After three years of market research and engineering, Bitnation’s long-awaited smartphone-based Blockchain jurisdiction has hit the Google Play and iOS stores. Over 15,000 citizens have already been registered in advance of release. Over 100 autonomous voluntary nations have already been created on the software, and over 450 had been registered in advance of release. Is this the beginning of a new era of peer-to-peer governance?
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Founded in 2014 by CEO Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof, Bitnation is a team of 22 engineers and governance experts headquartered in Amsterdam. They won the prestigious UNESCO NetExplo Grand Prix in 2017 and now their goal is to create a configurable peer-to-peer jurisdiction that anyone can use anywhere from their smartphones — literally putting the law into everyone’s hands. The first version is available to download for Android from Google Play and iOS on TestFlight, where you can create and join voluntary Nations on the Ethereum chain and chat with other citizens.
Bitnation is creating a gateway to self-sovereign governance for the mass market by allowing users to easily make and enforce smart contracts under any legal code and access governance service DApps on their Blockchain jurisdiction. PAT, an in-app token, provides incentives for contract compliance by powering an AI-driven reputation system.
What does Bitnation’s roadmap look like?
After building the world’s first Blockchain Public Notary with the Estonian government’s e-Residency program and an award-winning refugee ID protocol, Bitnation’s original idea was to create a desktop Blockchain Jurisdiction, and a prototype Pangea 0.1 was built in 2015. But Bitnation’s market research showed that agreements generally began with a conversation inside an instant messenger, and in 2016 they produced Pangea 0.2, a chat-based proof-of-concept, which was entirely redesigned and developed during 2017 and 2018.
Bitnation has released Pangea 0.3.3 for Android and iOS. This version includes a group chat, a wallet, nation creation/joining functions, and a profile. Nations are created as smart contracts on Ethereum. According to Bitnation’s development roadmap, further releases will follow in three week sprints, using a light agile/scrum methodology. According to CEO Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof:
“We’re particularly interested in contract insurance, to complement our reputation system, as well as governance service applications such as peer-to-peer security, insurance, etc. – and we hope to rapidly build an ecosystem of DApp integrations. Each individual, and each Nation, should be able to choose their unique package of governance services suited for their specific needs.”
Who will use Pangea?
Bitnation is targeting people who work online and across borders and need a jurisdiction to account for that. Current online outsourcing trends indicate that there will be close to one billion online freelance workers and digital nomads by 2025. Even more people work in the informal economy and have no current legal protections.
Bitnation says that using its jurisdiction for legal services is significantly cheaper than using bricks-and-mortar lawyers, notaries, and other government functions, and is more secure, more trustworthy, and infinitely more configurable for online and cross-border working. They are targeting the global $600 billion legal services industry, which they say is ripe for disruption.
Bitnation believes market adoption will eventually reach a point where users can access thousands of competing opt-in Nations and governance services, and define smart contracts that suit every aspect of their lives, creating, as Tarkowski Tempelhof puts it, “an internet of sovereignty.”