Circles is a proposal for an electronic cryptocurrency with the aim to create, distribute and maintain Universal Basic Income. It is based on individualised currencies and a social graph of trust between these currencies. When new users join Circles, their personal cryptocurrency is created on a smart contract-enabled blockchain. This currency is then regularly minted and added to their account, forming the basis of Circles’ UBI properties. The money becomes valuable only if the account owner connects to other accounts, and agrees to trust their personal currencies, treating them as identical to any other Circles currencies that they hold. These trust relationships form circles, fostering local networks and mutual economic cooperation. Through the use of blockchain technology, we expect Circles to be both resilient and globally accessible, which may be the key catalyst to make a Universal Basic Income achievable within the near future.
In traditional debt-based currencies one sells goods, borrows money, or invests working power to receive money. With Circles, one receives money unconditionally to engage with their community, creating value through offering goods or services.
A worldwide basic income is something so powerful that no single entity should have control over the money or its recipients. Using blockchain technology, Circles will be independent of any central issuing authority or institution.
Circles will run on the blockchain, a secure, decentralised, and autonomously managed database. Since the system’s money emerges from a network of peer-to-peer relationships, it is possible to maintain stability on a local level, regardless of how things go at the national or global scale.
Circles promotes cooperation and economic interaction by creating local trade networks. The more connected community members are to each other, the more valuable their network becomes.
Circles has an inbuilt inflation target of 5% per annum to discourage hoarding. This also increases the velocity of money in circulation, creating more opportunities for exchange and economic activity.
Seigniorage refers to the profit made from the difference between the production costs and the value of money. As Circles is a credit-based currency that costs almost nothing to create, you will retain almost all of this value as first spender.
Circles is in closed alpha currently, doing first transactions on testnet.