Horizon.NGO is building the first decentralized platform uniting universal basic income initiatives on the Ethereum blockchain.
Horizon itself is an independent nongovernmental organization verified by OnGood. Horizon.NGO is based in Rogätz, Germany, wants to create a good template for basic income.
To better understand Horizon.NGO and its goals we conducted an extensive interview with the group’s leader Dirk von Heinrichshorst. Von Heinrichshorst gave us a glimpse of his organization’s plans.
A Universal Basic Income for Everyone
Question: “What is your title at Horizon.NGO?”
Von Heinrichshorst: “Since we are an official non-government organization, I adopted the title of “President”, although I do not care much about naming.”
Question: “What is the ultimate purpose of Horizon.NGO?”
Von Heinrichshorst: “It would be fantastic if countless basic income initiatives could be united through the Horizon platform; releasing a large group of people from financial captivity, creating new opportunities to reinvent their lives, to flourish as an individual and to give back more to their community, contributing to a brighter future for everyone.”
Question: Why is a solution like Horizon.NGO necessary?”
Von Heinrichshorst: “We strongly believe that only by working together we can grow towards a universal basic income for everyone on this planet.”
“By joining forces we are able to achieve so much more than on our own. Therefore, we think that a platform through which initiatives can be united is certainly useful, perhaps even necessary to reach the above goal.”
How Horizon.NGO provides Basic Income
Question: “How exactly does Horizon.NGO provide a basic income?”
Von Heinrichshorst: “Once Horizon’s financial reserve is big enough to guarantee all token holders a valuable payout for at least one year, we will start distributing the first Horizon basic income tokens.”
“The financial reserve will be fueled by strategic partnerships and sister projects. Over time, more basic income tokens will be distributed and the value of each token will increase.”
Question: “Will Horizon.NGO be able to provide basic incomes to people all over the world?
Von Heinrichshorst: “This would be possible, but, in practice, we firstly aim to support all initiatives that make use of the Horizon platform to set up independent basic income services across the world.”
“These initiatives can choose to distribute their own basic income tokens and decide how to pay out their token holders (a combination of Ether and ERC20 tokens), so they are entirely in charge of how to provide a basic income to their community.”
Horizon.NGO can be used for Far More than Basic Income
Question: “Can the Horizon.NGO platform be used for recurring payments other than basic incomes? Such as salaries, annuities, pensions, and government benefits?”
Von Heinrichshorst: “Simply said, yes. In its core, the Horizon platform is a decentralized recurring payments system, to be used for basic income services as well as for other periodic payment schemes.”
“When creating a new splitter, the payout period length (in Ethereum blocks) is one of the parameters that can be defined, so any interval can be set. As payouts can include ERC20 tokens, any kind of periodic benefit can be distributed through our system.”
Question: “What exactly is the Horizon Splitter and how does it work?”
Von Heinrichshorst: “Through the Horizon Factory, it is possible to create an instance of the Horizon Splitter contract.”
“A splitter is used to redistribute its financial reserve to its token holders. This reserve is fueled by simple Ether deposits to the splitter address. Periodically, the funds are split and sent to the registered basic income token holders.”
“The token payout equivalent defines how much Ether is sent for each token. When passing through the internal token exchange, the payouts can be converted into a combination of Ether and ERC20 tokens.”
This Blockchain Platform is not holding an ICO
Question: “You are you not holding an ICO (initial cryptocurrency offering). Why is that and how does it help your organization?”
Von Heinrichshorst: “We decided not to distribute any Horizon basic income tokens before we can guarantee all tokens holders a valuable monthly payout for at least one year.”
“The initial value and the number of tokens that will be distributed in the first round will depend on the strategic partnerships that we will have forged by then. In this way, we can focus on building collaborations that feed the Horizon financial reserve and, once we start distributing the first tokens, they will immediately provide useful benefits.”
Question: “Are ICOs a hindrance to blockchain platforms like yours?”
Von Heinrichshorst: “Difficult question. Personally, I think an ICO should serve another purpose than only to collect money, but this obviously depends on the project.”
Question: “Will we see more cryptocurrencies launched without an ICO?”
Von Heinrichshorst: “This is hard to predict, of course, but I guess the ICO market is getting more mature, so I’m sure that in the future better decisions will be made about when and how to organize a meaningful ICO. I do believe it remains a relatively dangerous territory.”
Horizon.NGO Tokens provide Basic Income for the Community
Question: “If Horizon tokens are not money what exactly are they and how do they work.”
Von Heinrichshorst: “Upon distribution, the Horizon basic income tokens will represent a guaranteed periodic payout for at least one year.”
“The Horizon Splitter pays out in Ether and the exact payout amount will depend on deposits made by strategic partners and sister projects. So once you acquire a Horizon basic income token, it will fill your Ethereum account on a monthly basis.”
Question: “How will the Horizon.NGO token be converted into Ethereum?
Von Heinrichshorst: “At some point, the Horizon basic income tokens will become available on existing decentralized token exchanges. There, the tokens can be converted into Ethereum or any other crypto asset the exchange offers for trade.”
Horizon.NGO will offer Partnerships for ERC20 Tokens
Question: “Who exactly will participate in the partnerships for the ERC20 tokens?”
Von Heinrichshorst: “Basically, this can be any organization, institution or company that sees the benefits of using a decentralized recurring payment platform such as Horizon for periodic payouts to their own community, employees, customers, shareholders, et cetera.”
“Currently, talks in many different directions are held and will lead to the first partnerships.”
Some of the partnerships will apparently create ERC20 tokens that can be redeemed for food, water, and shelter. The tokens will be created through Horizon.NGO’s Basic Income factory.
Question: “What will the water, food, and shelter tokens be and how can they be used?”
Von Heinrichshorst: “Such tokens could be distributed by a strategic partner. As mentioned above, they could then be exchanged locally for real water, food or shelter, potentially incentivizing local commerce and peer-to-peer collaboration.”
“In the beginning, the token distributor could perhaps control in which stores in which areas the tokens would be accepted, but as time goes by, the token economy could start leading its own life as well.”
Will charities be able to use Horizon.NGO to distribute funds?
Von Heinrichshorst: “Absolutely.”
Horizon.NGO Mobile App planned
Question: “What details of the mobile app are available?”
Von Heinrichshorst: “We’re still in the design phase of Horizon’s mobile app. At the moment, it has two major targets: to make it super easy for anyone to collect income and to use the received benefits (Ether and ERC20 tokens) in their local community, and for splitter owners to customize the app slightly by adding a logo and change the color pallet.”
Question: “How will the Horizon.NGO DApp (Decentralized application) work?”
Von Heinrichshorst: “The beta version of Horizon’s DApp is already online at http://horizon.ngo/dapp.”
“We’ve provided a gateway to our smart contracts through the web3 API, allowing Ethereum transactions by the use of the MetaMask browser module, for example. Factory, splitters and tokens can all be managed through the DApp. Today, we still run on the Ropsten test net, but before autumn starts, we will have moved the smart contracts to the main network.”
Horizon.NGO and The Blockchain Scalability Problem
Question: “How will the blockchain scalability problem affect Horizon.NGO?”
Von Heinrichshorst: “It can affect the Horizon platform, especially when large amounts of basic income tokens have been distributed. Until then, we’re pretty safe, although we will stay alert, of course.”
Question: “How will you overcome the blockchain scalability problem?”
Von Heinrichshorst: “We are already investigating a few strategies. In essence, this means keeping a close eye on community developments trying to solve the blockchain scalability problem.”
“We are not focusing on solving this issue ourselves, but we will implement a meaningful solution as soon as it becomes available.”
Real World Tests of Ethereum Basic Income Planned
Question: “Will Horizon.NGO be working with any other blockchain platforms or projects?”
Von Heinrichshorst: “This is possible, yes. Mainly to reduce the transaction costs.”
Question: “Do you plan to leave Ethereum or adopt another blockchain at some point?”
As we aim to continuously improve our platform, this might happen in the future.
Question: “Do you have any real world tests of Horizon.NGO planned?”
Von Heinrichshorst: “The first strategic partnerships are already in the making, so this will lead to real world case studies soon.”
A Strong Defender of Justice
Question: What inspired you to create Horizon.NGO?
Von Heinrichshorst: “I am a strong defender of justice and realizing that so many people are being held captive by a perverse capitalist system is just not right. Through Horizon I hope to make some difference.”
Question: “What is your background and how does that influence the Horizon.NGO project?”
Von Heinrichshorst: “As an engineer with an extensive background in web development, I will always try to innovate through technology.”
“I have a creative mind which also allows me to work as a business concept developer, continuously challenging myself and my customers. I’m flexible and open-minded, and I can motivate others for the right cause.
“Needless, to say that I happily contribute my skills to a project such as Horizon.”
A Team of Experienced Developers building Decentralized Basic Income Services
Question: “What expertise does your team have and how will that make Horizon.NGO a reality?”
Von Heinrichshorst: “We are a team of experienced developers and crypto enthusiasts, who believe that technology and passion can help turn our world into a better place.”
“Personally, I have worked in IT for about 20 years, serving top clients and building innovative prototype applications. As soon as I got in touch with blockchain technologies, I saw new opportunities to change many outdated systems.”
“Being part of the Horizon team means that you believe everyone deserves a chance to a better life and by working on the Horizon platform you try to support that goal.”
Question: “What is your future vision for Horizon.NGO?”
Von Heinrichshorst: “I want Horizon to become the preferred platform for setting up decentralized basic income services. However, more importantly, I wish that, sooner rather than later, we can move towards a society where people are free from capitalistic enslavement. Who wouldn’t prefer a life with more opportunities and less financial worries?”
To Learn More About Horizon NGO please visit
This interview first appeared at Market Mad House where love all things basic income and Ethereum.