Community Hub Proposal: Meeting of the Souls for Decentralized Societies, Network States or Crypto Jurisdictions

Please give a short description of the topic/cause for your Community Hub

Decentralized societies, network states and crypto jurisdictions are constructs that may provide a path for the ethos of Ethereum to thrive from the digital world toward the physical. A community hub on such crypto societies could connect souls interested in advancing these ideas in the hope of coming up with solutions for the most oppressed citizens such as Venezuelans or for building “something new without historical constraint” (Srinivasan, 2022, p. 12).

Decentralized society (DeSoc) was defined as “a co-determined sociality, where Souls and Communities convene bottom-up, as emergent properties of each other to produce plural network goods across different scales.” (Weyl, Ohlhaver, & Buterin, 2022, p. 17.) Plural network goods encompass both physical and digital networks; DeSoc aims to enable efficient governance mechanisms across rights in these networks (Weyl et al., 2022, p. 17). The authors of its seminal paper propose the use of soulbound tokens (SBTs) as a primitive for the same (Weyl et al., 2022, p. 1).

“A network state is a highly aligned online community with a capacity for collective action that crowdfunds territory around the world and eventually gains diplomatic recognition from pre-existing states.” (Srinivasan, 2022, p. 9.) It should have an integrated cryptocurrency and other tech protected by encryption (Srinivasan, 2022, p. 223).

A crypto jurisdiction is a physical territory with friendly policies toward crypto to an extent. Of particular interest for innovative governance are private communities or special economic zones (see Bell, 2017), which can be special jurisdictions that cater specifically to crypto communities.

Although three constructs are introduced, they can collectively be viewed as “crypto societies”; the hub can be further specific if the hub curator feels it is not “one specific cause or topic” enough.

Imagine people could be part of efficient crypto societies with likeminded souls.

List of related literature:

Decentralized Societies:

Weyl, E. G., Ohlhaver, P., & Buterin, V. (2022). Decentralized Society: Finding Web3’s Soul. SSRN Electronic Journal.

Network States:

Srinivasan, B. (2022). The Network State: How To Start a New Country.

Buterin, V. (2022, July 13). What do I think about network states?

Special Jurisdictions:

Bell, T. (2017, April 3). Quietly creating freedom: Private communities and special economic zones.

What will you offer to the Devcon attendees?

  • Governance tech demos. Giving demo opportunities to governance and soulbound tech projects on Ethereum mainnet, sidechains (e.g., Gnosis Chain) or rollups (e.g., Optimism), which can showcase examples implementing features of crypto societies, and answer questions.

The goal is not to promote specific projects, and I would be fine removing this activity, but it is there because the RFP asks hubs to be tech-focused.

  • Discussions on specific topics with interested attendees. Topics can be proposed and curated by attendees. Some examples are sections or chapters of the mentioned literature.

  • Debates. Examples: Voice vs. Exit; Transparency vs. Privacy by Default; SBTs vs. Other ID Primitives.

  • International assistance sessions. Problem statements can be submitted from oppressed societies that could be helped by on-boarding citizens onto crypto societies. Interested attendees come, brainstorm and possibly commit to assistance.

  • Co-creation sessions on network state “commandments”. Balaji Srinivasan encourages network states to be founded based on one commandment (one moral cause) initially; there could be different sessions developing different commandments.

  • Literature summaries. Increasing awareness of the concepts for busy people who have not had the chance to read them entirely and want to digest it in a short presentation.

  • Meet-and-greet. Inviting authors from literature or entrepreneurs from concrete projects.

  • VR Experiences. If some related projects already have VR samples, they could demo there.

  • Feedback or user research. If some related projects need feedback or user research, they could do so there.

These activities are brainstormed only and subject to final organization and decision, in accordance with the hub curator’s determination of appropriateness and acceptance.

A scenario on why this is important in Bogota’s context with Venezuelans as neighbors:

Picture Venezuelans who had to pay a bribe of $250 or so to get a passport and emigrate, leaving family members and friends who cannot afford this cost of identity in deteriorated infrastructure. Later, just to get school records or conduct some official operation, they need to go to one of the few Embassies under the regime’s control, wait in line, and make a power of attorney (then the inefficiency in Venezuela comes). Receiving international votes would be too much to ask there, let alone expecting the system to be credibly neutral.

So far, mostly fiat-denominated balances on centralized exchanges and wallets have helped them escape inflation and send remittances, and few adopted DeFi, but is Ethereum not supposed to be able to do more?

Now imagine what some features from crypto societies may be able to achieve…

Add a rough outline of your Community Hubs program

Open 9 to 5 on all four days, with lunch break and programming by hour blocks according to which ideas are accepted.

Sample flyer that could outline activities related to network states powered by Ethereum.

List the people who will organise, oversee and be responsible for the Community Hub

I obtained the preliminary willingness to assist of a handful of past and current residents of Venezuela in the legal, media and English instruction industries (men and women; Latinx, White and Middle Eastern). I will reach out to the crypto societies community working with Ethereum if the hub idea is accepted, and hope to get participants from diverse backgrounds.

List the equipment or production needs

As available:

  • Chairs or other sitting furniture;
  • Desk;
  • Whiteboard;
  • TV or projector if demos are made;

Hi there,

First of all, we would like to thank you for putting together this proposal!

The space allocated to Community Hubs is limited which means we can only accept six proposals.

Many of the proposals we received were very high quality and, unfortunately, we had to take hard decisions. There is simply not enough space to accommodate all of them.

With this post, I’d like to inform you that your proposal was not selected for this year’s Community space.

Again, thank you for showing initiative to contribute to the Devcon Bogotá experience and we hope to see you there soon nonetheless.

Have a great day,

Franziska & the Devcon team

Hey @Soul! This resonates strongly with me as one of the initial instigators of Ethereum Venezuela and recently as proofreader of the Spanish translation of the DeSoc paper. Regardless of the hub not being selected, there are some cool plans by RxC coming up and I’ve been discussing with some folks doing a DeSoc-related pilot during Devcon. Let’s chat. My Telegram and Twitter handles are the same as my user here.

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