BitNation to Launch the World’s First Virtual Constitution on Ethereum Tonight
In 2015, Estonia made the cryptocurrency press headlines when it announced a cooperation between its e-residency platform and blockchain initiative BitNation. While the program is mainly focused on provision of notary services to Estonian e-residents, BitNation’s ambitions go way farther.
The initiative offers anyone a virtual counterpart of citizenship, with all functions usually performed by government provided in a decentralized manner. Such functions include, but are not limited to, various certificates and permissions, and land titles. For instance, when the project’s founder Susanne Templehof was asked about gay marriages in connexion to BitNation, she replied: “Blockchain doesn’t give a shit about that.”
A few days ago, BitNation announced that they will be coding “the world’s first virtual nation constitution”, dubbed Bitnation: Pangea, as a reference to the ancient supercontinent. According to the press-release, the coding will be a three-hours live session in Rio de Janeiro on February 15 at 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm (UTC-2), which anyone may attend and join with their own laptop. The event will incorporate codification of so-called “Liquid Holacracy”, as well as its launch on the initiative’s platform Decentralized Borderless Voluntary Nation built on top of the Ethereum blockchain.
“We’re very excited about launching Bitnation as the world’s first Decentralised Borderless Virtual Nation (DBVN) holacratic constitution on the Ethereum blockchain on February 15th, in Rio de Janeiro. It will be a 3 hours live event broadcasted on YouTube, where we’ll live code the constitution onto the blockchain. As always, all code is open source and can be found on GitHub, and we encourage people to use it, fork it, and contribute to it,” project’s leader Susanne Tarkowsky Tempelhof commented to Forklog.
Notably, the initial “BITNATION-Constitution” has been submitted to GitHub on January 4 in a form of few lines in a readme file.
— Ethereum Network (@EthereumNetw) February 15, 2016
ForkLog (FL) talked with the project’s founder and Chief Unicorn (as she herself describes her work position in her Facebook account) Susanne T. Templehof (ST) to find out more about the project, its current state and future goals.
FL: Could you explain us what Bitnation is?
ST: Bitnation is the world’s first Virtual Nation, offering actual governance services. We’re currently building a ‘Blockchain Jurisdiction’ – a user-friendly dispute resolution application which will power a full range of 3rd Party Do-It-Yourself Governance applications.
FL: We heard some rumors about your achievements in Estonia – what’s happening there? Is your project related to e-residency project? If yes, then how?
ST: Indeed, we’re collaborating with the Estonia e-Residency program to offer a blockchain powered Public Notary. You don’t have to be an Estonian e-Resident to use it, however. Please check it out here and let us know what you think of it! https://bitnation.co/notary/
FL: Governments of states are traditionally hugely centralized services, how do you feel to interact with government bureaucracy? Do they get what you do or are there obstacles and walls everywhere?
ST: We don’t really interact with government bureaucracy, because we’re a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), without central hierarchy, bank accounts, incorporation, etc. The only time we talk with governments is when they ask us about our technology because they want to integrate it, and then they’re obviously trying to be friends with us, rather than making life difficult for us. So far it has been a peaceful co-existence.
FL: What you do is obviously hard work – what’s your super goal?
ST: The nation state construct is currently the world’s most significant apartheid. Just because you were arbitrarily born in a geographic area, it will define your life, whether you live in war or peace, wealth or poverty, etc. It’s a geographic jail, for a large majority of people in the world. Confining people to a certain quality of life based on their passport is no more right than confining people based on the colour of their skin, or their sexual preferences.
I believe the nation state is progressively going away, anyways, due to globalisation alone. But the question is, what will replace it? Probably UN, or a UN-like organisation – an even worse ‘one fit all model’ which will lead to perpetual bloodshed amongst factions who just want to carry on with their own way of life.
We offer an alternative to that. We’re coding blockchain nations, so everyone in the world can create their own nation, for their own specific need and culture, rather than being subject to a top-down model, imposed through the threat of violence.
In essence, we hope that through providing an open source model, offering cheaper and better Do-It-Yourself governance services, we’ll be able to make both nation states and organisations like UN obsolete in practice, because they _are_ obsolete – they’re coercive bureaucratic dinosaurs that has to vanish.
We’ll replace the old legacy structures with a wonderful web of autonomous self-governing entities.
FL: Do you use blockchain solutions for Bitnation’s internal work and procedures? If yes, then how exactly? What is automated and decentralized using software solutions?
ST: We use our Blockchain ID and Public Notary to timestamp agreements internally. But beyond that, what’s much more exciting going forward, is to integrate protocols such as Backfeed, and SwarmBot where the money that comes in (or at least a large chunk of it) get automatically distributed to people creating projects and submitting tasks on their own initiative. We’ve been testing it for a few months already, and are in the process to make it fully automatic, in the first months of this year.
But even more mind blowing than that, we’re very excited about launching Bitnation as the world’s first Decentralised Borderless Virtual Nation (DBVN) holacratic constitution on the Ethereum blockchain on February 15th, in Rio de Janeiro. It will be a 3 hours live event broadcasted on YouTube, where we’ll live code the constitution onto the blockchain. As always, all code is open source and can be found on GitHub, and we encourage people to use it, fork it, and contribute to it.
Shoutout to Alexandre Van De Sande, Andrew Golightly and Dana Edwards, who contributed greatly to this process!
FL: Do you know of two projects on blockchain for Ukrainian government? What do you think of them? Did you have any consultations with those projects?
ST: I’ve heard the Ukrainian government is very blockchain friendly, but I’m not familiar with any of the specific projects they’re working on.
BitNation has launched several some quite interesting projects so far. One of them, BitNation Refugee Emergency Response, is a humanitarian project seeking to provide emergency services to refugees during the ongoing European humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Syria. The project employs blockchain technology to provide authentification and validation of identity, settle disputes as necessary, and provide other services to the refugees. Apart from that, BitNation launched an education network, and even a space agency engaged in development of open-source hardware and software for DIY space exploration.
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