Have you heard of Bitcointopia, the capital of the United States of Bitcoin? Of course not, because you have better things to do, and also it doesn’t exist yet. But also, oh my god, people are trying to make Bitcointopia and the United States of Bitcoin exist, and the whole thing sounds just as zany as you’d assume a town called Bitcointopia that’s the capital of a made-up country called the United States of Bitcoin would be.
If all goes according to its creators’ extremely, uh, “ambitious” plan, Bitcointopia will be a town in the middle of the Nevada desert that will serve as the capital of a new country that will be called the United States of Bitcoin, which you can buy into for the low, low price of half a Bitcoin — about $3750, given today’s Bitcoin price of approximately $7,555 — per acre. The Bitcointopia website claims that the United States of Bitcoin will derive its sovereignty from the Treason Act of 1495, which is a British medieval common law that says you can be immune from prosecution if you declare yourself to be fighting on the side of a rightful ruler. I am not a lawyer, but I am almost certain that this does not qualify as grounds for the United States of Bitcoin to legally secede from America.
On Medium, the United States of Bitcoin has begun posting a series of articles called “The Blockchainist Papers,” the first two of which are live and need to be read to be believed. In the first, the USoB declares their intent to create a new town in the middle of Nevada — aka, Bitcointopia — which will “officially demand and file for Independence” within 90 days. It also pledges that the “militia of Bitcoin” will draft a “Treaty of Military Cooperation” with the United States.
Welcome to The United States of Bitcoin pic.twitter.com/5iSb0v4hrx— United States of Bitcoin (@USofBitcoin) May 11, 2018
The second Blockchainist Paper offers a vision for the city of Bitcointopia that seems slightly more realistic than wanting to start an entire new country, because Bitcoin. Bitcointopia’s parent company, Bitcointopia Inc., has secured some land in Nevada, and they have a page where you can give them Bitcoin and potentially receive a plot of land in return. The point of selling the plots of land, the Blockchainist Papers explain, is to “raise funding, establish citizens of the city & help gather laborers to build the needed infrastructure of the city from the ground up.”
According to Bitcointopia’s city plan, the new town’s government “will be designed to function on AI, automation, [and the] blockchain,” and all the cops will be drones. Bitcoin Inc., the company behind Bitcointopia and the United States of Bitcoin, also wants to put the city’s citizens (bitizens?) to work by employing them in a Bitcoin Inc.-owned Bitcoin mine, which seems sketchy to me, but probably wouldn’t faze someone who’s already on board with the idea of buying their way into a Bitcoin-themed city.
I urge you to look at the websites for both Bitcointopia and the United States of Bitcoin, because there’s just way too much going on with them for me to do a comprehensive job of explaining. While there’s the definite possibility that this is all an elaborate joke, or a high-fallutin art project, these two deeds registered to Bitcointopia on file with Elko County, Nevada, are definitely not a joke. And neither is the fact that Bitcoin Inc. is an active Nevada corporation. The timetable listed on Bitcointopia’s city plan states that today was supposed to be the day they broke ground on the United States of Bitcoin embassy, but as of now, neither Bitcointopia’s Twitter or Instagram accounts indicate any ground has, in fact, been broken.
Last week, however, Bitcointopia’s first City Hall was erected. It’s a tent.