Cryptocurrency is not only changing how we look at money, but its decentralized technology is also transforming other traditional mediums as well. One of these areas of society where things are getting shaken up is the idea of self-governance using blockchain technology as arbitration for law. One platform that is looking to pull this off is Pax, a virtual nation and peer-to-peer legal system powered by Ethereum.
The Pax Network’s Law & Code
Pax is a concept founded and created by Philip Saunders that aims to disrupt the governance model. The mission is to bring a purely voluntary system of infrastructure to society. The project distinguishes two elements in its system: law and code.
Law, in the eyes of Pax, refers to natural rights that most would agree to be universal. Such as “the respect for consent, property rights, and bodily autonomy.” This relies on a mutually accepted common law like the non-aggression principle, for example.
Code, on the other hand, are rules that are adopted by “claves” who consent voluntarily to the government. The code is subject to exit rights and offers the incentive to be competitive. These rules make life more convenient, says the Pax blueprint. To gain basic citizenship, three people must vouch for the person with a multi-signature contract that Pax believes creates a different dynamic. Then there are jurists who are the highest in trust within the network and have the capacity to vote on cases and create claves. The Pax blueprint states:
Claves are local and territorial in nature, but not exclusively. While the Pax Directory will have all the features of a social network, it is geared toward face to face networking. ‘Hubs’ can be created by claves within their local communities as a point of contact if there is the will and the resources available among the citizens themselves. A clave contract on the Directory is formed by peer to peer validation of three Jurists.
With these two foundations of law and code, the Pax society uses the directory, with which users make up clients, citizens and jurists. The idea is to use an identity network with a built-in reputation system to create what they call a “civil network.” Pax will operate like a social network, but will use resources within the system to recreate societal infrastructure such as the legal system.
The Legal Scripting Protocol Codex
Pax directory will run off a legal scripting protocol called Codex that interacts with the Ethereum blockchain. The system will include four types of contracts used within the Pax system directory: didactic contracts, social contracts, smart contracts, and executable contracts. Within the structure of these contracts “conditional keywords” will be attributed to each set of rules drawn out by the creator. Pax explains:
A Codex contract will allow legal plaintext to be entered into the contract, as conditionals, which can be dynamically completed from within the user’s account admin; and when a contract is stamped by the initiator, a digest is produced to which summarizes the terms in a compact manner so that the subject is aware.
Governance 2.0 Projects Will Continue to Grow
All of these Pax virtual nation descriptions are available to research via the project’s blueprint. Pax believes it has designed a simple set of specifications that will deal with an array of use-cases. The governance 2.0 platform claims its system is a “high-trust environment” that will allow people to enter voluntary agreements with accountability and this type of voluntary legal architecture will create something that encompasses the best of both worlds when it comes to authority and sovereign autonomy.
Pax is not the only project that is trying to change the paradigm of governance, however. Ubitquity is another startup looking to provide similar concepts of blockchain-powered representation. There is also BitNation, which has recently released its constitution using Ethereum as well. Saunders recently joined Bitnation founder Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof, Liberland’s Vit Jedlicka, Roger Ver, and others on the Free Cities Podcast concerning governance 2.0 projects.
These types of projects have planted the seeds in our society that will transform the way we view government. Society is starting to realize that trusting in numbers instead of trusting fallible representatives, might be the better option for humans to govern themselves. Banks are not the only institutions subject to disruption. The nation state has something to fear as well.
What do you think about governance 2.0 projects like Pax? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Redmemes, and the Pax blog