Circles, an ambitious crypto project that promises a “Basic Income on the Blockchain,” launched today.
After 7 years of dreaming about it, discussing it, dismissing it, adjusting it and finally implementing it, @CirclesUBI – "universal basic income on the blockchain" – or just "better money" went live today!
— Martin Köppelmann (@koeppelmann) October 16, 2020
Circles, which just launched its public test phase on an Ethereum testnet, Kovan, gives each of its users a basic income in the form of a cryptocurrency called “Circles.” Theoretically, the value of a Circle, which at present is unclear, increases as more people use the network.
The protocol issues Circles to all of its users each week. Upon signup, you’ll receive 100 Circles. Then, you’ll receive about 14 Circles each week; the value should inflate by 7% each year.
Anyone can create an account, but to verify it you’ll need “3 incoming trust connections,” according to an FAQ on the site. This means that three people must invite you to the platform.
The Berlin-based company, which launches as Germany experiences a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, advises that you only verify other users if you know someone in person. However, many users have posted their invitation codes on Twitter.
— shi xl (@shixl5) October 17, 2020
You can only send your tokens to people that “trust” you. Trusting, in Circle terms, means that there’s a direct link between you and another person. However, you can also send Circles to people in your trusted friend’s trust network, as part of Circles’ “transactive trust” feature.
The project has been a long time coming. Its initiator, Martin Köppelmann, said in a tweet that the idea was conceived about seven years ago. Upon launch, its website struggled to handle the activity and its servers crashed.
Also so many of you are trying to join Circles that it's taking our servers down, we are scaling up as quickly as we can!
— Circles (@CirclesUBI) October 17, 2020