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Re: [Taler] Taler and UBI

From: Özgür Kesim
Subject: Re: [Taler] Taler and UBI
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2022 12:34:32 +0200

Thus spake Christian Grothoff (grothoff@gnunet.org):
> Why do you assume UBI would be *large* by any means? I've never heard that.
> Usually, the idea of *basic income* is that it is *basic*, so *low*. Now,
> you MAY assume that UBI is paid monthly and then the amount may again be
> "large". But with Taler, it is conceivable that the UBI amounts could be
> paid daily or weekly. So I'm not sure this is really an issue.

To be more quantitative:  Say $income is the monthly income of an
individual, let $p_m be the maximum percentage of that income that a
user has in its Taler wallet in any given time.  Let $s be the
percentage of the income that is required for the individual basic

I define the situation "$s <= $p_m" as "large". And I claim that
"$income ≈ $UBI  =>  $s ≈ $p_m" is a reasonable assumption.

But even if that assumption does not hold true, it is still valuable to
think about possibilities to protect coins in the wallet from theft.  So
far, GNU Taler basically only tells users:  Don't have too much money in
your wallet.  (And for good reasons).

I think we can offer additional protection for low cost.

> > Not sure that is something Taler would want to promote, but _if_ it
> > does, the loss of the wallet could be catastrophic to the individual.
> I don't think so. The only real issue is that the individual would have to
> be able to quickly inform the state about the loss, least their income
> continues to go to a wallet controlled by someone else ;-).

That is certainly true.  I just think we could do more to protect the
coins in a wallet, too.

Thus spake Martin Schanzenbach (mschanzenbach@posteo.de):

> i think you are conflating things. If you wanted more privacy for ubi
> receivers, you could allow citizens to register with number accounts.
> this does not strike me as a wallet issue at all that is unique to
> ubi.

UBI is not really relevant to the point I want to make:  How to protect
coins in the wallet.

> regarding the large amount in the wallet potentially lost: what kind
> of utopian ubi is that which not only covers your monthly expenses
> partially but accumulates into savings?

Again, forget UBI.

I'm wondering if Taler could do more to allow protection of coins in the
wallet, independent of the particular amount.


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