Too early to explore space, some are perhaps unconsciously preparing for it by building a new self-sufficient society on floating oceans.
Their motivation is ostensibly political. There has been no experimentation in governance for some time, they argue. In the open seas, they can set up their own rules that govern the floating cities.
A home that moves, from city to city, or self-governing community to self-governing community, as it pleases.
The rules, thus, become the market place. The self-governing community would have to attract residents. Competition between them should keep them offering the best service.
The questions are far too many, the analysis far too numerous, but one answer to them all might be that perhaps it should at least be tried.
We should perhaps see whether a self-governing people from advanced societies can self-govern. Whether decentralization can be applied in a physical setting.
Or at least that’s what some think. Others might just like to live on water. Others might just like the challenge. Others might just like the building of it all. Others might see it as more of a humanitarian cause, as preparation for rising sea levels. Others might want to see whether the extended freedom would attract artists, new innovation and new energy.
That combination of so much makes the project intriguing. Soon now it might actually come to life following a token pre-sale by Blue Frontiers.
Their Varyon token raised 3,100 eth, worth at around $1.3 million at current highly fluctuating prices. That will be followed by a public token sale that hopes to raise 22,000 eth or around $10 million.
The sums sound tiny in the face of such great ambition which requires some cutting edge science in agriculture, in recycling, and in ship building, among many others.
Yet the project says the sums they’ve already raised are sufficient to “design, engineer, test, and plan the construction of the first seasteads.”
Plan. To actually build it they say that 22,000 eth is required which would allow them to “engineer, design and build at least the first seastead, possibly more.”
Technically it would still not be sufficient, but they say the $10 million would unlock various debt financing options to make it all possible.
Initially they will start with SeaZones, which are somewhat independent areas next to land. They say:
“In cooperation with The Seasteading Institute, Blue Frontiers is party to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the government of French Polynesia to create the first SeaZone, located in the protected waters of French Polynesia.”
French Polynesia is a small set of islands in the middle of the ocean, with our featured image above showing some of it.
New Zealand stands miles and miles away on the left. North America just as far on the right. Making the location a paradise of sorts at the very end of the world.
“Our first project consists of a plan to build approximately 14 floating plat- forms, ranging from small villas to larger community properties, connected by floating walkways,” they say before adding:
“The total footprint of the pilot on the water is estimated at 7,500 square meters, with usable space of approximately 20,000 square meters (2 hectares), and will house 200-300 people. Each platform is estimated to cost on average $5 million (USD).”
Around half a billion dollars is expected to be brought to the local economy, with some 700 jobs created by the project which says it is looking at other potential SeaZones.
The plan is then eventually to float to the high seas, which sounds as scary as fascinating. Satellite internet, of course, would be a key feature. Cryptos too, with the Varyon token needed to pay for the many services. They say:
“Blue Frontiers will offer physical infrastructure for seasteads, sustainability consulting, SeaZone administrative services, SeaZone logistics services, business registration, events, tourism, partnership programs, and more. Blue Frontiers will require Varyon in exchange for our services and products.”
The idea of seasteading has seemingly evolved from a floating ship to the design of floating homes that can “lock” next to other floating homes or open floating spaces on the sea.
“Legos for assembling floating islands,” they say, with Peter Thiel known to support at least the exploration of seasteading, as do many others.
Libertarians would of course find it appealing because they can test their ideas, but the amount of science involved would make it appealing to a spectrum from the environmental left to the ancap right and all else in between.
A potential concern here is how governments would respond to potential lawlessness on the high seas, especially when it comes to non-adults who can’t be said to have made their own decisions, but they’re unlikely to care, at least initially, because it is likely to begin small with pioneers who have a vested interest in keeping it all clean.
A more imminent concern, therefore, might be pirates or other organized crime that might want whatever the seasteaders may have. That would potentially require a security force of sorts, and how that would turn out is anyone’s guess, but for now they’re starting next to an already governed jurisdiction.
In that environment with training wheels on, the challenge might be more on getting this all built to the point of self-sustainable without needing any land.
If they are able to, even if all else is ignored, that itself should contribute to the advancement of humankind, but how all this will develop does very much remain to be seen.