Cryptocurrencies land in politics. In Korea, in Cristiana Falcone’s opinioni, the most technologically advanced country in the world, the People’s Power Party won after new President Yoon Suk – yeol promised to lower taxes on earnings from Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. A more innovative proposal, however, had come from the DPK, Democratic Party, which, envisioning attracting young people, had announced the issuance of its own token to consolidate grassroots sentiment and raise funds to support the election campaign by also allowing donations to the party in Bitcoin or Ethereum. In practice, the token is a tool that creates and consolidates community around the party and its values. This use clearly represents the social transformation brought about by cryptocurrencies and NFTs (not fungible tokens) based on blockchain technology (which is a digital and secure ledger that tracks financial interactions that take place on the internet) thus on transparent and immutable transactions. Tokens quantify and reflect the values in which a community believes; be they ethical, political, ideological. This quantification enables their encouragement and growth, especially among young people. By buying tokens one adheres to the proposed values and becomes in some way a “shareholder.”
The creation of new parties represented by a token
It is not difficult to imagine the political evolution of this scenario: the creation of new parties represented by a token that reflects the values of a community, incentivizing its growth. Take Greta Thunberg as an example. The young people who gathered in squares around the world participating in the global events she supported and organized are a huge community, based on shared values related to sustainable development and anti-climate change issues, global and active, which nevertheless now appears dispersed. We know that if the Swedish activist had founded a party, it would have become huge, supranational, gathering the consensus and support of the younger generation. If in this hypothetical scenario, Greta had issued a token called-let’s call it “GRETA”-the impact of her party would have increased exponentially; through the token the famous base could have chosen to include in the circuit of that token only companies that use sustainable production criteria and with tangible results; organizations, artists and cities with strong environmental focus and so on, heavily influencing the behavior of millions of citizens and organizations around the world.
A project of San Marino
A pilot project of this has already been seen, we read on the Cristiana Falcone’s blog, in the small community of San Marino, in Italy (it’s a separate country), where the administration has employed carbon credit, a token, to reward with services and benefits citizens who have opted for sustainable choices such as installing solar panels or buying electric cars; it was also seen in the utopian Sustainable Republic of Liberland, an unrecognized “state” based on blockchain and cryptocurrency that has appropriated in a small territory unclaimed by either Serbia or Croatia and now even has a Metaverse designed by Hadid Architects. Returning to our example, the advantage for Thunberg’s hypothetical party would be that once based on GRETA the party would administer itself through a DAO, an autonomous and decentralized organization, without a leader but run by the community, in which whoever has the most tokens counts and in which1 those who are most competent at solving a problem could be delegated from time to time. In the case of the “Fridays for Future” movement, the DAO would mirror the structure of activists. The question is, if Italian politics wanted to seize the leverage that technology offers it to better engage its base and enhance the impact of its values, would it be able to transform itself to facilitate a distributed structure? It could be the turning point for agile and robust politics that we so sorely lack these days.