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Opinion: The Limitless Potential of Purpose-Bound Money

This post is an opinion piece from William ARTHEY, Head of Sales at Unbox.


The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) are to trial four projects to assess the use of a digital Singapore dollar for individuals, businesses, and the government to make and receive certain payments. The pilot programs are centered around the concept of a form of digital currency known as purpose-bound money (PBM), which will enable issuers to specify certain conditions, such as validity and the types of shops where it can be used when making transfers to individuals and businesses. Ovias Subhani of the Straits Times explains, “For instance, DBS [bank] and the Government Technology Agency’s Open Government Products (OGP) division will test the use of a digital currency that can be used to redeem government-issued vouchers. Trial participants will use RedeemSG – a voucher system developed by OGP to help government agencies here create and issue vouchers and track their redemption – at participating food and beverage outlets, with merchants instantly receiving the underlying digital Singapore dollar for the vouchers redeemed.”

The system proposed by the MAS and the notion of purpose-based money (PBM) is exactly what Unbox has been doing for the past 2 years. The native token of the Unbox system is the Ucoin®, a programmable digital value proxy that powers our closed loop system (CLS). The fact that the MAS are planning to implement this technology is a clear sign that the rest of the world is catching on to Unbox’s vision. What’s more, Unbox has already implemented this technology in several countries across the globe. In Antwerp, Unbox deployed its CLS 15 platform to deliver over 6 million euros of covid relief, reaching more than 16,000 city employees. The implementation was a complete success and over 12 million euros were injected into the local economy. Unbox not only has proof that the system proposed by the MAS works, but we have the experience necessary to roll out this kind of project with unparalleled speed and accuracy.

However, the use cases of this technology are almost limitless. The post-paid model, made achievable by the use of closed loop systems and a digital value carrier, can be implemented across many different markets and causes. Unbox has a fully white labelled litter pick up solution where users can earn Ucoins by picking up litter, this was rolled out across Belgium last year and in 14 months it has gained over 35,000 users and rewarded over 145,000 litter pick-ups, reducing the carbon output of waste by 26.6 tons.

Unbox Wellbeing is an example of how we can steer consumer behavior. Partnering with Ahold Delhaize, Unbox launched the healthy membership program which allows employers to give their staff increased purchasing power on healthy foods. Unbox Grants is another use case for closed loop systems. The NineTwelve Institute will use our platform to provide grant recipients the necessary means to launch their projects in Indiana. Ensuring 100% of their funding reaches its intended target.

The use cases for this technology extend far beyond issuing government subsidies and Unbox have been paving the way in finding these. The proposal from the government of Singapore is not only an overwhelming proof of concept, but it shows that mass adoption of this technology is not just around the corner. It is happening with Unbox today.


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