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UBI and Cryptocurrencies: Manna and the Children’s Wallet Program

Image credit to: Christ Episcopal Church.


Manna, formerly known as GrantCoin, is a digital currency provided as Universal Basic Income (UBI) using blockchain technology, which trades on SouthXchange. Manna is distributed by the People’s Currency Fundation (a nonprofit, classified as public charity by the U.S Internal Revenue Service) through Mannabase, the platform you have to sign up to in order to receive Manna UBI in your web-based wallet, with the only requisite of being a human being.


The three main goals of Manna are, as found in Manna’s Whitepaper:

1) To implement an economically impactful Basic Income on the blockchain;

2) To enable targeted direct giving for efficient and effective altruism, benefiting from the advantages of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts;

3) Creating a global network of socially conscious users of Manna (businesses, non profit organizations, customers).


From their mission statement:

“…We insist that such a new currency be distributed into circulation by a democratically governed non-profit organization, according to a philanthropic mission for the benefit of all humanity, not the private gain of a few: that money itself should become a public service, and its issuance a program encouraging shared prosperity and a secure human future.

We insist that a new currency be equitable: that it shall be issued to all people as a human right, as a universal basic income to be enjoyed by all — to compensate, at least partially, for the accidents of birth and circumstances of fortune that have blessed or condemned different people and regions of the world to wealth or poverty.

Confident in the virtue and necessity of this endeavor, we commit to do everything in our power to make it a reality, to further its aims and bolster its success, through our own decisions and actions — trusting in the power of a multitude of peaceful, positive, free choices by inherently free people to change the world for the better.”

The Manna project is in its early phases, in which it is looking to gain a large user base, with promising results, given that UBI recipients went up from about 2000 on the first day of 2018, to almost 130 000 as of today. The annual rate of increase of the Manna money supply through UBI distribution is set at 3.5% of the current supply (of Manna units in circulation), thus mimicking the average rate of inflation in the U.S. The value of the currency is determined by the free market, through SouthXchange, and by donations to Mannabase, which are used to support the price of Manna through gradual buybacks of the token.

Once sufficient capitalization is accomplished and a large enough network of users is established, the goal is to build a capital reserve fund (in a similar fashion to the Alaska Permanent Fund), with a diverse portfolio of investments consisting of securities, commodities and currencies, used as additional value backing mechanism for the Manna currency.

In the fall of 2018 a book on Manna is expected to be published by the founder and executive director of Mannabase, Eric Stetson, who will also begin a speaking tour. In the same period, Mannabase should launch the Children’s Wallet Program: the creation of digital wallets for children who will receive Manna on a weekly basis. The main difference from traditional contributions for children is that the blockchain will be coded in such a way that the digital currency cannot be spent until the child reaches the ages of majority. This will be possible through the use of what is called smart contracts, written as code in the blockchain and then triggered by an event, in this case the reaching of the age of majority for the beneficiary of the wallet.  The Children Wallet’s program will make it possible to guarantee that the money is not appropriated by others until the kids reach adulthood, so that they can use these resources as they see appropriate.


More information at:

Nick Yeretsian, “Grantcoin Distributed to 750 People in 69 Countries”, Basic Income News, October 29th 2016

Sara Bizarro, “Basic Income cryptocurrency Grantcoin, Upgrades and Name Change”, Basic Income News, August 4th 2017

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The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.

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