scott fitsimones

How and why to build a city on the blockchain

A couple months ago, I accidentally started CityDAO, a community of people interested in putting a piece of land on the blockchain. Since the initial tweet, 2,500+ have joined our Discord and we've sold over 250k in NFTs to raise funding for the first parcel of land in Wyoming.

the tweet that launched 1000 parcels of land

Why is putting land on chain an important idea?

Putting land on chain is enticing because the way it currently works is a stark contrast to what blockchain enables. Blockchain offers transparency, instant transactions, and democratization through fractional ownership. Land is currently obscure, obtuse, and illiquid. A few key reasons:

Increasing access - The promise of cryptocurrency has been the wide democratization of assets previously only accessible by a privileged class. Land is often owned by wealthy real estate investors or family legacies and requires brokers and a hefty minimum purchase price. DAI and USDC have been a success story for crypto in democratizing access to a stable currency. We propose to democratize access to land and real estate, which are stable, robust, and safe assets that an help people achieve economic prosperity.

Modernize a very old school asset - Buying land currently requires brokers, paperwork, and filing with county recorders. We propose building a digitally native experience for buying land, like Zillow except with a buy button on every parcel.

Mechanism design for public good - When we digitize physical assets, great things happen. It enables a plethora of opportunities like more equitable tax mechanisms like Harberger Taxes.  We can fundamentally rethink how wealth and resources work when they are on chain.

The 2020s will be the decade of putting physical assets on chain. It's not as easy as putting PNGs on chain, but if it works, it's 100x more rewarding, and we change the world.

How does land become a city?

We are starting by tokenizing one piece of land as an experiment. But when 1000 people own pieces of land next to eachother, suddenly a city emerges. People need to govern themselves and agree what can be build, where to put roads, and how to fund public goods. Land is the beginning, but a city is inevitable.

If you are interested, come learn more about CityDAO!