Coliving Project Cabin Wants to Put Digital Nomads in Nature

Cabin just announced plans for the first “network city,” a global alliance of self-governing neighborhoods accessible to “citizens'' who hold NFTs.

AccessTimeIconMay 23, 2023 at 6:35 p.m. UTC
Updated May 23, 2023 at 10:51 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

A woodsy, digital-native coliving project is trying to rethink the modern city – with just a touch of crypto governance.

The project, Cabin, escalated that effort Tuesday with plans for the first “network city,” a global alliance of self-governing neighborhoods accessible to “citizens'' who hold NFTs. Project backers say living in these neighborhoods will be cheaper, and more accessible, than the status quo.

  • Key Events You Shouldn't Miss at Consensus 2024
    02:13
    Key Events You Shouldn't Miss at Consensus 2024
  • What to Expect From Consensus 2024
    11:19
    What to Expect From Consensus 2024
  • Will Solana and Altcoins Dominate the Market Next?
    13:29
    Will Solana and Altcoins Dominate the Market Next?
  • What's Next for FIT21?
    07:15
    What's Next for FIT21?
  • A twist on Balaji Srinivasan’s idea of a “network state,” Cabin’s distributed city aims to mix blockchain-based membership with tiny homes and tight-knit communities. Its creator, Jon Hillis, thinks this blend can provide a potent formula to unleash the “fountain of human creativity” he thinks is getting stifled by modern cities.

    Hillis says Cabin wants to solve the “loneliness” problem endemic to car-centric suburbanites and single-family homes. His answer is to amass a confederation of cabins in the woods and fill them with like-minded digital nomads and their friends.

    These people have already started sorting themselves into online communities, especially in crypto. What Cabin is doing is providing a real-world setting for them to come together, work and live together.

    Cabin is what’s known in crypto as a social DAO. Its members hold crypto assets – in Cabin’s case, a “citizenship” NFT as a sign of their participation; they weigh in on neighborhood composition and treasury management through votes denominated in their Cabin governance token.

    Each residence is its own “neighborhood” unique from the others and also separately owned. While the ethos behind Cabin crosses all neighborhoods, the rules and regulations can differ from place to place based on their caretaker. Getting “neighborhood” status requires a property to accrue 1000 CABIN token votes in favor.

    It's part of “polycentric governance,” says Hillis, who contrasted Cabin’s “governance games” with the sometimes messy and ineffective “up down” votes found in other DAOs.

    “We're using these bottom-up polycentric governance structures where we are essentially playing games that are governance but don't necessarily look like governance. Like building on the token curated registry of the city directory – that's something that is actually fun to do.”

    Blockchains and tokens provide the tools for Cabin to keep track of membership and impart “a marker of legitimacy” on neighborhoods in the network. They’re also likely to be the focus for many of the digital nomads willing to become citizens.

    Hillis said Cabin has already handed out 300 citizenships to long-term members of the Cabin community who can now refer others into the group.

    “The goal of citizenship is both to create a financially sustainable way for our community to continue to grow while simultaneously providing a value and vibe alignment check for people who want to co-live in Cabin neighborhoods,” Hillis said.

    Edited by Nick Baker.

    Disclosure

    Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

    CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

    Danny Nelson

    Danny is CoinDesk's Managing Editor for Data & Tokens. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.


    Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.



    Read more about