- The ambitious program seeks to redistribute income coming from the usage of people’s data that they provide through their online activity
- Recipients will receive their distributions in GoodDollar tokens (G$)
- All active users in the system, who log in and claim every 24 hours get an equal share of GoodDollars
The Universal Basic Income program has been launched in South Africa. The ambitious program seeks to redistribute income coming from the usage of people’s data that they provide through their online activity. The RightfulShare concept argues that people should be able to benefit from their online activity as it is a source of income for many online platforms. Members receive compensation in GoodDollar (G$) tokens.
Big data, big business
Data has rapidly grown from little talk to a value that is transforming businesses. Digital service providers are making a fortune from the data that people knowingly, and sometimes unknowingly, provide. Search engines, social media algorithms and even eCommerce websites are all running on data. Furthermore, they sell advertisement targeting based on data and patterns mined from people’s activities online. These digital platforms make large amounts of money based on this data.
The Facebook data harvesting scandal that involved Cambridge Analytica in 2018 was an example of a very high-profile case of such activity. These digital companies have a large amount of data on their users. They use this data for profit. RightfulShare wants to make this right by giving people their rightful share (pun intended) of the profits of data selling. This is essentially what these digital companies do when they provide services such as advertising to their customers.
Rightfulshare is a proposed Universal Basic Income (UBI) program that is designed to be funded by a specific form of taxation called a “data dividend.” The idea behind Rightfulshare is to provide a basic level of financial security to all citizens, regardless of their employment status or income level.
The data dividend that would fund Rightfulshare is based on the premise that large tech companies are benefiting from the data that people generate through their online activity. Rightfulshare proposes that these companies should redistribute a small percentage of the profits from the use of people’s data back to those individuals in the form of a regular payment.
Under the Rightfulshare plan, every citizen would receive a monthly payment that would cover their basic needs, such as food, shelter, and healthcare. This would give individuals the freedom to pursue education, start businesses, or engage in other activities that may not be immediately profitable but are ultimately beneficial to society as a whole.
Proponents of Rightfulshare argue that a UBI program could reduce poverty and income inequality, improve mental health and overall well-being, and stimulate economic growth by increasing consumer spending. However, opponents argue that such a program would be too costly and would discourage people from working or contributing to society.
Overall, Rightfulshare is a proposal that aims to address some of the challenges that arise from the changing nature of work and income distribution in the digital age. However, like any UBI program, it is a controversial and complex issue that requires careful consideration and analysis.
Recipients will receive their distributions in GoodDollar tokens (G$). G$ is an ERC-20 digital asset built on the Ethereum blockchain. Smart contracts administer GoodDaollar, ensuring payouts are made when conditions are met. Established in September 2020 the GoodDollar is open to all real live human beings to sign up and become a claimant. New G$’s are released daily. Users can claim their G$ every 24 hours. To receive a small daily universal basic income in G$, all you need to do is sign-up and create an account. The GoodDollar website claims to have 489 000 active users at the time of writing.
Every day (in 24-hour cycles) there are a certain number of G$’s set aside to be distributed as universal basic income. All active users in the system, who log in and claim every 24 hours get an equal share of GoodDollars. Any unclaimed G$’s that are not claimed are moved to the pool of G$’s to be distributed the next day. Active users are defined as users who have claimed at least once in the past 14 days. So the number of G$’s you receive on any day depends on two factors: 1) how many other active users log in and claim, and 2) how many G$ are minted and given away. You can learn more about how G$ are minted read the GoodDollar White Paper.
Another first for South Africa
South Africa has a high internet penetration rate of around 70%. That’s high by any standard and very high by African standards. Only Morocco, Seychelles and Egypt claimed higher internet penetration rates according to Statista in January 2022. Gooddollar reports nearly half a million users from over 222 countries via their Linkedin profile. Almost a quarter of South Africans, a staggering 13.8 million people live in poverty according to the World Bank. So it’s fair to say that RightfulSghare would barely be scratching the surface if all its users were South African.
South Africa receives another vote of confidence from the web3 community because of the government’s stance on cryptocurrency.
The principle behind RightfulShare is good. In 2022 Meta (Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp parent) made US$113.6 billion of its total US$116 billion revenue from advertising. That’s 97.93%! You cannot argue with the importance of the customer data that these platforms collect for their revenue. Google made US$224.47 billion off ad revenue in 2022. And what do the providers of this valuable data receive in return?
Has its thorns
The conditions for receiving the GoodDollar via RightfulShare UBI are not exactly friendly. While the method they use is quite understandable it won’t work for everyone. Logging in daily to receive their rightful rewards has an element of gamification tactics used by gaming companies. Is everybody who needs this up for jumping through these hoops?
None of the minor downsides can take away from RightfulShare’s UBI. It’s a step in the right direction. South Africa is the right place to start. Digital companies have made billions on the back of user data. Perhaps it is time that people start receiving greater benefits from their activity than customized adverts.