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Author Topic: Bitcoin Island  (Read 9650 times)
rdponticelli
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May 16, 2012, 11:12:35 PM
 #21

Incentive - Contributors receive proportional discounts

That's all?

We are just "contributors" eligibles for a "proportional discount"?

No shared ownership? No partnership? Not even some participation on future income?

Or to put it simple. No compensation for the risk taken?

Contingency - Bitcoins refunded (minus 0.5% fee) if objective not met

Why charging a fee to refund?

This is bitcoin, you can send them almost for free. Ok, you're building a project and you can charge administrative fees, but if you don't win the auction, the fee seems huge for so little work...
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May 17, 2012, 04:10:57 AM
 #22

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=11.802401,-83.661222&ll=11.802383,-83.66076&spn=0.004553,0.008942&t=h&z=18
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May 17, 2012, 06:05:38 AM
 #23

Contingency - Bitcoins refunded (minus 0.5% fee) if objective not met

Why charging a fee to refund?

This is bitcoin, you can send them almost for free. Ok, you're building a project and you can charge administrative fees, but if you don't win the auction, the fee seems huge for so little work...

I know the fee seems excessive, but it's based on a cursory estimate of worst-case transaction fees.  Since I would have to refund on a per-address basis, it could end up being a lot of transactions.  Perhaps it could be less, something like 0.2% instead.  I haven't had a chance to make a more realistic estimate.

Incentive - Contributors receive proportional discounts
That's all?

We are just "contributors" eligibles for a "proportional discount"?

Yep.  I'm not too thrilled about dealing with shareholders, and I'm certainly not interested in dealing with regulators.  I can justify donations towards a common goal.  I'm not sure I can justify anything like GLBSE or the legal complications of shared ownership.  And I see no point in tracking profits and issuing dividends on a bunch of 5 BTC "investments".  If there are huge profits, those who contribute will be adequately compensated.  If not, oh well.  Don't send your life savings.

Besides, the point isn't for a dozen people to buy an island as an investment.  The point is for the entire Bitcoin community to buy an island because it's awesome.

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Matthew N. Wright
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May 17, 2012, 06:10:26 AM
 #24

The point is for the entire Bitcoin community to buy an island because it's awesome.
..and island that no one will own and everyone will be fighting for creative control over.

If I participated in this, I'd want to be able to move there and put up a house of my own. Will that be allowed? What if my house takes up more space than the relevant percentage of investment? Are there any rules, laws, ordinances, codes etc I need to abide by? If so, who is responsible for enforcing them? What happens if I ignore them? Who will reprimand me and through what means? Can my shares ever be taken away from me? Can I ever be banned from the island? Can I visit it anytime I want? What if I have a giant party there and never clean up the mess? Will someone try to take away my shares by force?


 Roll Eyes


EDIT: It seems like we'd all be helping you buy an island and that'd be the end of it.

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May 17, 2012, 06:13:18 AM
 #25

I know the fee seems excessive, but it's based on a cursory estimate of worst-case transaction fees.  Since I would have to refund on a per-address basis, it could end up being a lot of transactions.  Perhaps it could be less, something like 0.2% instead.  I haven't had a chance to make a more realistic estimate.

Never heard of paymany?  Tx fee likely would be 0 or at worst 0.005 BTC per kb.
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May 17, 2012, 06:21:56 AM
 #26

@OP: I'm not expert on trusts, timeshares or real estate, but why not try something like this:


  • Set the purchase price to something a bit more reasonable that includes potential upkeep fees ($500,000). You won't win that island for $125,000. It's not going to happen.
  • Divide that $500k into 52 shares.
  • Put all shareholders on a Board of Directors and hold a vote for new Chairman of the Board of Directors every year.
  • All upkeep, taxes, maintenance, etc will be decided by the Board through voting. If someone trashed the place, they pay for it. Otherwise, everyone splits the fees.
  • The Board of Directors (up to 52 people) will organize, agree on, and schedule 1 week of living time at the island for each member of the board, unless some members can agree to share time in which case they get more time together (3 members who want to share can have it for 3 weeks).

What if someone wants to live there forever?

  • If the Board of Directors agrees by a vote of 75%, convert the timeshare system to a property ownership system and divide the land into 52 sections with landshare owners nearest the water receiving a larger grid space.

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May 17, 2012, 07:57:56 AM
 #27

If I participated in this, I'd want to be able to move there and put up a house of my own. Will that be allowed?

So, the reason I mentioned "a dozen people" and seasteading and skyscrapers earlier was exactly this.  I'd guess that most people would want that as well.  And a dozen people could do this on a 5 acre island.  And that's great.  But, a thousand people can't.

I'm kind of hoping that the number of Bitcoiners interested in this is closer to a thousand than a dozen.  Because, with a thousand people, we can eventually all have our own islands, or at least our own flats, and an extremely diverse economy.  But with only a dozen people, we can just have something more akin to a sleepy country club.

If, let's say we divide the island up right off-the-bat and parcel it out to a dozen people.  They each invest a bunch of time and resources into their little lot.  And then things slow down and eventually nothing changes.  It will be generations before our island could have a thousand people on it, let alone produce a seastead or a skyscraper.  And those dozen people would live perfectly boring lives, while the rest of the Bitcoin community gets nothing out of it.

But if, instead, we take the island as a blank slate, and say "what would you do with a little lot?" to thirty-thousand people, perhaps a thousand of them would want to live in a skyscraper on an island, rather than build their own house.  Perhaps they would bring with them an untold wealth of skills and resources.  Perhaps they would want to build seasteads for a living, and expand into the oceans.  Then, I'd say, we might have something worth doing.

Quote
EDIT: It seems like we'd all be helping you buy an island and that'd be the end of it.

Believe me, that would just be the beginning.  I have enough land already.  What I don't have enough of is lobster, coconuts and skyscrapers.

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May 17, 2012, 08:01:51 AM
 #28

This is a fabulous idea. Even if not enough money is raised, IF it were handled properly (e.g. refunds given if the bid is lost), it could generate good press and set a precedent for future ventures of this kind.

That said, let's be clear on what benjamindees has said (in summary):
"I will become the legal owner of this island if sufficient donations are given, and have no specific obligation whatsoever to those who made donations. I have absolutely no ideas for what to do with the island, and no proposed way to settle on an idea."

There are some other troubling things. For example, he has suggested creating condos, which would not only require vastly more capital to be raised, but would utterly destroy the value of the island. He has suggested a "test facility" (testing what?). He has also stated that "The island will go wherever the market takes it," which is a meaningless statement. Finally, he said that dealing with repaying "a bunch of 5BTC investors" (which is exactly what it will take to make this happen) is not something he is interested in doing, which is kind of trivial compared to managing an island.

Raising enough money to make a serious bid is certainly easily possible for this community, but only if the project is treated as a serious investment, and with all the care that goes along with serious investments. I would like to see someone propose a new plan that takes this into consideration.
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May 17, 2012, 08:03:19 AM
 #29

Continuing from the last post: I think the best-case scenario for this to succeed is for one or a few extremely trusted bitcoiners, ideally from the bitcoin-otc community and with high ratings, to propose a serious plan. The plan needs to account for the fact that someone has to take on the legal liability of owning the island, as well as the effort of managing it, and thus needs to be compensated in a way that is superproportional to their actual investment.

The plan needs to reconize that someone is going to legally own the island and needs to be entrusted with making the best decisions. Trying to have people "vote" on how the island will be used, is foolish.

Furthermore, it is completely infeasible to try to let all the investors actually use the island for some amout of time. If you want to actually live on the island, you need to actually bid on the island individually, or gather a smaller group of people. In other words, this crowdfunding approach is not a means for people to actually use the island themselves. Unless the island is put up for rent basically as-is, which (BTW) is probably the best way to try to bring in enough money to maintain the property and then eventually flip if the value goes up over time. Note that this scheme would probably allow bitcoiners to rent the island for weeks-long vacations pretty cheaply (albeit at a market rate), which is currently not possible. Anyway, I will leave all the details up to whoever wants to come up with a serious plan.

Also, although I think a new plan is needed, I hope benjamindees is heavily involved, because he deserves credit/reward for the effort he has put in so far, and is possibly the only person who is willing to physically go down their and work on this.

Addendum: While I was writing these posts, benjamindees has made another post where he focuses on things like building a skyscraper on the island. That is an utterly foolish dream that totally misses the point of a remote Carribean island get-away, which is what this is. Please, let's try to be realistic.
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May 17, 2012, 08:08:13 AM
 #30

Also, the idea of setting a specific target to raise is foolish, because we don't know how much it will ultimately take to win the bidding, and there is no such thing as raising "too much." If "too much" is raised, it can be paid back in proportion to investment made.

That, again, is assuming that a more reasonable plan is proposed, as opposed to us all making donations so that benjamindees can just own the island outright.
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May 17, 2012, 08:27:26 AM
 #31

Another concern I had was whether a sufficiently very large amount of USD could be liquidated from bitcoins in a sufficiently short amount of time without causing a significant drop in the value of bitcoins in the process. (I mean, think about it, the bid walls I have seen on exchanges are not nearly that large.)

Fortunately, trusted users in #bitcoin-otc have confirmed that it's not a problem.
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May 17, 2012, 08:28:46 AM
 #32

Also, the idea of setting a specific target to raise is foolish, because we don't know how much it will ultimately take to win the bidding, and there is no such thing as raising "too much." If "too much" is raised, it can be paid back in proportion to investment made.

That, again, is assuming that a more reasonable plan is proposed, as opposed to us all making donations so that benjamindees can just own the island outright.

Having no target translates to a bottomless donation pool that may never reach any specific goals and will charge a fee to give money back. That would ultimately be a scam imo.

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May 17, 2012, 08:32:25 AM
 #33

That would ultimately be a scam imo.

That's why we need someone who is very well trusted to run this. But yes, it may be best to put a maximum cap on donations, like $500,000. After all, at a certain point, buying the island would just be a dumb investment.

Anyway, if someone proposes a serious plan, I'm sure they can think through this issue much more thoroughly and explain their thinking.

I don't get the concern over repayment transaction fees, because as has been pointed out, you can use multiway transactions. (I am no expert on that, but that is my understanding.)
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May 17, 2012, 09:07:59 AM
 #34

Mollison, why don't you take a break from mis-quoting me for a few minutes and come up with a succinct statement of what your actual concern is.
I've read your posts a few times and can't really get anything new out of them other than that you don't like me.
And you think condos are a bad idea.  Maybe you could expand on that.

Though I do find it ironic that the most frequent suggestion so far is that I "haven't thought this idea through."
Even though most of us are here because we know that central planning doesn't work.
Lots of people criticizing me for not doing enough of it.

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May 17, 2012, 09:47:18 AM
 #35

Mollison, why don't you take a break from mis-quoting me for a few minutes and come up with a succinct statement of what your actual concern is.

I highlighted my main points in bold, so you can scroll up and look at them again if you want. All the rest of what I said is supporting/explanatory information.

I've read your posts a few times and can't really get anything new out of them other than that you don't like me.

Well, that's just false, so you might as well get it out of your head that I don't like you. First, there is no reason to draw that inference from what I said; second, I'm new here and don't even know you; and third, I stated that it would be nice to see you given credit and/or rewarded if someone draws up a real plan that treats this as an investment instead of a personal donation to you. (However, your sour grapes are making me question that third thing.)

Even though most of us are here because we know that central planning doesn't work.

Your plan is a "central plan" anyway, because you will be in possesion of all donated bitcoins and/or the sole legal owner of the island. It's also not a very good plan.
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May 17, 2012, 09:58:46 AM
 #36

And you think condos are a bad idea.  Maybe you could expand on that.

The entire appeal of this property is that it is a private island. As in, you can go there and have the entire island to yourself and your guests and your servants, only. It is an isolated and idyllic refuge.

If you build a condominium, it is just a condominium surrounded by water, so basically, only very marginally cooler than a condominium on the beach. You've basically turned a private island into a condominium. Also known as flushing money down the toilet.

And an even bigger problem, as I already mentioned, is that building condos, especially on an island, would require raising raising a massive amount of capital, which is probably infeasible.

The problem with a skyscraper is this times 1,000,000,000,000.

Thank you for not bothering to ask why I object to using the island as a "test facility."
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May 17, 2012, 10:12:17 AM
 #37

Good idea for a Bitcoin resort, very preliminary and thus unrealistic plans for implementation.

There must be at least dozens of islands for sale in the Americas at sub $500.000 level. Ebay auction is not really the best way to acquire such property through a joined venture.

A succesful bitcoin resort would not need to be on an island, it is better to think about the purpose first and then decide on the location and required environment. Once a pilot resort is succesfully being built to some country, users on other continents (in the foreseeable future just Americas / Europe with sufficient users?) would prefer to build their own.

A couple of years ago there was - maybe still is an aspiring traditional e-payment system, supported by some very wealthy people, that built "pavilions" on several continents and provided club services & access for travelling individuals. I joined it, and it was very inspiring, but I never visited any of their pavillions and considered the whole grandiose thing pretty delusional from a profit perspective. Unfortunately I can't even recall what that payment system was named Shocked.

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May 17, 2012, 11:28:37 AM
 #38

Okay, mollison...

The plan needs to reconize that someone is going to legally own the island and needs to be entrusted with making the best decisions.

There's really no way around this.  Obviously you recognize this.  So, please stop the frivolous accusations.

Perhaps condos aren't the best idea.  That's fine.  As I've said from the beginning, the plan is for the market to decide.

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May 17, 2012, 11:42:41 AM
 #39

Lots of comments but nobody seems to ask the big questions.  Will Nicaraguan women be dancing for bitcoin to entertain us?  And what do Nicaraguan women look like?

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May 17, 2012, 12:46:29 PM
 #40

Let's just buy an old ship. Much cheaper, more convenient, suitable to many different biz at once, and infinitely more amusing.


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