Some of us — writers, TV recappers, viral content muckrakers — will admit that we pretty much live online.
Others, however, are actually building realms that (mostly, but not necessarily) exist online and can be bolted onto our present realities, complete with wholly novel governance structures and economies.
We reached out to de Koning to learn more about his work.
Cointelegraph: You are spending a lot of your free time building The Lands of Sheraga. What is a “free and open-source nation,” and who is it for?
Joachim de Koning: A free and open-source nation is a large group of people that openly develops and shares cultural values with the goal to increase freedom for all.
Freedom may refer to a great number of things — liberty, rights, moral responsibility, self-determination or autonomy, just to name a few. In all aspects in which freedom can be understood, we try to find a balance to protect freedom for everyone in the Lands.
The Lands of Sheraga are for people who want to partake in a decentralized form of society. We believe that decentralization can be a tool to work parallel to centralization, to offer people freedom of choice. Increasing freedom empowers people.
CT: What are your long-term plans for The Lands of Sheraga? How do cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Litecoin factor in?
JK: Long term, my plans are for the Lands to expand in a decentralized way. Right now we have two lands: Ghelderun located in the Netherlands, and Issara in Thailand. There is trade between these realms, and we make use of cryptocurrencies to run our decentralized economies.
CT: How can our readers join or otherwise take part in The Lands of Sheraga?
JK: By starting their own local realm. The Lands of Sheraga find a common ground in the ethical values of the Sheragan charter. The self-sustainability of a realm is an important aspect, as well as its connection with its social surroundings. This gives it potential to flourish. However, there is no set ruleset for the governance of a realm. I hope to see many creative forms of decentralized microgovernance develop.
CT: You use Bitmessage and have spoken about it. Besides money and information transfer, what other kinds peer-to-peer protocols or technologies modeled on Bitcoin do you think we will see emerge in the near future?
JK: Envisioning the future, I think drones and robotics will play a very important role in peer-to-peer production. Also, virtual presence technologies coupled to these robotics, which will enable people to work together even though they are on opposite sides of the globe. I think blockchain technology will be used to make it possible for these devices to autonomously put themselves up for hire using automated contracts. Besides this, I hope to see humanitarian work make use of blockchains to document the history of human rights, so these can be stored immutable for later reference.
CT: What are some projects involving decentralization or cryptocurrencies that you have seen or have worked on recently that you are excited about?
JK: Recently, I have been working on setting up an alternative form of exchange. This project is still in the pipeline. Besides that, Ethereum is a project I am excited about, especially when it comes to running contracts on its blockchain. How will this work out in practice? I think this is something many people are wondering about, and I know people are going to find a good use for this system. In the coming weeks, I will be working with a team on a wallet solution for cryptocurrencies. I'd like to see how we can make the use of cryptocurrency as easy as possible for people who know nothing about it.