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Municipal Governance On The Blockchain

treesviewAs a member of the City of Edmonds Planning Board, I hear a lot about what the public wants and what they do not want from their local government.  As a seaside town, property values can be greatly impacted by water and mountain views.  As such, there is an incentive to remove trees blocking views.  In other parts of town, the urban forest is extremely beautiful and there is great incentive to preserve trees from high density developers. So what happens when a town wants to regulate trees?  In our case, it was NOT an Edmonds kind of day. Perhaps it’s time to try municipal governance on the blockchain. 

Problem:

Many municipalities are adopting laws which may restrict the cutting of trees on private property in response to factors such as canopy loss, erosion control, wildlife protection, urban forest management, development, view amenities, climate change, etc.; or to enhance tree cutting to make way for new development and associated tax dollars. However, most models for tree regulation are unpopular with their imposing fines, permit fees, high density development, and government regulation on private property. Yet, these fines and permit fees are required to fund a bloated top-heavy tree code in the first place!!

Proposal:

Incorporate cryptographic and/or block chain technology to create a web-based public ledger and tree inventory that everyone can see and anyone can audit. By adding simple gamification features, the tree code may become self-regulating as players interact with the game. This may minimize government involvement, except in the most exceptional circumstances.

Discussion:

Think of it like a huge public accounting ledger that everyone can see, but can only edit their own data.  Instead of accounting for money, the ledger accounts for trees.  The game starts when a property owner registers his or her own trees on the ledger.  The city will issue cryptocurrency based on the number of tree units the property owner claims. These tokens would go into an electronic wallet on a blockchain associated with the property parcel number.  Each year, the resident will be issued more tokens by the city as their trees grow – the value of the tokens is derived from climate data or LIDAR surveys.  Some years may increase token values, some years may decrease token value based on estimated growth rates.

When a person wants to cut down a tree, they need to spend tokens to do so. Ideally, A property owner would not cut down more than they can grow. If they don’t have enough tokens, then they need to buy them from adjoining neighbors who are also trying to grow more than they must lose. If trading is restricted to adjoining properties (not commoditized like carbon credits), then community actions must be agreed upon by neighbors to settle any difficult situations.

The city would rarely get involved except to peg the value of the tokens on climate data. Algorithms programmed into the public ledger would manage the token values and electronic wallet exchanges automatically.

Shifts incentives

This sounds innocent enough.  But in reality, it changes all of the incentives that we are now attempting to manage with convoluted linear rules and imposing government regulations on private property.

For example,

  • It rewards tree preservation.
  • It rewards early and active registration,
  • It is self-enforcing because neighbors have a vested interest, and the ledger is public.
  • It is self-governing because neighbors need to agree on price.
  • It is self-limiting – an area cannot get rapidly stripped without progressive costs.
  • If a developer tries to take out a lot of trees, the neighbors can make it very expensive to do so – or negotiate concessions, etc.
  • If an arborist is needed, then the business case exists to hire one.
  • The municipality is able to referee disputes and establish coin allocations based on canopy quota or weather conditions, etc.
  • It provides tree liability (or asset) disclosure at property sale.

Business case

Today, proposed tree code regulations expose the citizens to cutting fees as high as $1000 dollars per tree. Violations for unauthorized cutting can approach $3000 dollars per tree. This money is required to fund a tree department that may consist of up to 3 arborists (for a small seaside town in Washington state; pop. 50,000), a permit reviewer, an enforcement arm, and possible court challenges. It could cost a million dollars per year to have an effective tree code for a city under 100,000 people, or 10 dollars per person per year just to regulate.

A price point of 1 dollar per citizen per year would therefore not be an extraordinary amount of money for a city to resolve a difficult social problem with modern technology.   Several thousand small cities dot the American coastline making this a strong candidate for private entrepreneurial partnership simply to maintain and audit the public ledger.

Conclusion:

A new generation of web applications and cryptographic technologies would allow this activity to happen autonomously. No new labor is required. No regulators are needed, no special penalties or enforcement mechanisms are required.  The city can stay out of the private property tree business completely.

Technically, this is called a multi-agent algorithmic game on a decentralized autonomous platform.  The difference is that today, these things can be made to look and feel like a game that is fun to play – people may play it. How many other Municipal Governance functions can be self-governed on a blockchain such as motor vehicles, animal control, gun control, schools, parking, water rights, energy, executive power, or any intrinsically valuable shared community asset.

 

The Ingenesist Project – press release

We have launched The Ingenesist Project. The Innovation Economy is an absolutely huge and necessary step forward for all of us. The current financial system is unstable and it will fail. At best, the innovation economy can increase human productivity sufficiently to support the debt load. At worst, there needs to be a system of trade in place for society in the event of a crash or devaluation so that people can purchase the necessities until the recovery can take hold. So yes, this is serious business.

Anyone following this blog please spread the word. I need to get people to the point where they will read the 18 articles – after which, hopefully, their outlook on the tangibility of knowledge in social networks will be permanently altered.

My challenge, of course, is to make a very difficult subject matter easy to explain and compelling enough to call people to action. Those 18 articles condense 400 years of financial industry development and history into a few pages. Yes, the analogy between social networks and finance holds well. This is not easy to explain, but the solution to the financial mess is right under our noses. It’s almost too simple to see.

The forum has been added to solicit threaded comments to the 18 articles. This is the backbone to the open source development. I hope to build future posts on the comments that arise – a feedback loop. We will identify the sub components, partners, strategies, and action items together. Participants will pay each other in a new currency.

I will soon simplify and interpret the preferred embodiments from the patent which will illuminate the countless new-to-this-world business opportunities that will become available to entrepreneurs in this environment.

As a demonstration; vetting mechanisms make markets more efficient. Ebay has the feedback score, Craigslist has the flagging feature – this is fact. Social networks are perfectly suited to act in this manner across the entire spectrum of commerce. This is a multi-billion dollar industry that can be very easily monetized in the innovation economy. I hope that others can see this too. There is a great deal of wealth to be generated for each other.

I would like to thank all of the people who advise this program. I soon hope to invite a Board of Directors and formalize the growing concern that is The Ingenesist Project. Anyone reding this, I am an open networker on Linked in – sent me a invite and I’ll respond.

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For immediate release:

The Ingenesist Project; Putting an End to Debt Economics

(Seattle) The Ingenesist Project is an open source economic development program that will challenge America’s financial meltdown head-on by creating an innovation economy trading rallods (dollar spelled backwards) backed by innovation instead of dollars that are backed by debt.

“Deficit spending is unsustainable. When the dollar crashes, People will need an alternate economy to trade in – one whose currency is backed by something tangible; and there is there is nothing more tangible than the human imagination, including gold”, says originator, Dan Robles. “Capitalism likes competition; well today, Social Networks are the ultimate competitor”

The Ingenesist Project has identified three relatively simple web applications which, when applied to Social Networks, will allow human intellect, social capital, and creativity to become tangible outside the construct of Wall Street and Corporations.

By definition, the rallod is pegged to the national debt, as such, The Ingenesist Project has 10 trillion rallods (and counting) to distribute. Participants in the Ingenesist Project Development Forum will award these rallods to each other on a reputation scale for their work in design, development, and improvement of the three web application that will release society from the shackles of debt economics.

The forum is open to anyone and participants can earn millions of rallods for their work in developing these applications.

The New ‘Stock’ Market

The Ingenesist Project has a patent pending for an Innovation Banking System to finance social innovation and will release all rights to the public domain.

“This is one of the most important patents applications published in our time. Countless ‘new-to-the-world’ business plans and patentable methods, systems, and devices will result from the The Ingenesist Project”, says Robles “Everything changes from the University System to the prioritization of global resources. Wall Street will be come the steward instead of the master”

Entrepreneurs are encouraged to patent, protect, or contain all intellectual property that they develop in the new economy and become as wealthy as they possibly can under the condition that they pay royalties, equity, or options to their knowledge inventory.

The entrepreneur’s “Secret-Sauce”, however, must be shared with The Ingenesist Project in order to improve the Percentile Search Engine Algorithm for the benefit of the public domain.

The Rallod

The U.S. National Debt is over 10 trillion dollars. Assuming deficit spending stops today, every man, woman, and child in the US is responsible for $33,500.00.

This means that $33,500.00 of every person’s productivity has already been spent. Obviously, the only way to pay the debt is to increase every person’s productivity by exactly $33,500.00.

The only sustainably way to increase human productivity is innovation. If the dollars crashes and pegs to the Rallod – the innovation economy will replace the debt economy and those who build it will become the bankers of tomorrow.

More Information:

Please review www.Ingenesist.com

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