Bitcoin and the blockchain technology haven’t only revolutionized the financial system, but also introduced us to a whole new era of decentralization that can change the global political system. The blockchain technology has the potential to enable individuals to change how they interact in politics via an unprecedented system that is primarily based on disintermediation via blockchain’s automatic trustless transactions. Such system can totally transform the tenets which underpin the current global political system and models of governance, raising a question by many decentralization enthusiasts:
“Do we really need the traditional “State” along with its centralized governance institutions?”
Do We Still Need a Federal State?
Many blockchain enthusiasts today believe that the civil society can reorganize itself and do a better job in protecting its interests via pulling the plug off the Federal State and replacing its system by services that utilize open source, blockchain based protocols such as Ethereum, Eris, Omni Layer and others. Catalyzed by the zeal for ambitious possibilities, innovative characteristics of the blockchain and smart contract technologies along with an uprising discontent with the present global political systems, decentralization advocates are encouraging citizens to participate in the blockchain revolution and design by themselves their own governance system that relies on a distributed consensus rather than on traditional centralization, coercion and hierarchies.
It is inarguable that decentralization enthusiasts mostly bear a discontented attitude towards centralized authority and its institutions, especially those associated with Federal States. For many blockchain enthusiasts, the Federal State is continuously failing to add any contribution to the prosperity of neither the economic nor the political systems. As a pro-decentralization person, I believe that centralized governments represent an encumbrance; they are too slow, too impotent, too lacking in innovative solutions, too corrupt and benefiting a small percentage of the people they serve.
To avoid prejudice, it is worth mentioning that there exists various attitudes towards the Federal State and its role among supporters of the decentralized government model, yet the line that separates between decentralization advocates and anarchists is usually blurred.
Why Move the Government to the Blockchain?
A large percentage of bitcoin supporters promote the blockchain technology as a public repository that is decentralized, more efficient and consensus, which can give birth to a myriad of applications that can minimize citizens’ need for the government, but within a society that still lies under the umbrella of Federal States’ authorities.
On the other end of the spectrum, lies crypto-anarchists and techno-libertarians who bear a rather more extremist attitude. A large percentage of them believe that the Federal State represents an unnecessary, illegitimate and antiquated power depository and they encourage utilizing the innovations offered by the information technology as liberating force to counteract the concept of federal authorities. From this point view, we are literally in a critical point of history when citizens have the tools they need to gradually bypass the institutions that collectively make up the Federal State authority via means of a distributed consensus that establishes a society of equals which is marked by flat, apart from hierarchical structures.
Bitnation and the Seed of Decentralized Governments:
Despite the fact that attitudes and opinions towards the effectiveness of centralized Federal States may markedly vary, a large number of decentralization evangelists and political activists have already started formulating projects to create “cryptonations” which is the name usually used to describe decentralized governments that rely on the blockchain and smart contract technologies.
Bitnation is the first cryptonation that was formed in 2014. It is considered the first ever decentralized borderless nation that utilizes the blockchain technology. Bitnation provides almost all the services offered by a conventional centralized government including IDs, insurance, marriage certificates and dispute resolutions. On October 5, 2014 Bitnation time-tamped the world’s first blockchain marriage and 5 days later it announced the world’s first blockchain citizenship. Any citizen in the world can get a Bitnation World Citizenship ID.
So, if bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to utilize the blockchain technology, Bitnation is the first decentralized government that also utilizes smart contracts along with the blockchain technology. This is just the beginning of a new era that will witness utilization of the blockchain technology not only in the political system but also in many other aspects of people’s life.