Libertarian Couple Fund Creation of World’s First Functional Seastead Using Bitcoin
A couple has launched the world’s first functional seastead, which they funded using investment income from their bitcoin holdings. Chad Elwartowski and Nadia Summergirl set the venture afloat on February 12, 2019, twelve nautical miles off the coast of Phuket in Thailand.
What Is a Seastead?
Seasteads are dwellings that are permanently located at sea and can autonomously govern without influence from any other governments. The concept has roots in libertarian circles and is aimed at providing a viable alternative to the governance systems currently seen around the world.
The idea gained popularity following the publication of the book “Seasteading: How Floating Nations Will Restore the Environment, Enrich the Poor, Cure the Sick, and Liberate Humanity from Politicians” though it has been popular in some subcultures for a while. Joe Quirk, the co-author of the book mentioned above as well as the president of the Seasteading Institute, reveals that the organization has been working to create autonomous floating cities in international waters.
The flagship project of the Seasteading Institute was supposed to be a mammoth floating island off the coast of French Polynesia. Unfortunately, plans stalled following increasingly difficult bureaucratic processes. However, the Elwartowski and Summergirl seastead has given life to what was, until now, only a theory.
Through a short video documentary posted on YouTube, Quirk revealed the couple had successfully launched their seastead.
Speaking to Reason, Quirk further praised the couple for going ahead with their plans following the stalling of the initial project. He stated:
“It seems like the Seasteading global movement has become robust, anti-fragile. Every time [the concept] takes a hit, it goes faster! We felt we were being audacious, we’d get the first seastead built by 2020. But because of the setback in French Polynesia, which I hope is temporary, Chad and Nadia got a seastead in 2019.”
The World’s First Functional Seastead
Elwartowski and Summergirl set the seastead afloat on February 12, following long-term participation in the seasteading community. The couple was drawn to the qualities valued in the community especially those of liberty, autonomy, and environmental restoration.
The couple were early adopters of bitcoin, and following the meteoric rise in the value of the digital currency, the duo was able to fund the building of the structure with the profits they had gained. Elwartowski and Summergirl reveal that they spent $150,000 on the project.
The seastead itself is a diminutive six-meter square, two-story octagon, which is nestled on a floating structure created with concrete and sand. The foundation is 20 meters long, two meters in diameter, and 14mm thick. After finalizing their preparations, the couple plans to live on their private seastead permanently.