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City-Cryptos and the Creation of New City States

5 mins
Updated by Adam James
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In Brief

  • How City-Based Cryptocurrencies Threaten the Power of Nation-States
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In our previous article, we introduced the concept of city-cryptos as an emerging type of cryptocurrency intended for use within specific cities. Here, we examine how city-cryptos might act as catalysts for the creation of new city-states capable of subverting the power that nation-states currently exert over cities within their national territory.
The nature of the city, nation, state, nation-state, and city-state are examined with various problems and solutions highlighted. These sections set the basis for our final discussion on how city-cryptos might lead to the development of city-states and threaten the power of nation-states. In short, developing city-cryptos prior to the building of “future cities” couple with their planned integration into the city’s economy — alongside the political institution of a Sovereign government and other social, political, and economic elements — offer the most pragmatic method by which new city-states might emerge beyond the rule of nation-states. future city

What Are City-Cryptos?

City-Crypto defines a new type of cryptocurrency in the concept-stage of development. Some have been announced as local compliments to a national fiat currency. Most of these are planned for limited integration into cities that already exist. They are intended to serve a specific role within the local economy of a nation-state without threatening the dominance of that nation-state’s fiat; on the contrary, the complimentary city-cryptos will be considered dependent on the dominant fiat. On the other hand, plans to develop non-complimentary cryptocurrencies have also been announced. Most involve full integration into future cities also announced. These city-cryptos might help to create city-states capable of threatening the power of nation-states throughout the world.

The City vs. The Nation

First, let’s define the city and the nation: City: A densely populated human settlement with infrastructure developed to serve the needs and interests of that population. Nation: A group of people possessing a common cultural identity with a shared ancestral history, ethnicity, language, practices, beliefs, and other traits within a shared territory or territories across the world. Territory is the central element of any human settlement including cities, towns, and villages. Cultural identity of a group of people is the central element of a nation. While territory is an element of a nation, a nation is not bound by a single territory like a city. Groups of people with a similar culture are often disbursed across various territories. The Jewish Nation, for example, is not limited to a certain territory but have populations in various territories throughout the world. In addition, many nations can exist within a single city or other human settlement. For example, New York Cit y is inhabited by nations of people from nearly every corner of the globe. In short, where cities are restricted to a single territory, nations have no such restrictions.

Where Does the State Fit In?

The state includes many qualities. Several of the most important include:
  1. A central, ruling government called the “Sovereign”
  2. Other governments beneath the Sovereign
  3. The “People” over whom the Sovereign and other governments exercise their authority
  4. The bordered territory over which the Sovereign rules
  5. Laws created to dictate the behavior of the People
  6. All institutions, systems, structures, systems, and infrastructure created by the Sovereign and other governments (military, welfare assistance, police, etc.)
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The Nation-State and City-Crypto

The “nation-state” includes the territory over which the Sovereign rules. The People of a nation-state defines the “nation” in nation-state by limiting the cultural identity territory bound by a colonial border. Such national identities include that of being an American, Canadian, German, or Chinese. In this way, the term “nation-state” linguistically signifies a limited notion of a nation to that of a group of people culturally defined by their being ruled by a Sovereign government of a specific territorial region. City-cryptos, however, allows the diversity of nations to exist. It does not equate “nation” with a limited understanding of subservience to a Sovereign. In a city, diverse nations are retained, and culture is not limited. The simple change of the word “city” to “nation” permits a plurality of nations instead of a single national People. In this way, city-cryptos with their focus on the city subvert the nation-state’s power of forcing cultural assimilation to a political category.

City-Crypto in The Fully Sovereign City-State

Fully sovereign city-states possess all the qualities of a state without the limitation of nation implied linguistically by the term. New city-states might develop with the emergence of city-cryptos Such a process is unlikely to occur within existing city-states but is more likely in planned future cities. In existing cities, there must first be a declaration of secession from the nation-state to which the city belongs if the city is to become a sovereign city-state. The issuance of new forms of currency is a concern that is likely to be dealt with later after the political and social elements of the city-state are formalized and functional. The integration of city-crypto for a future city appears more feasible. In this instance, the city-crypto can be developed prior to the building of the city. Plans can also be formulated as to how best integrate the city-crypto into the economy while other economic systems are constructed. Of importance includes centralized city banks or other economic institutions tasked with the responsibility of issuing currency into the city-state. Simultaneously, these economic systems could be designed to facilitate the institution of a Sovereign government and the creation of political institutions as part of the holistic creation of a cohesive political-economy within the city-state. The exact relationship between the economic affairs and political elements could be defined prior to the institutionalization of any.


The power of nation-states within the contemporary world defines nations in a limited way that denies important aspects of cultural identity relevant to a nation. By defining the nation-state as the central criteria of a People’s cultural identity limits their identity to a group of people defined centrally in their subservient relationship to a Sovereign governmental authority. The cultural reality of a national identity, however, extends beyond subservience to institutionalized authority. The emergence of new city-states threaten the power of these nation-states. It enables the broadening of a nation to include all relevant factors of a group’s cultural identity. To create these new city-states might be accomplished with the usage City-cryptos. These currencies do not use linguistic terminology to limit the cultural identity of a nation. It permits the notion of the nation to include various groups existing within a single city. Further, the most pragmatic way to develop city-cryptos is not by inserting them into already existing cities. Rather, it is most practical to create future cities in which economic and political elements can be designed prior to the actual building of the physical infrastructure. This allows a political-economy to develop according to specified plans that might yield results while allowing such results, be they successes or failures, to be recorded. Thus, research can be conducted using past models to determine the better models for new cities. What do you think about the notion of city-cryptos? Do they pose a real possibility for integration into future cities? Can they help to subvert the power of nation-states and return culture to national identity? We hope to hear your thoughts and opinions. This is still a developing concept in the world of cryptocurrency, and everyone’s insight is welcomed.  [Editor’s Note: Any thoughts and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of BeInCrypto.]
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Alexander Fred
Global AI, Data Science, and Blockchain expert. Alexander writes for BeInCrypto where he completes technical analyses of various alt-coins and qualitative commentary and analysis about various cryptoassets and their potential for social integration.