PAL- A blockchain government.

in #pal4 years ago

I've had the idea of a new type of currency in my head for a while.  I called it PALcoin and you can see my first draft of it at  I've learned a lot in the last year about blockchain technology and I think I can vastly improve upon my first design of a currency, and I also think it's possible to create not just a currency but a complete decentralized government using blockchain technology and simple smart contracts (with witnesses that watch over them).  

At the moment there are something like 200 governments controlling 7 billion people.  I suppose my starting argument is that there isn't enough competition out there, people would choose something different if they had a real choice, and here's a non violent way to create it.  Personally, I want to stop supporting a government that forcibly taxes me to kill dark skinned people over seas for 20th century resources, spies incessantly on it's own citizens, now operates as a massive wealth transfer mechanism from the 99% to the 0.001%, and post Citizens United appears to act more like a corporate theocracy than anything else.  You may have your own or different reasons, but I think we could all agree that a little more competition could provide government services for less cost and cause less global harm all around.

The foundation of the government lies in creating a system that promotes Peace, Abundance, and Liberty (thus PAL).  How would it work?  What would it do?

I'm envisioning a system based on graphene (steemit) that starts with two very basic functions and then grows from there.  When PALcoin is mined a set amount goes into a collective account that can be spent on community projects through community approval by voting on smart contracts that access the public account.  Second, a set of documents exist within the blockchain that form the constitution and operating agreement that can be modified by the users that discuss what's allowed and what's not.  Power holders can vote up and down on any project or founding document, and witnesses have the authority to block payment so if bullshit is going down someone is there to watch it and stop it.  I imagine a cap on the amount of power a single person can have so that no one person can have more than 1% or some other arbitrary amount of voting power.

So, what's the starting mechanism?  The main thing that makes PALcoin different is that half the PALcoin mined would go into a collective account and the rest split between witnesses and miners.  The collective account can then be used to fund projects without the need to take resources from one group and give them to another.  This is a way to generate collective value without taxation.  It isn't socialsim.  It isn't third party theft of private property.  It's something new.  Ok, so PALcoin is generated... now what?

Users submit simple contracts that can be voted on by PALcoin power holders.  You want money to build a road?  Ok, submit a proposal and see if the community will agree to pay for it.  If there are enough positive votes it's approved and PALcoin flows from the community account into the submitter's account.  Before that happens though Witnesses have the opportunity to vote to block the transfer in the case that it's a forbidden activity or seems fraudulent.  What's forbidden?

The second major piece of the puzzle is having an operating document that everyone agrees on.  A Constitution if you will.  So, the block hosts a Constitution that allows extreme operating flexibility assuming the action doesn't cause harm.  With something like 2/3 of the power vote and 2/3 of the witnesses voting in favor then you can alter the constitution.

If the money raised is used to produce services that others use and an accepted form of payment is PALcoin then suddenly the currency has value, the community fund pool has ability to invest in projects with decentralized authority.  My hope is that the world around us can start to change.  It doesn't rely on a president, congress, or royalty.  It gives voting rights to vested people in the system, and people self elect to be watchers through acting as a witness.

Could you see this working?  What challenges do you think there are?  What services would you want PAL to offer?  Would you choose to be a voluntary member/citizen?  Would you want to help me create it?

I'm Aggroed.  The soon to be founding member of PAL.


I’m gonna geek out for a minute. Humor me...

I like the idea as a way to obtain funds and prioritize projects. I think the next step would be addressing the other phases of project completion and scalability. For example, suppose a small-ish community wanted a new park. One of the first steps in the traditional system would be assigning someone to conduct a trade study. We need to survey different locations and determine the feasibility of each location. There are cost trade-offs to consider, depending on where the park is and what features people would like in it. There are community benefit trade-offs as well, such as how easy it is for people to get to a location and who might be adversely impacted by construction, traffic, or other effects. Some authority, say a board of selectmen, appoints someone to research the options and put together a proposal which can come before a town meeting. There might be several iterations as people weigh in and the options are refined prior to a final vote.

To replace this process in a distributed governance system, we’d need to answer a few questions. First of all, who are the stakeholders? If there is no government, the notion of a “town” is somewhat arbitrary. Even in the traditional system, more than one municipality might be affected by some project and they all would have to have some say. If a population feels left out, they might be able to petition a higher authority. A second issue is how the initial budget is determined. In my example, I put the selection of a trade study author after the decision to build the park, but this presents a bit of a catch-22 because the general populace might not have enough knowledge to know the rough amount a park of say 2 acres in size costs in their community, and thus whether the pot has enough money to cover what they want. Someone would need to develop and initial price range prior to incurring the additional cost of soliciting a detailed study providing the initial options and trade-offs. The basic question is, what are the boundaries of the trade space and how do we know they are reasonable?

Once this process is complete, there comes the actual selection of a trade study author and, ultimately, a contractor to complete construction. This is probably the area where a blockchain solution could really shine. In the traditional system, this is the stage where politics really heats up. That is especially the case in a small town. No one is surprised when the surveyor is the chair selectman’s cousin or the contractor is some guy that gave him a good price on his home landscaping in return for a good word in a town project. Are these people really best for the job? On steemit, we have the notion of reputation. Reputation is hard to win and impossible to forge. If we carefully structure a similar reputation system for various contracted professionals, we might actually be able to develop a rating system that is order of magnitude more powerful than Angie’s List or similar things that exist today.

Using this selection strategy, we could probably proceed in steps. For example, the stakeholders (however their identities are determined), decide they are interested in a park and solicit estimates for trade study authors. Anyone truly interested in the job would submit an estimate for free. Their expertise and the believability of their estimate is indicated by their reputation score. So we pony up a little cash to determine some basic parameters for the project. Now we see that our price range is in the $5 million range when the kitty contains only $1 million. Luckily, we’ve only spent say $5000 getting this figure and we can move onto the next phase, taking another vote to determine whether we really want this and if so, to begin a campaign to raise additional funds.

Or… we get a loan. This is probably where the UIA might come in from some other entity. This throws in an additional complication. Not all loan structures are the same. How much upfront cash do we put down? Do we get the loan from outside or create something internal that is similar to existing muni bonds? This would also require a person with sufficient expertise to draw up the options. They could probably be selected using the same reputation scoring.

At some point, we might encounter an issue that is a little too complex to vote on or where even the decision stage involves elements that are outside the expertise of the majority of the stakeholders. In these cases the system may choose to give an expert some additional authority to make decisions autonomously rather than waste time and money educating everyone and holding votes for each part of the process.

For me, that whole thought experiment raises the question of whether this process needs to be completed in its entirety for each project, especially when it would more efficient to maintain permanent physical infrastructure, not to mention people with a lot of historical knowledge about the locale and its idiosyncrasies. I have a hard time seeing a way to completely retire some long term staff that might resemble existing governments, however distributed database and weighted score algorithms do shift the role of those organizations away from focal points of power and towards merely carrying out administrative duties. It would be similar to hiring out an accountant to do your taxes every year. They have consolidated expertise and equipment to do a specific job and you can use the same one year after year, but they have zero control over your decision to do so. Blockchain technologies may have the power to do this in a way that mere voting does not, because it is not merely a one dimensional measurement of sentiment, but a secure distributed intelligence with a memory that can improve upon itself.

I'm a little in over my head now.. But maybe that is the essence of it. Crypto coin to fund and community rep to delegate. I have no idea how it would scale to national levels, but maybe we don't have to. No existing system of government came into being overnight. I could see a local government experimenting with PAL while retaining their existing government… gradually evolving and expanding the role of technology.

I take it you're on board ;)

I think you're on the right track here.. Good job thinking about the tools you have today and re-applying the ideas. I think you're staying reasonably positive in your writing ;) ..

It would be nice to have a dilution feature built into a User Issued Asset for things of this nature. So, sub-communities could invest in that UIA (user issue asset) and use its dilution to fund causes they believe it. Something that is much easier to create than an entire blockchain will probably help because it would help to have many of these UIAs (trial and error) to find successful and viral ideas.

I'll relay this idea in terms of a UIA feature. If UIAs and were supported to the level of dilution via blogging rewards, who knows, one day automation and standards may allow us to use implement tolls for using resources like roads where the toll might simply be to have a minimum balance of that given UIA.

I suppose my starting argument is that there isn't enough competition out there, people would choose something different if they had a real choice, and here's a non violent way to create it.

There is NO competition the government is the only game in town and they will react aggressively if you try to offer one.

I really like your idea. Sorry for the delay in responding but have been really busy lately.

I think you should do a few posts to flesh this out more and also to look for someone with development chops to help you out and so you can create a team around this.

Keep me posted on your progress!

Interesting. I'm going to read it again, slower and have a good hard think about what you've said here.

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