Say No to Squatters
Its partial common ownership or SALSA (Self-Assessed Licenses Sold via Auction) market structure is one of the defining characteristics of the Geo Web project. We’ve written previously about the impact that we think this market design can have within the project and beyond. But for today, I just want to focus on a single reason that we believe that a SALSA market is the right answer for the Geo Web: the market inefficiency of traditional private property.
Exhibit A: Domain Names
“Bought a domain yesterday that we were negotiating for 3 years.
Someone get me a drink.”
Does that sound like an efficient market transaction to you?
Domain names are allocated around the globe, more or less, on a first come, first serve basis. As long as the domain registrant pays their (usually de minimis) annual fees, the domain is their private property. In words of the economists/authors Eric A. Posner & E. Glen Weyl, “Property Is Only another Name for Monopoly.” So as the web has grown in importance, this has created a "real estate" market full of speculation and squatters.
We don’t want and can’t have this dynamic on the Geo Web.
Domain names have close substitutes—different TLDs, funky spellings, abbreviations, and whimsical company/organization/project names—all made more useful by the ultimate discovery tool, Google search. In the context of an AR metaverse (like the Geo Web), squatters snatching up valuable land and holding out years for monopolist sales prices are existential threats to network utility.
The Geo Web’s “always for sale” prices and corresponding network fees eliminate the monopolist problem of private property. SALSA trades some investment efficiency for a massive increase in allocative efficiency of the network. Instead of a single transaction taking 3 years and a stiff drink to put to bed, the Geo Web market can balance healthy turnover, investment, and private value appreciation that will be better for the early adopters and the laggards alike.
On to the updates...
- We’re working through the initial integration of Ceramic with our Digital Land Registry. This integration will eventually allow Geo Web users to anchor any arbitrary content to digital land parcels that they control. The first schema that we’re implementing is simple yet powerful: it allows the user to add URLs and give names to land parcels. Both attributes will be accessible on the Geo Web Cadastre (and eventually our Geo Web browsers).
- After this initial schema and integration is validated, the plan is to implement true spatial AR anchoring (focusing on art). Our MVP project board can be found here if you want to follow along.
- Does anyone have experience, references, or recommendations for incorporating a non-profit with DAO governance? It’s been our plan from the beginning for the Geo Web to be community-owned (check the Geo Web litepaper). There are lots of ways to structure and potential pitfalls along the way, so we’ve held off on taking any legal steps to date. We feel like it’s time to start making decisions and commitments in Q1 2021 for legal/tax/governance certainty for ourselves and to help grow the community. We invite any collaborators to jump in our Discord if you have any helpful feedback for us!
- The first wave of ETHDenver/ColoradoJam 2021 emails went out last week. The Geo Web team is stoked to attend and participate in the BUIDL-a-thon. Some pre-event events start on February 1st, so make sure to get in your application ASAP.
- Continue work on content linking (via Ceramic)