Block Mirror Season 1

Episode 2 — The Citizen of Earth

90% of the world’s developed countries elected a decade of far-right, Nationalist governments that closed their countries’ borders. None but the wealthy were free to travel. Tribalism, fear, and an “us vs them” mentality dominates the culture.

Growth and innovation come to a stand-still as the world gets stuck in the status quo. Decades of hyperinflation has devalued the world’s leading currencies. They’re no longer able to import goods from abroad. The world switches from the petrodollar to the petroyuan. The US dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency.

Unemployment skyrockets and there’s hardly enough food on the shelves. There was a run on the banks and the US and UK governments, in a last-ditch attempt to keep cash in the system, have imposed a $60,000/£50,000 withdrawal limit per person, per day. That sounds a lot, but due to hyperinflation, that’s only $30 or £25 in today’s money. Homes are falling into disrepair, hospitals are failing as the elderly and infirm are left unattended, and the youth turn to violence and thuggery in a world bereft of opportunity.

Worse yet, nature has turned against us. Climate change has forced vast movements in populations and illegal immigration, for a while, exacerbated the rising Nationalist sentiment.

Four friends are caught in the middle of this — Dan, John, Sally, and Lucy.

For these four friends, once hopeless about their future, all is not yet lost.

An independent UK has recently democratically elected a centrist government in the first in a series of global moves away from extreme Nationalism.

The new government’s first order of the day is to re-open society to innovation, growth, and a brighter future — and manage immigration effectively. Encouraging cooperation, trade, and freedom of movement will bring fresh ideas and opportunities.

However, they’re not quite sure how to begin.

So they look to the once impoverished — but now technologically advanced — countries of Asia. There, they have a new breed of rockstar — the crypto lawyer.

A new “Citizen of the Earth” movement springs. The youth travel freely sharing ideas and stories and new opportunities for trade initiates mass-migration as free individuals work towards building a prosperous life again. Dan, John, Sally, and Lucy are free to travel again.

This triggers a natural rise in adoption of decentralised governance and digital currencies.

Intelligent contracts enforce the new immigration laws based on Blockchain technology — the same technology that proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that the person is who they say they are.

Intelligent contracts are like smart contracts 3.0. An intelligent contract is an automated contract that fulfils an agreement fairly, as agreed, without tampering and complies with international laws. These are created by those with the most highly-coveted career — the crypto lawyers. Crypto lawyers are a rare blend of software developer and skilled lawyer that can develop legally valid intelligent contracts that can apply en-masse.

Unfortunately, behind the times, there is no Blockchain University in the UK. So Dan and Sally move to Beijing to study crypto law and development.

Under the new government, the electorate vote to pass a new law, the Fair Immigration Law. Anyone meeting fair but somewhat relaxed criteria — compared to the millionaires only rule under the Nationalist governments — can automatically enter or leave the UK for leisure or business for as long as they like, required they can prove economic solvency. As soon as solvency becomes a problem, the intelligent contract will automatically withdraw the citizen’s right to free movement and trigger a 14-day return to solvency or leave the country warning.

Upon creation of the new law, anyone meeting the criteria can immediately act with no need to wait days, weeks, or even months for slow, expensive, bureaucratic procedures. Dan and Sally meet the minimum requirements and, can travel to Beijing to begin their studies — provided they’re able to find work to support their studies.

John, however, recently became a public servant. He harbours resentment at the establishment for what his parents went through in his youth, and he wants to make a difference. Speaking with his friend Dan in Beijing, John realises that, with the adoption of Blockchain, the public purse could be open to 24/7 scrutiny by the taxpayer. Government spending was notoriously wasteful under nationalism, with dozens of private companies tendering for expensive contracts with countless middlemen and waste at every level, only for corruption to triumph. John’s determined to make sure that can never happen again.

While there will always be some measure of waste in government, given the size and scope of the projects, with the current maturity of technology, the taxpayer will have a clear record of what money gets spent, where, and who voted for or encouraged wasteful spending practices. In a trustless society (facilitated by Blockchain) politicians are directly accountable for their decisions.

Like Dan, Lucy, too, wants to tackle corruption. Lucy is studying to become a doctor. Her little sister passed away from leukaemia when she was just seven. Although highly treatable, her family couldn’t afford the bribe to receive government aid for treatment, so she watched her little sister suffer and slowly lose life, despite being preventable.

Lucy’s dream is that never again will another citizen be denied the care and treatment they need in a corrupt system. With Blockchain there is hope. Suddenly citizens will be able to oversee government spending records, file and view complaints of corruption that cannot be hidden or altered.

In a swift return to democratic principles, and the Liberalism that built the West, private property rights are enforced again. Every citizen can publically register and exchange ownership of land and assets where previously illegal confiscations were common.

A new system of transparent government enforces the principles that make a society prosperous and free. And so, the Citizens of the Earth movement creates lasting change through technology.

One of the main angles the Citizen of the Earth movement wanted to solve was the extremely painful process of border crossing and customs. This leads to a vast rethinking of the entire supply chain industry, starting from the very way assets and persons navigate between jurisdictions.

In the next article, we’ll explore the supply chain and tracking of goods and services. You’ll discover how you could scan your coffee at the supermarket and check where the beans came from, how much the farmer was paid for them, when the beans were ground, and the relationship between the product and the world at every step of the chain.

When a product’s journey is transparent and known, shoppers can make decisions that encourage corporate social responsibility at every level.

Until next time,
Tommy Jamet & Gautier Hartzer

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