[NOTE: This was originally created and posted on Steemit at https://steemit.com/liberland/@sykochic ... in-country. I've tried my best to maintain the formatting in here to maintain readability.]
Liberland: How a No Mans Land Became a Bitcoin Country
Just last year, Liberland was founded, and became the third smallest country in the world behind Vatican City and Monaco having roughly an area of 7 sq/km. Obviously existing countries wouldn't take to kindly to having a portion of their territory 'lost' to another country, even a new one. So the founder of Liberland had been searching for some land that did not have any ownership claims or existing governance to proudly place his flag. After looking through a few different places that met these requirements, Vit Jedlicka came to the No Mans Land next to the Danube river to begin his ideal micro-nation with many Libertarian values we help so dear, including the motto of:
"Live and Let Live."
Making Nothing into Something
The natural border between the regions of Serbia and Croatia has long been defined by the Danube river. In the late 1800's while under control of the Austro-Hungarian empires, an area of the Danube was straightened out to make it easier for transport ships to pass through. After these improvements were completed, several pockets of land were left separated from their country. Most of the areas in question was Croat land in Serbia, with just a small seven square kilometer area of Serb land in Croatia.
For decades these little pockets of were of no concern, with both of these regions being a under the then Yugoslavian umbrella. But over the last 25 years, after these two countries gained their independence, the disagreement over the boarders has been steadily increasing. See, if Croatia accepts where the Danube is now
as the border, than it stands to loose about 70 sq Kilometers (compared to just 7) to its neighbor. No independent nation like to loose territory.
Because of this, Croatia couldn't recognize (and hence govern) this small patch left on it's side of the river as it's own. Serbia couldn't recognize (or govern) this certain pocket either for because it would mean that the larger areas on their side, were technically NOT theirs. This basically left this little patch of land unclaimed and ungoverned, making it by definition, a 'No Mans Land.'
Founding of an Independent Micro-Nation
On April 13, 2015, Vit Jedlicka went into this official No Mans Land, planted his unique flag, and declared this pocket of unclaimed land to now be the new micro-nation of Liberland.
On this glorious day he proclaimed:
We, by virtue of the right to self-determination, right of discovery and the right of self-governance, proclaim the existence of the Free Republic of Liberland. The Free Republic is a free and independent country; and that as a free and independent state, the Free Republic of Liberland shall have the full power to defend itself, conclude peace, form alliances, establish commerce, and enjoy any other rights which sovereign states have. As a member of the family of nations, we pledge to abide by international laws that bind all states in existence.
[Source - http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/magaz ... ident.html
Why Should We Care?
Prior to starting the micro-nation of Liberland, Vit Jedlicka was a Czech, Libertarian politician and chairman of the regional Party of Free Citizens. In April 2015 Jedlicka along with his girlfriend and a college friend (also both Libertarians) traveled to the No Mans Land along the Danube to plant the Liberland flag and lay claim to this unclaimed land. With the world media covering this event, the new founders released citizenship applications for about 70,000 openings. In just a few weeks they were blown away with the response of 380,000 applications (they only expected about 10,000) to become a part of the Liberland micro-nation. A couple of the main criteria for prospective citizens, beyond the "Live and Let Live" motto, are right up the alley of many in the crypto-currency world:
* Belief in their unique concept of Voluntary Taxation
* Have respect for other people and their opinions
regardless of race, ethnicity, orientation or religion
* Have respect for private ownership
which is untouchable
[Go Here for the Citizenship Application Form: http://liberland.org/en/request/]
Liberland and Crypto-currency
Since Liberland doesn't have it's own state-backed currency, they use what they call the "Merit System" that allows people to exchange money or Bitcoin to claim their citizenship.
They also have plans to expand this Merit system where citizens and companies can trade with Bitcoin on mobile apps to easily allow the trade of goods and services. Having limited resources for their fledgling country, it only makes sense to use a crypto-currency based system rather that having to invest all the time and money setting up a state run monetary system. Luckily they have historical data on similar setups to learn from including Monaco, Lichtenstein, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Much of this is spelled out in depth in the Liberland Constitution on Github (found here: https://github.com/liberland/liberland
) where they welcome others to contribute to the living, evolving document.
I find this to be a fascination situation to be watching take place. A country founded upon ideals of personal freedom and property ownership, an economic backbone looking to use Bitcoin rather than a traditional national institution, and demand for citizens (or prospective citizens) to have respect for other Human Beings. While I know there is no utopia, this is a fascinating experiment to watch and be excited about. A couple hundred years ago we watched as democracy succeeded in America and started spreading around the globe. Could this be the model of human respect, community building and economic structure that will be commonplace in the future?
[Liberland: An Interview with Founder Vit Jedlicka](http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lan-anh-v ... 22846.html
[The Making of a President](http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/magaz ... ident.html
[Liberland Official Website](https://liberland.org
[Liberland on Github](https://github.com/liberland/liberland
[Liberland Map and Flag](https://liberland.org/en/about/
[Bitcoin Accepted Here](http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases ... 26001.html
[Three Founders with Planted Flag](http://pulse.ng/viral/tiny-nation-man-c ... 95671.html