization of wealth and function like a globally accessible Unconditional Basic Income (UBI). When new people join Circles, a new personal cryptocurrency is created for them on a smart contract-enabled blockchain. This currency is then regularly issued and added to their account, forming the basis of Circles’ UBI properties. Users have the ability to trust the personal currencies of other users, which requires them to treat their personal currency as identical to any other Circles currencies that they hold. People can therefore pay someone outside their direct trust network via transitive exchange, following on the principle of the 6 degrees of separation that connects all human beings on Earth. As the social graph becomes more interconnected, these personal currencies weave into a plural global monetary system.

An idea since early 2010s initiated by Martin Köppelmann, CirclesUBI was brought into being on October 2020 with the application, running on the xDAI blockchain (now Gnosis Chain). Since then, the Circles Cooperative and the Bitspossessed Collective were established by the workers of Circles in order to further develop, improve and maintain Circles’ distributed economic system. The Berlin Open Pilot is ongoing and has grown to an active community of over 600 people in Berlin, with periodic monthly in-person market assemblies, a virtual marketplace as well as communities world-wide who are experimenting with the protocol, with over 100k accounts deployed to date. In order to understand how Circles works in practice, you can watch this video.

CirclesUBI is one of the few credit money systems within Web 3 that leverages PGP technology at scale as a non-for-profit public good. The Circles team is committed to the value of privacy and are working towards the creation of an anonymous version of the Circles web of trust in order to create the necessary infrastructure so that digital cash and related applications that are underpinned by trust are privacy-preserving and unconditional by design.

Circles Github
Circles Twitter