Roger Ver, a highly visible figure in the Bitcoin community, is teaming up with entrepreneur and cryptocurrency enthusiast Olivier Janssens to create a brand new country. Here’s the catch: this country will have no government, opting instead to adhere to the principles of the Anarcho-Capitalism philosophy.
Also read: Canada May Soon Get Its Very Own Bitcoin ETF
Roger Ver and the Free Society: A New Anarchist Paradise?
Called the “Free Society,” the country’s website is currently barebones. At press time, the only things displayed on the website are a two-sentence ‘About Us,’ a newsletter subscription box, and a ‘FAQ’ section.
According to the FAQ section, Roger and the rest of the Free Society team are negotiating with different, undisclosed national governments. The Free Society’s goal is to reach an agreement with a national government that will grant them sovereignty over a piece of the existing government’s land, or a nearby territory.
The FAQ also states that the team has the following set of criteria for an acceptable location:
- Proximity to existing economic powerhouses (US, Europe, Asia)
- Accessibility by water
- Located in a safe, conflict-free area
- Stable existing government
- Nations with a significant national debt
- A flexible constitution that allows granting sovereignty
- Acceptable minimum size for the land
As for laws and their enforcement, Free Society will operate with a Voluntarist — or Anarcho Capitalist — structure, where disputes come to resolutions through private arbitration, and services like law enforcement and protection emerge from the free market.
Ver is joined in this project by Bitcoin entrepreneur Olivier Janssens and Stefaan Claes. Janssens is the “Founding Father” and CEO of the project, while Ver will serve as the co-founder, and Clases as the chief of staff.
In regards to funding this endeavor, Janssens told 71Republic:
“We have backing of over 100 million USD in private capital and are committed to the mission of realizing the world’s first Free Society.”
But Will It Work?
A totally free market society has always been the ideal for philosophical libertarians and Anarcho-Capitalists, and political scholars have produced many works theorizing how exactly such a society would work.
However, none of these theories have totally made it into the real world. While some attempts at creating private nations have cropped up in the last few years, none of them have made very far beyond the drawing board.
Free Society’s website acknowledges this historical fact, mentioning projects such as Seasteading and Liberland. They say their approach is different, though. Previous attempts at an independent nation have tried to claim land without approval from existing governments, or tried to avoid other governments altogether by setting up in international waters.
But by negotiating with existing governments, Free Society says, they are following a path that has historical precedent:
“There are many examples of governments granting another nation sovereignty over a part of their territory, the more prominent example being Guantanamo bay (Cuba), which the USA leased as a coaling and naval station in 1903 for $2000 payable in gold per year. Other more benevolent examples are the current discussions between Maldives and other nations to sell them a piece of land in an attempt to have a solution for their people once their islands permanently disappear because of rising ocean levels.”
So: will Ver and is partners be successful? Who knows. The real question here is: will this country accept bitcoin?
What do you think of this new project from Roger Ver and his partners? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Images via YouTube//Roger Ver, Free Society
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