Liberstad: Norway’s First Private City Where You Can Pay Using Bitcoin
A non-profit organization, Liberstad Drift AS, has launched a tax-free private city named Liberstad. Located in Tjelland, which is part of the Municipality of Marnardal in rural Norway, the city is based on Libertarian principles and highly encourages the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Liberstad Drift AS is composed of a small team headed by John Toralf Holmesland. The purpose of the non-profit is to establish and develop Norway’s first private city; Liberstad Drift will function as the initial operator of the city, as well as provide and facilitate public service. Holmesland explained the motivation behind building a private city stating:
“We want a society where people decide over themselves and can live together without government authorities. We want a society without government coercion, blackmail, surveillance or unnecessary violence.”
City development was launched on June 1 prior to which parcels of land had been sold to willing participants through its website. The sale of land within Liberstad was facilitated through bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as well as the Norwegian Krone.
The city is based on the principles of natural rights, private property, self-ownership, the principle of non-aggression, anarcho-capitalism, voluntaryism, and free market capitalism. These principles are meant to govern interactions between members as well as provide direction when it comes to dealing with differences. In addition, these principles are also intended to govern the provision of public services by both individuals and businesses.
In order to conduct business within the private city, members are required to register on the Liberstad internal-market business registry (LIMBR) after which they can provide goods and services. However, to avoid dealing with the Norwegian commerce rules, business must be conducted in currencies other than national currencies. To conduct business using national currencies, members must register with the Norwegian government; this is where cryptocurrencies come into play.
Liberstad’s founders believe cryptocurrencies are a way to ensure the growth of a strong free market within the city. In order to encourage the use of bitcoin, the team will provide discounts to members who use the cryptocurrency to pay for goods and services. In addition, the city-operator plans to use blockchain technology to securely store information pertaining to the city, its members, and commerce such as IDs, title deeds, and contracts.
The team is also considering developing its own cryptocurrency in order to facilitate faster transactions. This local coin would be tied to the value of bitcoin and will be for use within the Liberstad community.