Fighting the Good Fight With Manna, the First Universal Basic Income Currency


The cryptosphere is disruptive by definition. The concept behind cryptocurrency – easily attainable, a universally-accepted currency that’s safe and easy to use – has driven innovation in personal and institutional finance for years now. The result has been a push towards building personal wealth, sometimes at the detriment of others, but this is about to change thanks to Manna, a new crypto coin that’s dedicated to solving global wealth inequality through the concept of universal basic income.



What is the Universal Basic Income?


Universal basic income, or UBI, isn’t a new concept; it’s just an underground one. UBI is a method for eliminating poverty by ensuring that everyone receives a base level of money in order to help pay for essential needs like the costs of food and shelter. As a concept UBI has failed to gain traction because of anti-Socialist sentiment, especially since the source of this income is almost universally thought to be through tax revenue. Yet even with the massive pushback from more conservative politicians, UBI pilot programs have been launched in Finland and other more far-sighted countries to see if such a system would be effective.

It’s true that UBI, when modeled on a traditional approach, would require a major rejiggering of any country’s tax system in order to work well. The lack of support for such endeavors is more than obvious. Yet the newest approach to UBI, one that doesn’t need the aid or the approval of government entities in order to provide income to those who wish to participate, is already making waves. The key to its ability to do so is the way it leverages the already-universal power of cryptocurrency.



Manna from Heaven


This is where Manna comes in. The digital currency, built on blockchain technology and accessible through the Mannabase online platform, is indeed truly universal, as there are no membership requirements for receiving regular disbursements of Manna for free. Mannabase members receive Manna once a week, no strings attached, for as long as they wish.


A single Manna, of course, isn’t particularly valuable. Due to market conditions, the value of Manna is subject to the same volatility of every cryptocurrency; at the time of this writing, a single Manna is just $0.0022 USD each. In its current form, this means that Manna will not become a replacement for major world currencies like the dollar or the euro any time soon, but its ability to be used in developing countries is much higher. The Indian Rupee, for example, is worth around $0.015 USD. Even a handful of Manna could supplement an Indian’s ability to earn a living, which is an average of just $1500 USD today according to recent research.



How Manna Began


Manna didn’t just show up from nowhere. It began life as a different cryptocurrency, Grantcoin, based on the 2013 efforts of entrepreneur Eric Stetson. Grantcoin began being distributed in 2016 after the Mannabase forerunner, The Grantcoin Foundation, was founded the previous year.  Based on its early successes, Grantcoin was then rebranded a year later to Manna and Mannabase. Grantcoin holders were given the opportunity to trade in their old currency for the new one.



Today, Manna holders can either maintain a private coin wallet or use Mannabase as a web-based wallet. Weekly payments are disbursed through the Mannabase site, and user can then transfer those payments anywhere they wish, including one of several exchanges that support the currency. There are even e-commerce sites that will allow you to purchase necessities with Manna, such as Manna Basics.




Growth and the Future


Mannabase is a logical outgrowth of crypto technology and how it can be used not just for speculative investment but for the common good. Even with such a low valuation, more than $13,000 worth of Manna has been distributed. As of March 2018 there were 22,000 participants with Mannabase accounts from around the world receiving weekly UBI payments. At the same time, no tax dollars have been spent on any of these payments, making Manna proof of concept for easy, affordable UBI distributions.


The future for Manna, as it is for all cryptocurrencies, is unclear. With the fortunes of nearly every crypto coin tied to those of Bitcoin, price fluctuations with BTC effect the entire marketplace — something that was demonstrated with the price crash of December 2017. Massive soaring highs of as much as $19,000 per BTC soon led to major corrections of today, with BTC hovering between $5000 and $7000 well into 2018.


Yet even if Manna does not ultimately change the fate of those struggling in poverty, it has already proven that the concept of UBI can be married to cryptocurrency as a disbursement method, and that non-governmental organizations can possibly succeed where geopolitical entities, hogtied by partisan politics and unhelpful ideologies, will always fail.


Author: A professional author, editor, and freelance writer for, David DeMar became involved in cryptocurrency in 2016 shortly before the infamous hack of The DAO. He claims it’s a coincidence.


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