Mar 102018


Bitnation is one of the oldest projects and ideas in the crypto space, and came out of a natural extension of the philosophy behind the early Bitcoin community. What would a world look like where citizenship itself is voluntary and association is by choice, not by force? Could the ideas behind Bitcoin help unleash such a world? If so, how would it look? These are some of the many questions that were answered by the Bitnation team over the last few years. Today, we take a deeper look into the project, as the team decides to do a token sale.

Blockchain and Sovereignty

Since the very days of blockchain, when Bitcoin was the only game in town, it attracted a lot of forward thinking movements that imagined the world for the better with the help of this technology. After the launch of Ethereum, a lot of these ideas actually began to take shape. Bitcoin has a limited smart contract functionality whereas Ethereum lets you write arbitrary complex smart contracts on the blockchain. This enabled Bitnation to further develop from an idea to a product.

The vision of blockchain and sovereign identity is related because blockchains give you the power to associate with groups that you wish, and not with others. Trust is intermediated by the blockchain even among distrusting parties. It lets all people involved to come to a consensus based on the ledger state.

The Bitnation Idea

Bitnation’s main idea is that people can manage their own identities and choose to associate with other people of their choosing outside the nation state. Bad actors are weeded out through the human trust network as opposed to government or law enforcement. The identity itself is usually part of a larger group of people who attest to your identity, usually through in-person meetings.

The big idea behind Bitnation is that of a ‘voluntary nation’. The only thing you need to do, pretty much, is accept the Bitnation constitution. Again, remember there is no coercion in joining this, and in what capacity. If you disagree with the Bitnation constitution, you should not join the network. It is as simple as that really.

All the usual bookkeeping that is done by centralized governments are now done on the blockchain in the Bitnation system. For example, marriage certificates are put on the blockchain for everyone to see. The deed to your house is the same. More powerfully, Bitnation is floating the idea of a ‘blockchain passport’ which is not an “officially” recognized passport, but is instead a passport to your Bitnation community. Obviously, this blockchain passport is also issued on the blockchain.

An Alternative System

The goal of the Bitnation platform, as you can see, is to create an alternative system to the existing top-down hierarchical government structures and bureaucracies. The services that the State provides and we are so used to are now facilitated on the blockchain through a common consensus of all the voluntary ‘citizens’.

You could classify Bitnation’s approaches as a ‘social libertarian’ category, or at least find some overlap. However, it is hard to categorize such a novel approach anyway. The idea is to empower individuals to come together and build voluntary institutions usually powered by technology. In this case, the technology is blockchains.

Bitnation wants to give individuals the freedom to choose their economic and governance systems as opposed to those being selected for them based on their region or birth. If you want to live in a commune or if you want to implement basic minimum income, you can. If you want to go hyper-competitive capitalist, you can. The point is to give this choice to the individuals.

Instead of the legal system adjudicating disputes, it is a reputation system that acts as an incentive for people to resolve their disputes. This reduces the burden on courts and legal systems and encourages people to work out solutions by themselves. This is just one of the ways the Bitnation system differs from traditional nation-state style of living.

The vision of Bitnation is quite grand. We shall wait and see how much of that vision the project can realize. Bitnation is having a token sale that you can participate in. This is for the PAT tokens. Check out the website and whitepaper before you invest anything. Remember that any token sale investing is highly risky and you can lose all your money. Invest only what you can afford to lose.

Photo Credit: shaire productions

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