Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
×
Earth Bitcoin Government

Floating Pacific Island Is In the Works With Its Own Government, Cryptocurrency (cnbc.com) 168

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: Nathalie Mezza-Garcia is a political scientist turned "seavangelesse" -- her term for an evangelist in favor of living off the grid -- and on the ocean. Mezza-Garcia spoke with CNBC's Matthew Taylor about what she sees as the trouble with governments, and why she believes tech startups should head to Tahiti. This seavangelesse is a researcher for the Blue Frontiers and Seasteading Institute's highly-anticipated Floating Island Project. The project is a pilot program in partnership with the government of French Polynesia, which will see 300 homes built on an island that runs under its own governance, using a cryptocurrency called Varyon.

"Once we can see how this first island works, we will have a proof of concept to plan for islands to house climate refugees," she said. The project is funded through philanthropic donations via the Seasteading Institute and Blue Frontiers, which sells tokens of the cryptocurrency Varyon. The pilot island is expected to be completed by 2022 and cost up to $50 million. As well as offering a home for the displaced, the self-contained islands are designed to function as business centers that are beyond the influence of government regulation.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Floating Pacific Island Is In the Works With Its Own Government, Cryptocurrency

Comments Filter:
  • by ls671 ( 1122017 ) on Saturday May 19, 2018 @09:04AM (#56638242) Homepage

    Along with a cryptocurrency, it has to use AI to keep the island afloat and manage it to be a winner.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Along with a cryptocurrency, it has to use AI to keep the island afloat and manage it to be a winner.

      And blockchain. They will be using a Blockchain to anchor it.

    • Waitaminute! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by freeze128 ( 544774 ) on Saturday May 19, 2018 @09:50AM (#56638378)
      Hold on... Cryptocurrency? And "off the grid"? I don't think those two things go together.
      • by Zocalo ( 252965 )
        Why? "Off the grid" generally means you provide your own power, so provided the currency being developed doesn't require power intensive mining there's no reason why it couldn't exist within the constraints of a limited capacity local power grid. Or flip it around entirely; everyone has their own home supply (solar and/or wind/water turbines, most likely) and you earn the currency based on how much excess power you are able to feed into the communal supply for things like street lighting, social facilitie
      • Cryptocurrency? And "off the grid"? I don't think those two things go together.
        You're right of course. Just think of all of the diesel fuel these guys are going to be churning through trying to fight global warming by generating arbitrary ones and zeroes. The least they could do is relocate from French Polynesia to someplace like northern Oregon where they can use that all waste heat to keep warm at night.
    • Why not just get a boat as register it in Liberia. You can still make up your own crypto currency.

      even better, don't get a boat but tell everyone you did get a boat. Call it your own country, so you don't have to register it. Then no one can determine the boat does not exist. take the money and run.

    • You forgot to mention that the AI will be running on the Cloud.

      In all seriousness thou, I fail to see what benefits the floating AI controlled crypto-haven will have over your traditional island tax-haven. Many of those Islands are high enough above the current sea-levels to not have to worry about disappearing under the waves.

      • The Seasteading institute proposed an idea some years back for a business ship in international waters, just of the US coast, so employees could live on the mainland but commute by ferry each day and work in a place free of things like a minimum wage, mandated health coverage or income tax. It didn't take.

        • I haven't forgotten and am still waiting to compete with experienced IT workers stationed 24 miles of the coast of Southern California via a tether (currently MIA) as opposed to just the one stationed in French Polynesia minus the tether and running "off the grid" (also currently MIA) or the employees I currently have to wait a week for a response from who live in Bangalore India.

          I forget what the issue what with makes that 24 mile tether a problem but as an engineer that makes way more sense to me than
    • One good typhoon and one has to ask, were will the inhabitants go?

  • Defence (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hvidstue ( 1260682 ) on Saturday May 19, 2018 @09:06AM (#56638250) Homepage
    If they have no way of defending themselves, they will be taken over by mafia or pirates as soon as they seem profitable. Sad reality of this world.
    • by DRJlaw ( 946416 )

      If they have no way of defending themselves, they will be taken over by mafia or pirates as soon as they seem profitable. Sad reality of this world.

      "the self-contained islands are designed to function as business centers that are beyond the influence of government regulation."

      Works as designed, unless you mean "beyond the influence of government regulation except for the regulations that we like," in which case one must ask "who gets to decide which regulations we like?"

      In a world beyond the influence of go

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Exactly. Libertarians just don't understand that a lack of government is impossible. As soon as one of these rich dudes noticed his neighbor is annoying, he'll form a home owner's association.

        Fifty years later, the home owner's association is executing people who aren't patriotic enough, and you've got people saying taxes are unconstitutional and the liberals have ruined everything and they need to start their own floating island with equally questionable poo disposal services.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Provocateur ( 133110 )

      You left out the dolphins. Armed dolphins (don't ask me if they're Soviet made weapons) who have been picking up all those signals. They would demand that we show them who this Alexa is, and that all package deliveries will be signed, floating island or not.
       
      And today's captcha is pacifier

      • by es330td ( 964170 )
        Will these dolphins be accompanied by sharks with frickin laser beams attached to their heads?
        • No, because the dolphins would kill the sharks if they feel threatened.
          It is much better to have two squads: dolphins as scouts and sharks as infantry.
          Better keep them separated.

          (That is actually not a joke, the dolphins would kill a shark if they think it is attacking them)

    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      If they have no way of defending themselves, they will be taken over by mafia or pirates

      Or a 200kg (440lb) Tongan king leading an invasion force of prisoners and a brass band [alternet.org].

      (Though the island was tiny and unoccupied, there was nonetheless one casualty ;) )

    • by dk20 ( 914954 )

      That is when they will suddenly remember that they are citizens of some other country (the one they didnt want to pay taxes to) and would like to be rescued at great tax payer expense.

      • It sounds like they hope to rely on contracts with local governments for protection:

        https://www.blue-frontiers.com... [blue-frontiers.com]

        "Pirates? Piracy is only a real problem in a few areas we are not going to. Regular crime can generally be handled by some combination of onboard security and government forces, widely depending on the location and agreements in place."

    • Why would they have no way of defending themselves? Do you think the libertarian anti-government types that will likely inhabit this settlement are somehow afraid of guns and will enact gun control legislation?

      • No, they'll be able to collect money from all of their citizens, to use for the common defense. This collected money will be collected through a compulsory transaction cost on all traded cryptocurrency, and used in a centralized fashion. Eventually, if those in control of this common fund want, they could use this for things other than physical defense, like education, social programs, or specific use cases. They might even levy charges against non-crypto-transactional things, like how big of a boat you hav

      • You need more than "a gun" to defend against a pirate attack.
        You probably need something that originally was called a gun, not a simple hand arm.

    • They are still floating around in French Polynesia.
      Good luck with your petty pirate fleet versus a frech frig or destroyer.

    • Nah. All they have to do is to pass some anti-piracy legislation. Like the DMCA. :)
  • Can we vote on which type? Maybe a monarchy?
  • The most feasible thing is building a community in the savanna or desert. Which is what most Projects of this kind do. If you have money enough to build and run a floating island, you'll have 5 times the money to do that. But I guess Peter Thiel has consumed to much like to realise that.

  • "If you don't want to live under a particular government," she said, "people will be able to just take their house and float away to another island."

    I think this organization does not quite understand the primary purpose of government: to provide protection of life, liberty, and property. Does this self-governing island have that ability? Who will citizens turn to if someone is murdered on their island? Or if someone invades their island? Or sinks it? Or if power fails? Food supplies fail? Water supplies fail? Currency becomes destabilized?

    I think I'll stick with my own home country, thank-you-very-much. Sure, they're far from perfect, but at least I know they can provide for me the securities I need.

    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      The reality is that the more "micro" the state, the more you can expect them to become a haven for "Bad Things(TM)". Think of all of the Fritzls and the like you'd have when people feel free that there's no authority out there to stop them. Any crime you can imagine, expect it to happen abundantly when the group size is small and there's reason to feel confident in a lack of repercussions.

      Floating microstates used to be common on the high seas, where a group of like-minded people decided that they had no

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Floating microstates used to be common on the high seas, where a group of like-minded people decided that they had no interest in the laws and rules imposed on them by outside authorities, and that they were going to do whatever they wanted, in their own rational self-interest. These were known as "pirate ships".

        Pirates actually had a rather complex and robust sociopolitical system of their own. They had formal systems of voting, minimum wage, dispute resolution, criminal investigation, foreign policy, extradition and more. Pirates were surprisingly political, they're not the drunken anarchists they're often portrayed as in fictional accounts. It's quite fascinating, and an example of how government is an unavoidable inevitability of human nature. Even when people try to escape it, it always comes back.

    • I think this organization does not quite understand the primary purpose of government

      Would that be "the primary purpose of government" as we wish it to be... or as it actually has been throughout history? Wee bit of a difference.

      • No, not a "wee bit of difference" at all. Unlike what libertarians and other history-deniers would have us belief, most governments have done as "wished". The only governments that really did aim to screw over people constantly were the nomadic raider cultures like the Huns and the Mongols. Most other governments were actually about trying to look after the people they ruled over.

        Those that didn't were overthrown either internally, or by another government that had its shit together.
    • Who will citizens turn to if someone is murdered on their island? - The mob
      Or if someone invades their island? - The mob
      Or sinks it? - The sharks
      Or if power fails? - The mob but for different reasons
      Food supplies fail? - The sharks, but for different reasons
      Water supplies fail? - The mob but for different reasons
      Currency becomes destabilized? - France, hoping for a bailout.

    • It is a floating island.
      They send a distress signal:
      MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY
      This is: Floating island
      My position: ....

      Any vessel receiving the distress is obliged to help or relay the distress ...

      If they are big enough they can handle local crimes themselves ...
      And: obviously, outside of war zones the rate of "murder" is quite low ...

  • by archer, the ( 887288 ) on Saturday May 19, 2018 @09:34AM (#56638320)

    It would be better to spend the money replacing existing fossil fuel generation with renewable generation, and there's no point in switching to a monetary system that consumes 7 GW producing new money. Yes, there will be climate refugees, but it's cheaper to build a home on solid ground. Unless you really want your house floating around in a cat 4 or cat 5 hurricane...

    • by thomst ( 1640045 )

      arche, the pointed out:

      Yes, there will be climate refugees, but it's cheaper to build a home on solid ground. Unless you really want your house floating around in a cat 4 or cat 5 hurricane...

      FWIW: in the Pacific, they're called "typhoons" ...

  • by phayes ( 202222 ) on Saturday May 19, 2018 @09:37AM (#56638332) Homepage

    As they will be setting up under French jurisdiction, they will be subservient to French laws and protections.

    France already lets many islands in Polynesia govern themselves -- as long as they don't have any impact on other islands & generally respect french laws so if it actually comes to pass this will be generally more of the same.

    There are islands in Polynesia where no non-inhabitant is allowed to stay the night. One in particular is about a 2 hour boat trip from Bora Bora. -- The islanders want to keep their culture pure but appreciate the tourist money.

    Another island not too far away saw a few boatloads of Gendarmes come ashore about 10 years ago to put an end to another society that was "attempting to return to their polynesian values" and were treating the women as chattel so there are limits and the french Government will not hesitate to intervene if they judge it necessary.

    Nothing new here...

    • As they will be setting up under French jurisdiction, they will be subservient to French laws and protections.

      So what you're saying is that they're on their own but get a 30% discount on baguettes?

      • by phayes ( 202222 )

        Whereas if they setup in the U.S. or one of it's overseas territories they'd get free Big Macs? For the more obese among us I can see the advantages.

  • This can work (Score:4, Insightful)

    by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Saturday May 19, 2018 @09:43AM (#56638358)
    Right up until the moment the local Somali pirate variant shows up.
  • Galt's Gulch became Ayn's Atoll.

  • "If you're struggling to do business" - yes, this will become easier by limiting yourself to a market of 300 households! Oh, wait, no, they're thinking they're going to sell to the world, somehow? Do they have some sort of robotic manufacturing? Is there some sort of thing which enables them to not operate differently from the various other tax havens? No?

    "just live under your country's administration" - yes, this will become easier by removing yourself to a location which is entirely dependent on the o

  • until the weather turns bad and the seas get rough, when the wind is doing 90 mph and the seas have swells and waves at 50 feet with occasional rogue waves close to 75 feet there is no safe place in the ocean
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Manmade floating "island" states are not a new concept. If anything, people have thought about them for centuries, and talked about the implementation details for many decades now. They never happen because they're wildly impractical.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floating_cities_and_islands_in_fiction

  • It seems that every few years some group with lofty ideals tries to launch such a venture. And always for the same reasons: To get away from the corrupt governments of the world and build a utopia where unicorns and butterflies will frolic for all eternity. Well, I have bad news: Those governments were created and run by... humans! Yes, humans, just like those trying to re-imagine a perfect future. The problem is with human (i.e. animal) nature. We're animals, and unless we completely redesign our cor
  • Naturally it has a cryptocurrency. If it had been conceived fifteen years ago it's constitution would probably have been written in XML. Twenty-five years ago and it would have had a domain consisting of a common English noun and ".com".

  • Stick all the libertarian idiots on a floating pontoon in the middle of the Pacific, call it Rapture and wait for the whole thing to sink to the bottom of the sea.
  • Reminds me of Sealand off the UK coast. You can now become a Baron of Sealand for £29.99. https://www.sealandgov.org/ [sealandgov.org]
    • by jythie ( 914043 )
      At least Sealand actually exists. I think it says a lot that the only seastead around is one manufactured with government money and then claimed by a private individual.
  • French Territory, so they fall under french taxation agreements. If they were truly independent with an independent armed force to protect it, they could legitimately set up a business tax haven island that could attract billions.
  • "...we will have a proof of concept to plan for islands to house climate refugees"

    I thought that is where they came from....

  • The next chapter in my life won't be to move to another area where there is more government involved. After all of the shenanigans with the Trump and Republican Party, the next move I make is to the interior of Alaska; somewhere far away from both people and government. Why would I want to move to some tiny, potentially crowded makeshift island to have even more interference in my life? As I get older and learn more, if you want true freedom, you must go to remote areas furthest from civilization. Then you
  • I assume that "free from government influence" means not paying taxes. The logical consequence is that such an entity should not benefit from free government protection from pirates. Will french navy send a bill each time them help here?

  • China thanks you in advance for preparing some new artificial islands for them.
  • 300 houses, on a fake island, with no natural resources (except fishing), and a requirement to import everything for daily life. This is only viable for wealthy investors, who won't actually live there.

    So you'll have a couple of maintenance folks and data-center geeks on a from-the-mainland shift-rotation schedule. The rich folks may stop by in their yacht once a year. They may not even stop in to check on their money-launde...er, offshore accounts.

    Climate refugees...hahaha! Waste. Of. Money.

    Oh,

  • They have all been claimed or will be claimed if you make it viable try an asteroid plenty up there for the taking
  • The project is funded through philanthropic donations ...

    This seems like a pretty expansive view of what the term "philanthropic" means.

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel

Working...