The open business policies help us unify the markets, the Internet furthers this unification. The Internet is fundamentally border-less. We buy/sell products across the globe and use global services. No one owns the Internet, but we make applications to run on top of it. The Blockchains further this unification.
No one owns the Blockchain based open-source projects, but people contribute to them, users use them and all benefits from it based on the value they add. These projects (Decentralized nations) are stretching this idea to something bigger, a nation.
Everything that is happening in Blockchain space is thought-provoking, futuristic, and counter-intuitive. One such idea is - ’Decentralized nations’.
Why Decentralized Nations?
The territory is an outdated model and now we make our own money.
The ‘Decentralized Nation’ projects have listed a heap of reasons. Some of them are convincing and we are unaware of some, but they do have something to tell.
It is not very clear looking at their projects that what will happen to various truly global professionals like artists vs. the hyperlocal workers like shop owners.
The ideas may not resound practical in the current structure of national borders and regulations. But they are worth pondering upon -
In the centralized nations, government prints the money and puts it into the economy. There is no upper cap on how much they can print, they print more money or suck it out of the market to ensure steady inflation and liquidity. This entire system runs on debt. On the other hands, the Decentralized nations will use Cryptocurrency. The whole economy will support digital asset as currency or medium of exchange.
The current governments lag far behind in digitization. The citizens of a Decentralized state are like a block in the ledger. Their passport, certificates, qualification, documents etc. will be stored on a ledger. The citizens of these decentralized nations will not need to move anywhere physically. The participants will decide laws, constitution, and enforcement by consensus. The existing projects affirm that the decentralized nations will not charge taxes, the citizens will earn from them based on their investment in the decentralized startups of these nations. The startups in these nations will instantly get all the citizens as their users, as the projects have stated.
3. Mass Media
The current state fueled mass media shapes and controls the opinion of its citizens. The Blockchain is immune to censhorship. The decentralized nations will not interrupt in the functioning of its legal entities. Although, every entity in a Decentralized nation will abide by the law they have formed through a consensus.
The Blockchains enable us to make decisions in a meritorious-decentralized system, which was not possible earlier. These projects are stretching the possibilities to an extent that they sound Quasi-utopian (seemingly perfect). Even though the Utopian ideologies never exists in the real world, yet it is interesting to see what they have to offer.
A Decentralized Nation - What will it be like?
Both the projects provide a different set of features with similar ideologies: border-less, codified laws, democratic decision making, constitution created by the people, digital public records, digital economy, support for the cryptocurrency, and value-based open markets.
The vision is to create a world without national & state borders. Where the citizens strive to create a better nation and encourage more people to join in. In the Blockchain based decentralized nations & states, they will compete with each other to provide better jurisdictions, constitution, economy, and security.
The ideas seem far-fetched and almost impossible to implement. And that brings us to the concept of Learned Helplessness.
What is Learned Helplessness?
In an experiment conducted on fishes, an aquarium was divided into two parts using a transparent glass. The fishes tried to reach the other side of the aquarium and failed, they hit on the glass a few times. After some time the transparent wall was removed and the fishes continued to swim in one half of the container.
A similar experiment with flies also showed the same result. A bunch of flies was locked inside a jar with closed lid. After some time they grew habitual of congested space and didn’t escape the jar for long even with the lid open.
Same is the reason in the story of the elephant and a rope: A baby elephant tied to a rope cannot break it to escape at that age. After trying hard for days, they give up and even a fully grown elephant will then not try to break a thin rope.
Psychologists call this behavior - ‘Learned Helplessness’. The beings living in a system become habitual of it. They believe that there is no way out of it or the system is perfectly normal.
As per the new ‘Decentralized Nations’, this is the key reason behind us still living in an age-old national (geographic boundaries) and political system (democracy) which hardly function for our benefits. These old systems are slow and incapable of supporting the new world technologies and needs.
The irony is that the so-called ‘Decentralized States’ are also looking to follow the government regulations. And so the citizens-to-be of these nations. These projects won’t yield any visible change until and unless the cryptocurrency is widely adopted and we look past the regulations. Regulations are the thin rope holding this elephant.
What’s so exciting?
For years, the creative communities are already operating in such decentralized manner. We have our own agreed upon guidelines, reputation (informal- but it does exist), peer-to-peer market etc. But the ability to transfer the ownership of a design or photograph is exciting, the ownership of our own creation is exciting, and new budding community-driven projects (which were not possible without Blockchain like Steem) are exciting.
The view of developers, crypto-enthusiasts, artists, writers etc. will be critical to examine more possibilities. Although the ideas are opening up discussions on various fronts, let us see what’s awaiting us!
“Always remember the future comes one day at a time.” - Dean Acheson