Automation is the future, everyone knows that. Human labor will someday be a thing of the past.

The question is: When that day comes, who will be in control of the structures of (beautifully automated) production?

Will it be the state? It could be. Depends on how things play out. If we set the dangerous precedent of taxing total automation and redistributing the funds, the state may well end up effectively owning all the means of production.

Or will it be the people? With Blockchain technology, we have the unique opportunity to let the economy itself manage its growth and power. But in order to do so many incentives need to be managed effectively. Below is a half-baked proposal on how cryptocurrency itself can provide a universal basic income for all of us who will inevitably fall short of providing economic value in a world of advanced AGI and full automation. Though this proposal is not wholly thought out it is a fully formed idea and is hopefully simply one flavor among many of how to produce a happy and healthy automated society.

Ok, here it is, in all its casual glory:

So first you make a coin that acts as a proxy for all crypto value (this means its literally backed by a dynamic basket of cryptos). Let’s call this the Crypto-Value-Proxy-Token or Value Token for short.

Then you create a separate token. It doesn’t have to be a separate blockchain, or maybe it does, but either way, I’ll describe it in detail. We’ll call it the Universal Basic Income Token or UBI token for short. This UBI Token has 3 unique properties:

1. Addresses are limited (perhaps a new address can be made every block or something, it doesn’t really matter).

2. Each address has a specific amount of coin in it that, over time, always reaches an equilibrium. (Say, 1000 coin, if I spend it, my balance slowly goes up till it reaches 1000 again in a year or a month or whatever. And if I receive some my balance slowly goes down it’ll it reaches 1000)

3. Alright, last thing. This token is tied to the original Value Token, in a very particular way: You can burn any balance over 1000 to direct how the Value token is valued. That is to say, you can choose what cryptos back the Value Token and in what proportion. A company selling goods for UBI token can take their UBI profits (before they disappear) and use those profits to vote on how the Value Token should be dynamically distributed across the crypto economy; that is essentially economic power.

In conclusion:

The people get a Universal Basic Income token that automatically generates more money for them and the AI-Automated companies that accept UBI-Tokens have what they really want: influence on the economy, an effect on how everyone values everything.

I’m not saying it’s a perfect solution, but I think this idea’s got legs to grow into a real, actionable solution for the Universal Basic Income / AI Automation problem. Maybe not, what do I know? Well, I know one thing; that money is information and that the economy as a whole is an ever-evolving informational structure. The economy is not only an environment but is itself an organism and the more advanced it gets the more it will predict it’s own future and discover what is true and how to best arrange itself to fit that truth.

Now, of course, This is no government edict, this is no one size fits all. This is a proposed experiment. Bitcoin will always be around, so will Gold, and perhaps, unfortunately, fiat too. All kinds of currencies will exist and if one wishes to save in one that acts as a better store of value, that’s great. But perhaps we can build something for everyone who have nothing but needs. Those needs, the absence of value, are in and of themselves valuable because they’re information.

Speaking of informational structures, your brain (specifically your neocortex) does something similar. It can be seen as a pyramid hierarchy where sensory data flows up from the bottom and goal-oriented behavior data flows down from the top. But here’s the rub, the lower layers of the hierarchy automatically bias their perceptions to satisfy their needs. And so do the higher layers of the hierarchy. They make predictions about what will be seen next in order to move the body to satisfy its needs as a whole. I know this is kind of a removed analogy but the point is this: needs are inherently valuable because they’re information.

Whether its this way or that, I think blockchain can provide a way for us to “vote with our needs.”