Here's a story I've been meaning to report on but I've been "busy".
Obviously this story is getting a lot of attention.
Blockchain incubator and investment firm Blockchains LLC is stepping up its plans to build a smart city in the Nevada desert east of Reno.
... asked the state of Nevada to let him form a local government on the 67,000 acres the firm owns in Storey County. If his petition is successful, the blockchain firm would be allowed to operate as an “innovation zone,” where a company would be able to impose taxes and create courts — in addition to incorporating digital currency payments for goods and services and maintaining records on the blockchain.
Is that what they're calling them now? This is hilarious political doublespeak. There's another word for "innovation zones". It's called AUTONOMOUS zones. Essentially what we are seeing is disruption hard at work. This previously unheard of company is straight up making a play to create their own government and city-state. Good luck, friends! Ya gonna need it!
This is something I have been talking about for a long long time, and clearly this is just the first step. I believe these initial "innovation zones" will be complete failures. This includes the Goliath project Akon is trying to bring to fruition in Africa.
Why will they fail?
Greed in combination with a complete lack of healthy competition in addition to crippling regulations. The people who create these cities first will not be able to help themselves. They will want to control as much as they can, and that's not going to sit well when opt-in governance is concerned.
Nobody realizes how bad this is going to get. Normal people like you and me are going to decide that they aren't financial slaves anymore. This is a libertarian wet-dream. They are going to move into cities like this. What happens then? What do you think?
Nation guard entering these places like, "Yeah right you think you're an autonomous country... get out of here with that shit." That's the thing about city-states: they need to be able to defend themselves. I highly doubt they'll be able to when they hit the ground running with a million other problems.
Death & Taxes
Physical location and the surveillance state are the last line of defense for the Legacy Industrial Complex. Imagine being able to move into one of these "innovation zones" without having to provide ID. Imagine being able to drive a car without a license. Imagine being able to own/rent a home who's KYC information is a Bitcoin address. Imagine the cameras, microphones, cellphones, and all the rest of the technology contained within is not accessible to the NSA. Imagine there being no centralized power-structures that the three-letter agencies can put pressure on to get what they want.
If we think they are just going to stand around with a thumb up their ass while all this is going down, we got another thing coming. However, at the same time, I'm being extremely overdramatic with this hot-take. We only have to worry about military intervention in the case of city-states succeeding, and as I have already stated the 1.0 versions are almost guaranteed to fail.
There is a fuzzy line between these utopian visions and get-rich-quick schemes. Several cryptocurrency projects have been shut down by regulators; apparent hucksters have been arrested; and a plan to transform Puerto Rico with cryptocurrencies has been criticized as nothing more than a bid to take advantage of the island’s status as a tax haven.
People are greedy, and all of these models aren't innovative in the least. They are the same tired old approach of top-down centralized control. Someone has an idea, they risk millions or billions of dollars creating the thing, and at the end of it all they want as big a cut as they can get. Go figure.
But he is different from his crypto-brethren in one big way: He is spending his own money. So far, he said, he has spent $300 million on the land, offices, planning and a staff of 70 people. And buying 67,000 largely undeveloped acres is a bit of old-fashioned, real estate risk-taking.
Ya don't say!
This entire "business model" is flawed to the core.
This is not the future of decentralization.
This guy's name is Jeffery Burns.
I just now realized that this guy's name is literally Mr. Burns.
LOL, you can't make this shit up.
Jeffrey Berns, CEO of Nevada-based Blockchains LLC, envisions a city where people not only purchase goods and services with digital currency but also log their entire online footprint — financial statements, medical records and personal data — on blockchain.
Oh my, is that so!
You'll notice that the initial idea is always the same: Let's marry this new digital economy with physical land. What could possibly go wrong? This is a great idea: I'm smart.
You know what they always talk about?
Building a community of crypto enthusiasts. Generating hype. Creating a physical architecture that will allow all these new crypto millionaires to spend their money. Spend their money. Spend the money. Give me your money. Send it now don't think about it. Do it.
You know what they never talk about?
... envisions a city where people not only purchase goods and services with digital currency but also ...
Now what is the next part of that statement SUPPOSED to be, because "log their entire online footprint" is disgustingly incorrect!
OBVIOUSLY the answer is building value, creating wealth, providing the best jobs in the world. Automating out the drudgery and putting that value back into the pockets of the people rather than Big Tech.
And then once you have all that, guess what? You had better be willing to DEFEND what you've built, or the long dick of imperialism will be right there waiting for you. Watching you; laughing at you like the helpless fawn that you are. Fatten yourself up nice and good piggy. Farmer John is hungry.
When a shark attacks a human in the ocean, do you know what happens? 99% of the time the shark is going to be like, "EW! What is this crunchy boney disgusting thing! Pheghsg!" Spit them right out like yesterday's garbage. Why is that?
Because they were expecting to take a bite out of a nice juicy seal or some other animal with a thick layer of insulating blubber and fat. People taste absolutely disgusting to sharks. We are all skin and bones.
The point here is that if we want to create "innovation zones" we better be damn sure that we are grizzled tasteless scrappers rather than nice juicy seals, or the sharks will feed and the liquidity will run red. How is this accomplished?
All we have to do is look at how imperialism works and mitigate the threats we find. How did England do it back in the old days? How does America do it now?
Interestingly enough, it all comes down to centralization. Once we've conquered another sovereign nation with military, embargo, politics, economy, CIA, special forces, and whatever else, what then?
After they've been routed, find who used to be in charge and remove them from power (use your imagination). Then, install puppet governance systems that will do what you want them to do. Simple enough, right? It happens all the time.
However, what happens when we start applying these methods of dominion onto decentralized systems of self-governance? How do you install a puppet government when the answer to the question, "WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE!?" is met with: "LOL!"
I will never forget this TED talk. Even though it's about a boring topic: reducing traffic jams; the governance issues that come into play and the value of micro-charges used to herd the sheep can not be ignored.
He tells a story about the Berlin Wall and "communism". I believe the quote is something like,
"Who's in charge of the bread supply and distribution?"
Now, to a 'communist', this question makes sense. Bread supply is controlled by the state. However, inside of a capitalist system the bread supply is self-regulated through supply and demand (in theory).
The reason why capitalism is "better" than 'communism' is that capitalism scales higher and creates systems that are self-regulating via the free market. No one controls the bread supply; the bread supply controls itself. This is a scaling solution.
What do I mean by 'communist'
Most people do not know what communism is. I am an unapologetic far-left libertarian (bordering on communism and even anarchy) Communism is not authoritarian. You shouldn't have to force anyone to be part of systems that are fair for everyone. Communism has never existed because it can not scale. However, with crypto, it most certainly can scale. The real question is: will it be worth it, or will crypto-capitalism dominate it once again?
Maybe none of that even matters, because crypto is blurring the lines across all governance systems. Socialism demands high taxes right? Well, no, it doesn't because we can just print the money out of thin air. No one is going to pay taxes in the future because people fucking hate taxes. The government will just print the money with the consent of the governed to pay for communal architecture: the way it was intended in the first place; rather than being lorded over by a private bank.
LOL! The network is in charge: idiot.
So when these crypto city-states are actually built on flat decentralized architecture, it's going to be very hard to control them, even if they lose a war and the enemy has an active garrison inside the city walls.
That's because once the invaders win, what happens? Most people assume that this is all that's required, but it is really just the beginning. Once imperialists win the war on the military side, they still have to impose systems of control that extract value from the population. How is that done when those systems can not be controlled in a centralized manner? They can't.
Vietnam was the ultimate battle of attrition, and we lost. Hilarious when you ignore all the people that died and how many were forced to suffer due to the unmitigated greed-monsters running the show. Point being: Vietnam didn't even have decentralized systems. If they did the war would have been flat out impossible to win from every angle.
And this all goes back to being a grizzled human instead of a juicy seal during a shark attack. We don't have to win the war. We don't have to beat the military industrial complex at their own game (impossible). All we have to do is taste disgusting when they take a bite. That's it.
Meaning when they try to extract value from us in the form of rigging elections and stealing resources and whatever else, we have to make sure that the effort required to do such things is more than what they stand to gain. This is a numbers game. If we become unprofitable subjects of the imperium they'll cut us loose. There's a damn good reason why the Middle East gets a lot more manipulated than Africa.
We've already seen this play out in the digital realm right here on Hive. Remember Justin Sun? He started a WAR with us. HE WON THE WAR, but it didn't matter. Even when they win, they lose. Not only that: many of the citizens attacked (myself included) actually profited as a direct result of the attack. How crazy is that? This is the new paradigm.
Building invisible prisons and systems of control is a difficult task. This is why the establishment has figured out tactics to get us to pay for our own enslavement. Smartphones are a heinous invasion of privacy and a gross display: the monetization of the digital soul.
Again, these are all scaling issues, and crypto is primed to blow all scaling issues right out of the water. Trust itself is being monetized, and its value is damn high. Supply, meet demand. We can always assume that people will choose to protect their own interests when given new options.
The first crypto city-states are going to be ridiculous novelty tourist traps. Obviously I'll be keeping a close eye on them, and it's not going to be hard to see if the project can succeed in the long-term or not. The tenants of crypto are very clear, and I highly doubt that the first try is even going to get even 10% of the way there.
These things are a process. A lot of this is trial and error. We are in completely uncharted territory and no one has created the templates that will be copied and used over and over again. The recipes for success have yet to be invented on these fronts.
The struggle is real. None of these things are going to happen without encountering extreme friction imposed by the legacy systems. Patience is a virtue. All we can do is keep our heads down and continue to build value, while at the same time making sure that this value is resistant to capture. Security is number one. Always has been, but hopefully not always will be. The more trust we have the less security we need.