BitNation is an ambitious project seeking to create a platform that offers up the ability to create new, borderless jurisdictions where citizens can form virtual nations and other types of communities based around shared interests, behaviours and visions.
The platform is also planning to offer up the ability to create peer-to-peer smart contracts and dispute resolution mechanisms.
The overall BitNation vision is for a post-nation state world where individuals voluntarily join with online nations, city-states and autonomous communities. The project started in 2014, and the next phase in its development is the creation of the Pangea Arbitration Token (PAT). The Pangea network will facilitate a global free market for governance services.
The Pangea network will be powered by the tradable PAT token, and non-tradeable reputation tokens, which can only be earned. Citizens will access the network via a smartphone chat application.
PAT tokens will be earned when citizens engage on the network, while reputation tokens will be calculated by an autonomous agent to ensure human bias is removed.
BitNation itself is the proof of concept for the decentralised borderless voluntary nation, while Pangea is the blockchain network that powers enables these nations.
CONCEPT AND WHITE-PAPER
The white-paper goes into a lot of detail regarding the background to the idea, the philosophy of decentralised jurisdictions, the technology being used, and the way smart contracts will be created. The paper also includes several use-case examples.
The network will offer a public notary (for marriages, land titles, loan agreements and wills), blockchain IDs for stateless people, and partnerships with third-party government service providers.
The Pangea network is built around the concept of DBVNs – Decentralized Borderless Voluntary Nations. This is an extension of the concept of the Decentralized Autonomous Organization or DAO, but expands the concept to the level of legal jurisdictions.
On the Pangea network, anyone can create a DBVN and anyone can join a DBVN voluntarily. DBVNs have no geographical borders and don’t exclude anyone based on ethnicity, wealth, gender or any other trait.
BitNation by way of example, has citizens, embassies, consulates, allies and ambassadors. Citizens can voluntarily join BitNation, and can form teams or ‘holons.’ Embassies and consulates are places to live, work and meet.
Allies are entities (companies, organizations and countries) that cooperate with BitNation and have access to BitNation’s resources. Ambassadors play a more active role than citizens and focus on diplomacy and community engagement.
While nation-states use coercion and punitive measures to enforce rules and agreements, Pangea incentivises its users to cooperate with rewards in the form of reputation scores. An autonomous agent (named Lucy) calculates reputation scores and distributes PAT tokens according to those scores.
As reputation is essential to the integrity of the network, three types of reputation tokens can be earned:
Proof-of-Agreement Tokens (PoA) for users and arbitrators are governed by performance criteria for smart contract creation and execution.
Proof-of-Collective Tokens (PoC) for nations, user groups and governance services are governed by user satisfaction with collective contract creation and execution.
Proof-of-Nomic Tokens (PoN) for contracts laws and legal codes are governed by user satisfaction.
In terms of technology, the front end is an intuitive mobile chat application, while the backend is a mesh network capable of communicating with any blockchain. The Pangea network is, therefore, blockchain agnostic, but uses Ethereum for the time being.
BitNation was founded in July 2014, and the current roadmap extends to the first quarter of 2019. Three versions of the Pangea Jurisdiction have been released since 2015, each with significant changes to the technology.
The smartphone application is already available for download in the Android and iOS app store, though it has limited functionality at this point.
The Pangea network already has 10,000 citizens, 200 nations, and 100 embassies and consulates registered. Over 2,000 people already contribute to the project in one way or another, and 5,000 contracts have been notarized on the platform.
The entire network is due to be rolled out over the next 12 months. The public launch is still to be confirmed but at this stage is planned for the end of 2018. The goal is to have 150,000 registered citizens 12 to 18 months after the public launch.
The total token supply is fixed at 42 billion. A total of 14.28 billion PAT tokens, representing 34 percent of the total token supply, is available for distribution to investors. The tokens are being distributed in three phases:
The pre-sale was completed in November 2017 and raised $2.7 million.
On 25th March, a one-month reverse auction to the public will begin.
After that, the remaining unsold tokens will be sold over the following 24 months via exchanges.
The reverse auction beginning on the 25th March will allocate tokens to the highest bidders, but the price will be set at the lowest amongst those bidders. However, a maximum of 7.3 percent of the total token supply will be sold in the auction.
Up to 2.7 percent of the tokens will be allocated to the pre-sale investors, which will leave at least 24 percent of the total supply to be sold over the following 24 months.
A further 34 percent of the token supply will be distributed to users who build up non-tradable reputation tokens. A total of 18 percent of the token supply will be allocated to founders, contributors and early adopters. The final 14 percent is reserved for bounties and options.
Token sale funds are being used primarily to build the technology and to fund third-party DApp developers. In addition, funds are being allocated to fund embassies and consulates, bug bounties and contributors.
Arbitrators, judges and juries can charge for their services on the Pangea network. The network itself earns revenue by adding a transaction fee for these services and a fee for timestamping and executing smart contracts.
The PAT tokens earned by the network are distributed by the autonomous agent Lucy, to users who build reputation scores. In this way, regular users are incentivised to enegage on the platform and create contracts, increasing the value of the network and thereby attracting new users.
The website lists a large team of 26 core members and contributors. They come from a wide variety of domains and have significant experience in a number of industries.
The founder and CEO, Susanne Tempelhof, is a visionary who before 2014 built a $7 million governance business in Afghanistan. She was named as one of the “top 10 people most likely to protect your privacy” by WIRED Magazine in 2017. Under her leadership, BitNation won a UNESCO NETEXPLO Grand Prix award in 2017.
The rest of the core team have backgrounds in technology, law, media and marketing. It’s hard to doubt the team’s commitment and passion, and several members of the team have been involved with BitNation from the beginning.
In addition to the core team, 7 advisors are listed. They are authorities on political systems, venture capital, blockchain technology and humanitarian issues.
If there is an area in which the white-paper is lacking, it’s with regard to a marketing plan and a go-to market strategy.
CEO Susanne Tempelhof has made numerous appearances in the media over the past few years. As a result, BitNation is already well known in certain communities and has a large community of its own.
Its Facebook and Twitter pages both have over 6,000 followers and its Telegram community now numbers 2,000. But if it is to gain widespread adoption, the team will need to find ways to build a broader audience.
If the $30 million hard cap is achieved, the marketing effort will include expanding the community through meetups and brand improvement, go-to-market research, marketing on other platforms, hackathons for 3rd party developers and other initiatives.
A series of incentives and bounties are also planned to recruit ambassadors and create embassies and consulates. While these initiatives may broaden the developer community, Pangea will also need to create a campaign to market the project to end users.
Unlike many other blockchain projects which seek to disrupt existing industries, BitNation seeks to forge ahead with an entirely new one – nation-building without physical boundaries. That makes it one of the most ambitious projects we have seen. In the long term, it’s impossible to make predictions about such an ambitious project.
However, in the short term, it’s entirely possible that the project and the concept behind it could go viral. If that happens, the anti-nation-state stance of the project is likely to appeal to the crypto community’s libertarian strands.
It’s therefore entirely possible that the Pangea network could achieve critical mass quite quickly. The project will rely on the network effect, and if it can achieve critical mass, its utility value will grow rapidly. We will be watching with interest to see how the marketing strategy evolves and how quickly the team can add functionality to the smartphone app.