Universal Basic Income through Blockchain : Interview with Zoltan Istvan ③

We had the amazing opportunity to interview Mr. Zoltan Istvan. In this interview, he tells us about how radical science and technology can be used as a tool for human evolution to make our lives and society better. As a transhumanist who is very much into cryptocurrency and bitcoin, he describes himself as a wanting to become an intermediary between the scientists and the people, where he can create a cycle of “funding the scientist through the people to give back to the people”. Please read and find out why.

Zoltan Istvan

Interview Date : 20th May 2020

Universal Basic Income through Blockchain

I support a universal basic income. A libertarian version of that is based on taking federal land of the 200 trillion dollars of untouched federal land of forests, mining facilities, etc. that America has. We have preserved it for preserving nature but in California 25 % of everybody is right at the poverty line. This means that millions of children are hungry at night. you wouldn’t think America has hungry children, but we have 10 to 15 million hungry children every night. I want to take some of our natural resources and distribute them to people so we can take care of poverty. I wouldn’t mind doing that in payments through cryptocurrency or anything similar that facilitates and also makes the operation completely transparent.

Let’s say the people will not listen to me and say “Zoltan wants to take some of the federal lands, lease it out to big businesses, and the big business would then pay the people for the land. After all, the land belongs to the people and not the government”. The problem is that by that time, a lot of lawyers, bureaucrats, and governments get involved in the scene. In the end, there is so little money left for the people and this is where we are talking about colonial capitalism that comes in. It is just not trustworthy. What we need is, if we had a cryptocurrency or a blockchain ledger that comes down from where the leasing comes, the basic income would be dramatically more and transparent. Every American citizen would get the same amount. That kind of system is much more credible. It is not just “we are leasing out federal land” action, but we are leasing out federal land and the people are guaranteed to get your payment in cryptocurrency form set by a computer and shall come in every month. It does not touch the hand of the government or any intermediary person, and that way you can trust it.

Right now the government is giving out money, however, 30% of the people in America have still not received their coronavirus money. Now it is 8~9 weeks into this lockdown quarantine, so how do you pay rent when you are already 9 weeks late and you have not received money? It is a bigger system than just the cryptocurrency working or not working. It is a system where a lot of the colony capitalists need to get on a system that is fair for the common person. That is why I like cryptocurrency. It is not just about fair or not fair. It’s simply built in to the system and is what it is. That is why I think it would be very useful.

Recently, we have seen Facebook or China go towards something like that. I wouldn’t surprised if America would come up with something like that. But I think that eventually, we are all going to go in that direction because we can trust it.

Educate People about Money

I would support the idea of having a subject dedicated to teaching about money and value in the educational system. It is hard for me to speak about other nations, but I think one of the problems here in America is that a lot of people come out of school without knowing how to trade or without knowing how to do something. For example, I know how to build houses, because that is what I did before I was a journalist. So no matter what happens I can at least use my hands, go get a job, etc. However, what good is a job when I don’t know how to use money? What good is a job when if I just take the money and spend it on unnecessary things, goods, alcohol, etc?

Teaching people about money in the sense of value is very important, and we do that through teaching by history,  like the great depression, and ask why did that happen? During the recession when the bankers had borrowed way too much on the crazy roads, and even now coronavirus which maybe has nothing to do with anybody but we still have to be worried in economic ways about something coming from nature like this.

This is where teaching people about basic money, savings, having some money in the shoebox, having a little gold, having some Bitcoin comes in play. Not only do I have real estate but I have a sailboat, a vineyard in case it gets bad I can go there and grow food. I have a ton of seeds in the basement,  cryptocurrency, a little gold, and some guns. It is not because I haven’t used any of these and hopefully I won’t have to, but I have these things because when I started my career as a journalist at National Geographic and I covered war zones and conflict zones. Once you have been to conflict zones, you realize that people lose everything overnight, and so you always need to have diversity. You need to have different types and sources of value so that if somebody would take away 40% of your value, you still have 60% left somewhere. It sounds so smart but it does take a lot and you have to teach it to people. Maybe I would not have been taught if I had not been to war zones, and seen families out in the street that used to be rich.

Trust not the Media but Trustworthy Journalists

I follow Elon Musk , Andrew Yang who now is a leader in the field of basic income even though he wants to raise taxes to put forward universal basic income, and I am not on board with that because by universal basic income doesn’t raise taxes, but that is ok. I also follow John Mcafee, he is a friend of mine. I follow many libertarians and many of the great journalists. I think it is important to separate, some media is not good anymore and some journalists are very good, you can always trust them and their stories. So there are different people like that but since I write for the New York times I also follow quite a few New York Times journalists.

Interviewer , Editor : Lina Kamada



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