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Circles Bali Exploring Universal Basic Income on the Blockchain to Empower Balinese Communities

What is Circles Bali?

In Bali, lack of funds creates challenges for many households, making it hard to stimulate local economies, put food on the table, start or run a business, have a home, and/or improve living situations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated loss of tourism income, people in Bali currently have much less job security and funds to meet their basic needs. Given economic struggles and the immediate need for support, now is the opportunity to introduce an exchange system for local communities that are currently open to alternatives to increase their capacity to meet their own needs.

Have a watch of the following video to see what Balinese communities think about this initiative:

Alam Santi works in collaboration with the Circles Bali initiative, researching the viability of a digital exchange system especially designed for local Balinese communities. Circles Bali aims to provide a digital point format of Universal Basic Income (UBI) to all of its participants, helping everyone in the ecosystem to have the means for tapping into underutilized local resources, so they can better meet basic household needs, while supporting and strengthening their local economies.

The Circles Points system has been created to encourage people to increase the frequency of exchanges of locally produced goods and services, which strengthens community resilience, while building trust and value for localized production.

The innovative blockchain-based application that provides the backbone of the Circles Bali system is being designed to be used by everyone in Bali, free of charge. Our Circles whitepaper shows how the technology behind the application works seamlessly to provide wealth to all users and helps them to meet basic needs.

The Circles Bali app will:

Support and Encourage Local Barter and Grass Roots Economies

  • Circles Points can stimulate grass root economies by providing an immutable, documented means for local barter for the exchange of goods and services

  • This Circles system allows users to transfer points to people they trust

  • Trusted exchanges are secured and accountable

As the ecosystem grows, the kinds of products and services that can be exchanged using Circles Points increases, within and around the community:

Provide all Users with a Digital, Point-based Universal Basic Income (UBI)

  • UBI provides an equal amount of regular credit to all participants

  • This resource aims to ensure everyone can meet their basic needs

  • Circles Bali will provide 8 Circles points daily to all participants

  • These points are offered at no cost whatsoever to the users

  • Signing up and using the Circles Bali app is also free of charge

Provide all Users with a Secure Digital Wallet

  • An electronic blockchain-secured digital wallet is created for every Circles Bali user

  • These wallets can be used to store Circles Bali Points

  • Points in the wallet can be transferred to other trusted users in exchange for goods, services or even as gifts!

Will Circles Points work in Bali?

Over a year (2021), Alam Santi and its local community outreach partners Kalimajari, Lentera Talenta, and Tegeh Sari Foundation conducted extensive research at three distinct (urban, rural and tourism-centric) areas to understand how different types of communities would respond to the Circles Bali initiative.

The respondents in the three locations shared that, on average, 50% of the members of their communities were earning less than IDR 10 million/year. With this truly low level of financial resources, it seems clear that access to a program such as Circles Bali may have a real impact on increasing local communities’ ability to meet basic needs.

To have a look at the insights provided by Balinese communities, feel free to download the research report, including:

  • How established mutual trust (which is commonly found in a specific part of Bali) would deeply affect acceptance of a program such as Circles Bali

  • How programs like Circles Bali can stimulate traditional trading

  • What local leadership advice and support for the Circles Bali mission look like

The report also includes lots of interesting stats on:

  • Local Economic Conditions & People's Basic Needs

  • Comfort Levels with Digital Wallets & Online Purchasing

  • What small scale Local Supply Chains look like

  • Inputs from potential Users, Suppliers and Local Leadership

  • How we used the Circles Bali Simulation Game to socialize the principles of Circles

As we continue our research, our team's next steps include conducting a deeper study of resource flow to identify opportunities and risks in how Circles can flow across local supply chains. We are in the process of getting a research permit to conduct product testing in the Balinese market.

To learn more about the Circles Bali research initiative contact us today.


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