Lance Boyle has taken leave of his senses and Ray Hartley is in the director's chair for today

It has begun. South Africa's first foray into the cryptocurrency market is a go, green lighted, thumbs-ed up, on the launching pad, primed for lift off. A company called Ubu Core has hit the ground with an Initial Token Offering  in something called UBX (desperate effort to explain follows later). This ITO appears to be a distant - and more kindly, please God - relative of the Initial Coin Offering.

Nice dodge there. ICOs, in case you haven't noticed, have acquired a bad reputation since China said they were all crap and henceforth illegal in that country.

And, as reported in this column last week, Jamie Dimon also took umbrage at all things cypto. So what's this "ITO" all about?

Before you defy China and throw your money at UBX because, you know, that's how you roll,  read this detailed "white paper" which is now in the public domain.

Ubu Core is launching what it describes as:

The world's first fully fledged decentralised currency that delivers free and guaranteed income to all citizens without relying on taxation.

The 'ecosystem'
The 'ecosystem'

It is a take on the idea of a "universal basic income" for all citizens but with a twist. The income is delivered to all who sign up by way of free tokens which may be exchanged with vendors who sign up as suppliers.

The idea appears to be to match unused inventory with those who need to use it because of their circumstances. See graphic above. You might want to click on it to enlarge ... 

 More from the white paper:

Obligatory Nelson Mandela quote from prospectus
Obligatory Nelson Mandela quote from prospectus

Project UBU rests on the principle that a UBI should be decentralised, building an ecosystem that organically uncovers trapped or moribund assets and allows free access to them via a blockchain secured substrate. It is estimated that in some areas of the economy (such as produced food), up to 30% of assets are wasted or discarded. The only barrier to accessing these assets is an efficient distribution and payment system wherein citizens can use issued tokens in exchange for these assets, allowing vendors and service providers a system to gain an outlet for trapped assets while attracting a greater retail footfall, while giving previously excluded citizens a way to participate in the economy without taxing the fiscus. 

There, see. It's all very simple ..

Still don't get it? This equation spells it out:

Still don't get it? I'm losing patience with you ... how about this REALLY SIMPLE EXPLANATION:

Ubu plans to sign up no fewer than 500 million people for its free tokens within 10 years. It goes without saying that, if they achieve this, it will be one of the world's spectacular crypto stories.

Who's behind it? See below for the key actors. Also Steven Sidley, author of Free Association and other titles, who is Director: Technology. Turns out that in a previous life he did tech in California ... who knew?

The people behind it

Now the million-dollar question: will investors get behind Ubu or will they stay away following the recent all-out assault on Bitcoin and ICOs led by Chinese regulators, which have wobbled valuations?

The crafters of UBU, the free token, have also created UBX - a different type of token in which one may invest. As they hopefully observe:

We note that:• It is possible that people may choose to purchase UBX and that they would do so with the expectation that the price of the UBX may rise over time

This can roughly be translated into: "Please, sweet baby Jesus, throw you money at us and we will make you rich! Rich! Rich, I tell ya!" But that would not be fair, because this project is not about getting rich quick. It's about delivering unused inventory to the poor. Get a grip.

FULL DISCLOSURE: The author fully intends to throw bits of coin at UBX.

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