Monday, March 27, 2017 by Jayson Veley
In 2009, an unknown person with the alias Satoshi Nakamoto created a new currency known as bitcoin. Unlike traditional currency such as the dollar or the euro, bitcoin allows users to make transactions without banks serving as the middleman. There are also no transaction fees, and its not even necessary to give your real name. To consumers who want to purchase items anonymously, this is an incredible advantage. Better still, more and more merchants are beginning to accept bitcoins, from nail salons to pizza shops. (RELATED: Is a bitcoin market crash inevitable?)
Digital wallets are used to store bitcoins, which exist in either a users computer or in the cloud. With this digital bank account, users can do almost anything they could normally do with traditional accounts – send and receive currency, pay for goods, save money, etc. However, unlike traditional bank accounts, bitcoin wallets are not insured by the FDIC.
Currently, a project is underway in rural Norway, called Liberstad, to create a private city free of tax for libertarians who respect private property rights. The organizers of the project are now accepting bitcoins for land purchases, and also plan on making it the primary currency of the city.
John Holmesland, the general manager of the company that operates Liberstad, explained that he and his team began looking at properties in August of 2015. They eventually found Tjelland Farm, an ideal piece of land for its “size, location, Internet and electrical connection, water supply, good construction ground, and no permanent residents on the surrounding properties.”
The property will be rented until May 19th to give them time to sell a minimum of 15 hectares of plots, at which point they will then purchase the land for 5 million Norwegian kroner. “We only accept Norwegian kroner and bitcoin for land sold through the presale,” Holmesland said. The presale officially began on August 15 of last year. (RELATED: Read about why bitcoin buy-ins now point to a disastrous bitcoin crash.)
Each plot of land costs 35,000 Norwegian kroner, which translates to about 4,000 U.S. dollars. If Holmesland and his team can successfully sell 15 hectares of plots, development will begin on June 1. Holmesland estimates that full development could begin in 24 to 36 months, assuming that rezoning efforts are successful and the government approves the development plan.
Liberstad will provide services such as kindergartens, schools, hospitals, retirement homes, private security service, garbage collection, arbitrary courts and insurance companies, just like any other city. Holmesland explained that his “long-term and overall goal is to one day make Liberstad an autonomous city-state with its own economy, much like Hong Kong, Singapore or even Monaco, but without politics, taxes and politicians.”