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In a report by Wired, Dawie Roodt, a ground-level economist and a member of the small community of Orania in South Africa, argues for blockchain technology to build “state-proof” communities that are decoupled from the country’s troubled economy.
In his interview, Roodt expresses his distaste for the current political situation in his country. The dominating part in South Africa, the South African National Congress, has been roped into yet another corruption scandal as the country’s economy teeters on the brink of collapse. The government’s inability to undertake its responsibilities has left the people to fend for themselves, especially those who are living in far off towns away from the urban areas.
Roodt’s Orania is one such town. His people have been left to take care of themselves on their own; however, people have managed to build a life for their small community. They have a private water system, high perimeter walls, sanitation facility and even a rapid-response security team. Roodt now plans to install solar panels for the houses in his community to gain access to a continuous stream of electricity and power and avoid power outages caused by scavengers digging up buried copper lines for scrap.
Roodt’s vision for the future is a “state-proof” existence untainted by government interference and the key to his vision is blockchain technology. Because of the freedom that blockchain affords from banks and financial regulators, blockchain has become a rallying point for those looking to free themselves from, what they consider, a dependence on the corrupt and incompetent government.
“State-Backed Currencies Swapped for Crypto Alternatives”
Roodt considers blockchain to be the getaway tech for communities like his, where “like-minded people could be linked together, regardless of national identity.” In such a community, if you don’t like your network anymore, you could simply switch to a different one. All of these independent and free digital currencies floating in the free market. “Your economic community might have nothing to do with physical geography. Commerce would continue, with state-backed currencies swapped for crypto alternatives that float freely on an open market,” says Roodt.
Roodt’s contempt for his government stems from the administration’s controversial move to seize white-owned farms across the country. White land owners are a small group of people in South Africa who make up less than a tenth of the population but control nearly three-quarters of private farmland. Right or wrong, the state’s decision to seize the land from it’s owners has made the subject very sensitive for the like-minded.
The blockchain’s tamper proof record of ownership and transparency would help protect these people from such a predatory state, believes Roodt.