There are a lot of sketchy ideas and publicity stunts pushed at the annual Consensus blockchain conference in New York City, but hot damn this “blockchain-based state” has truly managed to set the bar.
It’s called Decenturion, and, if its representatives at Consensus are to be believed, it’s a decentralized society backed by real people buying up real property and opening physical embassies around the globe with the stated goal of creating a community of “innovators.”
But here’s the thing: We don’t believe it. It’s just too fucking bonkers. Oh, that and the fact that no one supposedly working for the company could answer any of our basic questions about it.
But before we dig into that, let’s first take a look at what grand idea Decenturion appears to be selling. We apologize in advance to those of you whose freshman college roommates decorated dorm rooms walls with Atlas Shrugged posters.
THERE ARE THOSE, THE INNOVATORS, WHO DARE TO FOLLOW THE PATH OF PROGRESS, BECOMING THE FOUNDERS OF HISTORY. THEN THERE ARE THOSE, THE INHIBITORS, WHO ATTEMPT TO HINDER PROGRESSION BY CREATING OBSTACLES AND REGULATIONS. HOWEVER, ONCE THE WHEELS OF PROGRESS HAVE BEGUN TO TURN, THE INHIBITORS CANNOT STOP THE FORWARD THRUST OF INNOVATION.
Sounds reasonable enough.
Oh yeah, and we can’t forget about blockchain. “NOW THERE IS A NEW FORCE EMERGING,” the totally normal all-caps manifesto tells us, “ONE CAPABLE OF BECOMING THE LATEST WORLD-CHANGING TECHNOLOGY; BLOCKCHAIN.”
But that’s not all. To make blazing past those pesky inhibitors possible, Decenturion is issuing 30,000,000 tokens “tied to Ethereum.” And, as a super cheesy doom-and-gloom promotional video embedded below a countdown clock posits: “what if the state pays its citizens, not the citizens pay the state.”
But even though all of the above sounds totally legit and normal, you might still want to slow your roll on applying for citizenship.
The Decenturion booth at Consensus was staffed by a large group of people who, strangely enough, couldn’t really provide any details on who is behind the project. Sure, one booth attendant told me that Singapore, Tokyo, and Paris are all possible sites for future embassies, but she definitely couldn’t tell me anything else about the group’s property buying plans.
Another booth staffer mentioned that there are even moves to “go to the UN,” whatever that means.
I asked one of the attendants about her connection to the company and she explained that she’s a student in New York City and just started working for Decenturion on Monday of this week. Although “working” is perhaps the not the right word, as she claimed to be there in a “volunteer” capacity.
She further explained that another so-called volunteer trained her on the talking points, and that she had to sign an NDA.
We reached out to the media email address provided, but, perhaps unsurprisingly, didn’t hear back. A quick Whois lookup of the website shows that it was registered in January of this year and updated in May, but not much else.
So what, really, is going on here? Is this an elaborate promotional stunt like the fake protest outside Consensus? Or just an earnest group with cash to burn pitching their pipechain dreams?
The truth 100 percent definitely lies somewhere on the blockchain — if only we could INNOVATE our way to it.