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FoundedJuly 14, 2014
FounderSusanne Tarkowski Tempelhof
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Bitnation, or cryptonation,[2]:5 is a "voluntary nation" that records vital records, identity and other legal events using blockchain technology. Bitnation was founded in 2014 using Ethereum smart contract technology.[3][4][5]:13 As of 2018, it has about 15,000 "citizens".[6] Its 2018 whitepaper describes Bitnation as "the world's first Decentralized Borderless Voluntary Nation." Bitnation organized the world’s first Blockchain Marriage and World Citizenship ID, Blockchain Land Title, Birth Certificate and Refugee Emergency ID during 2014 and 2015.[7]

Bitnation seeks to provide open-source governance, which includes DIY smart contracts mainly on governance, security and law.[5]:13 The subsidiary services include constitutions, secure ID/Reputation systems, dispute resolutions, security, insurance, marriages, notary service, and birth certifications.[5]:13[8]

Etymology and terminology[edit]

The term bitnation consist of the words bit and nation. It is a government-centric analog to the virtual currency bitcoin that also applies blockchain technology.



Bitnation founder Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof grew up in a Franco-Swedish family where her father had been stateless for a decade.[9] As a defense contractor working in the Middle East,[10] she witnessed what she considered unethical and non-sustainable governance during the Arab Spring. The incorporation between Blockchain technology and its proof-of-work core product Bitcoin inspired her to extend its products into education and national security, which gradually evolved into the backbone concepts of the modern startup company Bitnation.[11]


Bitnation was founded July 14, 2014 by Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof.[5]:13[6][8] An early whitepaper describing the Bitnation concept and laying out a political justification was written largely in late 2014 and finished in March 2016 by Tempelhof and co-drafter Jason M. Farrell.[12] A second paper articulating the Pangea jurisdiction and supporting technologies was written by Tempelhof, Eliot Teissonierre, James Fennell Tempelhof and Dana Edwards and released in early 2018.[13] Per the white paper, its stated purpose is to "free humankind from the oppression and sanction of pooled sovereignty, geographical apartheid and the xenophobia and violence that is nurtured by the Nation State oligopoly."[7]


Bitnation was the subject of a Vice piece in September 2016 wherein the author noted that "because a nation is as much an ideological concept as it is a legal one, one strength of Bitnation lies in its ability to give agency to groups who have been ignored or repressed by modern nation-states."[10]

The International Business Times noted Bitnation is "sure to change the conversation about tangible blockchain solutions for global problems like a refugee crisis."[14]

The Atlantic noted in February 2018 "Bitnation [is] proposing a 'peer-to-peer voluntary governance system' to replace the arbitrariness of birth as the decider of one’s citizenship. Blockchain governance could allow for the creation of virtual citizenship and autonomous communities distinct from territorial nation-states."[15]

Bitnation also received notable coverage in The Economist[16] and the Wall Street Journal for its experimental work in using blockchain technology to solve the migrant crisis.[17]

Awards and Accolades[edit]


In April 2017, Bitnation's BRER (BitNation Refugee Emergency Response) program[18][19] was one of those awarded by the Grand Prix 2017, an annual Netexplo Forum prize co-organized by UNESCO.[20]


  1. ^ Green, Harriet (February 18, 2016). "Consumer's guide to blockchain: How the cryptocurrency will revolutionise life for the consumer" [Can a state be made with cryptography?]. Fintech. City A.M. Archived from the original on September 30, 2017. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  2. ^ Atzori, Marcella (December 1, 2015). "Blockchain technology and decentralized governance: is the state still necessary?". doi:10.2139/ssrn.2709713. SSRN 2709713. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ Lobe, Adrian (April 2, 2016). "Ist mit Kryptographie Staat zu machen?" [Can a state be made with cryptography?]. Feuilleton. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Archived from the original on September 7, 2017. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  4. ^ Souli, Sarah (September 12, 2016). "I became a citizen of Bitnation, a blockchain-powered virtual nation. Now what?". Features. Motherboard Vice. Archived from the original on September 30, 2017. Retrieved 2017-09-16.
  5. ^ a b c d Mattila, Juri (May 10, 2016). "The blockchain phenomenon: the disruptive potential of distributed consensus architectures" (PDF). Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (ETLA). ETLA Working Papers No. 38. Published simultaneously as a working paper of the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy (BRIE). Archived (PDF) from the original on September 18, 2017. Retrieved 2017-09-17.
  6. ^ a b Bartlett, Jamie (May 24, 2016). "The crypto-libertarians using technology to undermine the nation-state". News. Telegraph (London). Archived from the original on September 7, 2017. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  7. ^ a b "Bit-Nation/Pangea-Docs" (PDF). GitHub. Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  8. ^ a b Vigna, Paul; J. Casey, Michael (September 26, 2014). "Bitbeat: Wedding Bells on the Blockchain". Moneybeat. Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 2014-09-28. Retrieved 2017-09-25.
  9. ^ Marty, Belén (October 17, 2014). "Bitnation founder on a mission for stateless governance". PanAm Post. Archived from the original on September 8, 2017. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  10. ^ a b "I Became a Citizen of Bitnation, a Blockchain-Powered Virtual Nation. Now What?". Motherboard. September 12, 2016. Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  11. ^ Hintergründe, Nachrichten (November 28, 2016). "Bitnation, die Zukunft der Welt? Bitnation Gründerin Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof im Gespräch" [Can a state be made with cryptography?]. RT Deutsch. RT (TV network) (in German). (video with English subtitle). Archived from the original on September 7, 2017. Retrieved 2017-09-26.
  12. ^ "PDF Document bitnationwhitepaperv2.pdf - page 1/23". PDF Archive. Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  13. ^ Bitnation Pangea Retrieved 2018-05-16. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ "Here Are Two Initial Coin Offerings You Need To Watch This Summer". International Business Times. June 10, 2017. Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  15. ^ Bridle, James. "The Rise of Virtual Citizenship". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  16. ^ "Disrupting the trust business". The Economist. Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  17. ^ Warden, Staci (June 8, 2016). "Can Bitcoin Technology Solve the Migrant Crisis?". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  18. ^ "Refugee Emergency Response". Governance 2.0. BitNation. Archived from the original on 2018-03-31. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  19. ^ "Bitnation Refugee Emergency Response (BRER)". Humanity+#H+ Magazine. Humanity+. September 21, 2015. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  20. ^ "The Netexplo Forum celebrated its 10th edition". Netexplo Forum 2017. UNESCO. May 5, 2017. Archived from the original on September 17, 2017. Retrieved 2017-09-17.


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