Yesterday I had the luxury of hosting a Twitter Spaces with a special guest, the creator of Aleph Citadel. His project aims to acquire land on the outskirts of Argentina and build a self-sustainable community of Bitcoiners. The concept of these citadels has been around for a while, and it is exciting to me as I witness people working tirelessly to make them happen. At the same time, as the world enters more and more into uncertain waters, and people in masses seem to be moving away from big cities, this set of ideas is starting to take hold in the mind of the public.
At first glance, it serves to solve many of our issues today. Firstly, it aims to be self-sufficient and impervious to supply chain issues, which are becoming increasingly common. Secondly, it brings people of a similar mindset together, working side by side for a common goal, creating a true community. This cannot be overstated; it is impossible not to note how little neighbors interact with each other. How people bump against one another on the streets, and how they can afford to behave in ways that otherwise would be considered extremely rude. The human brain evolved in small hunter/gatherer tribes and was never meant to live as we do today.
It could very well be that many of our constant conflicts in the realms of politics stem from the fact that we are attempting to establish one rule set for everyone to follow. On the other hand, Free Private Cities brings together people of the same value and gives them the chance to live as they wish. Perhaps the solution to all this division is to decentralize, and each can choose to live where their values are honored, peacefully coexisting with neighboring tribes.
Because the population density would be much lower, the citadel at large could hear each citizen’s voice. In our current state, we need to add layer upon layer of bureaucracy, where energy dissipates and very little gets done, which creates a significant drag on resources and a giant source of frustration worldwide.
Here is where Bitcoin comes in, as a bridge to connect each free city acting as the perfect medium of exchange for products and services, which no entity can impose or manipulate, establishing an effective common language for trade.
Aleph Citadel is looking to be amongst the first to trail this path, which means a lot of what they are doing now could set a precedent and be utilized as a roadmap for future similar endeavors. Currently, they are focusing on creating an online community to bring potential residents together and discuss the ideas for their “Social Contract,” which each citizen would sign. This contract would serve as a way to ensure the relationship between the operators and the citizens is mutually beneficial. Residents will also choose an impartial third party in case mediation is required. This could end up being a new form of constitution, written and created for a different type of settlement, rooted in the ethos and ideology of Bitcoin.
Action would plan to create the community and set up the Social Contract, where residents would acquire land to develop an MVP (minimum viable product). This will be a vacation spot similar to a hotel, where people can go and see if that is the kind of life they wish to live. Once enough people are behind the concept, interested buyers will purchase the main block of land, and the citadel construction will begin.
The reasons behind the decision to do this project in Argentina are pretty interesting. The local government has a history of letting people self-organize in communities as long as they don’t cause problems. And for people working digitally and earning dollars or Bitcoins, Argentina is one of the cheapest countries to live in South America. The vast parts of the country remain untouched, so the land is inexpensive.
I am someone who left Argentina due to a lack of financial opportunities and now finds himself working online and earning in Bitcoin. This new idea is the first time going back home that has entered my mind; for that alone, I think this project might be onto something.
I wonder if, as people working and earning in BTC grows, we will see a change in migration patterns. Where it used to be, people are fleeing from developing countries to developed ones; soon, we might observe this trend shift slowly, especially if developing countries wake up to this fact and become more friendly in their politics toward these new digital nomads. Established countries, like Australia (where I am today), are much slower in adapting to emerging technologies and make life harder for people like me to live everyday life.
First was El Salvador, adopting Bitcoin from a “Top Down” perspective; people still today discuss which country will be next.
Perhaps the answer is none; maybe the future is a decentralized “Bottom Up” approach with “Free Private Cities” like Aleph Citadel leading the charge.
By doing it this way, we don’t need to convince anyone or ask for permission; we are free to live as we place and share space with those who think like us. Collaborate, grow together and become more self-reliant and free. The results would then talk for themselves, and more people would become attracted to the concept.
It may be the best way to grow Bitcoin adoption, freedom, and happiness worldwide.
For more information and to become part of the conversation, check out: https://alephcitadel.com/