1. Cloud Countries

And finally we arrive at our preferred method: the cloud country. Our idea is to proceed cloud first, land last. Rather than starting with the physical territory, we start with the digital community. We recruit online for a group of people interested in founding a new virtual social network, a new city, and eventually a new country. We build the embryonic country as an open source project, we organize our internal economy around remote work, we cultivate in-person levels of civility, we simulate architecture in VR, and we create art and literature that reflects our values.

Unlike micronations, however, they are set up to be a scaled LARP, a feat of imagination practiced by large numbers of people at the same time. And the experience of cryptocurrencies over the last decade shows us just how powerful such a shared LARP can be.

Could a sufficiently robust cloud country with, say, 1-10M committed digital citizens, provable cryptocurrency reserves, and physical holdings all over the earth similarly achieve recognition from the United Nations? A cloud country with a population of this size would fit right in the middle of the pack globally, as about 75 existing nations have a population of less than 1M and 140 countries have a population of less than 10M. With 233 UN-recognized countries globally, that means 32% of countries have less than 1M citizens and 60% of countries have less than 10M citizens. This includes many countries people typically think of as "real", like Luxembourg (615k), Cyprus (1.18M), Estonia (1.3M), Ireland (4.8M), Singapore (5.8M), and so on.

1729 Project