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What can be used as money on a seastead?

National (fiat) currencies?

Private currencies backed by some resource (gold, oil)?

Private currency backed by stocks? (like a mutual fund)

Raw resources (gold or silver by weight, maybe as coins)?

What practical alternatives are available today?

Seasteading Inc Stocks

Shares could be used like money. For example, Seasteading Inc starts up with all 1.000,000 shares owned by Seasteading Investments Inc, investing $ 500,000. After a year, the vessel is actually built, condos are rented or sold, it seems to have been a good investment. Instead of $ 0.50, people would want to buy the shares for $ 1.00. Now Seasteading Investments actually turns into the first Seasteading First Bank. It sells and buys shares, now called SeasteadDollars, at prices they think are profitable. People hold the shares in their account and pay electronically (or the Bank can give out IOU's instead, but that might prove to be a bit too old fashioned). Seasteading Inc has a special role. It can buy and sell SeasteadDollars as well, but it doesn't have an account. When Seasteading Inc buys SeasteadDollars at Seasteading First Bank because they made a profit that somehow needs to be paid to the investors, it just pays money and immediately destroys the underlying shares, and vice versa, if a big paint job has to be done and Seasteading Inc doesn't have the cash at hand, it starts selling SeasteadDollars by just "printing them".

Possible advantages

  • There would be no need for a listing at a land based stock exchange to be able to invest easily in Seasteading Inc.
  • The exchange rate of the SeasteadDollar would nicely reflect how well things are going.
  • The money would have an intrinsic value that can not be tampered by any of the players.
  • Just owning SeasteadDollars may be cool enough to attract some capital for Seastead 1.0.

Possible disadvantages

  • The total worth of the infrastructure (i.e. the Seastead) may be too small compared to the amount of money needed.
  • "Importing and exporting" gets more expensive because there is more risk to it.
  • Multiple, competing Seasteading Incs would automatically mean more competing currencies which may not be desirable in small markets. Failing companies would be punished faster, though so it might even speed up competition.
  • Creating coins and paper money is expensive, especially at small scales.
  • Creating and destroying shares may come with legal difficulties.


  • Seasteading Inc has an incentive for people on board to use SeasteadDollars, so may want to lower rents for on board ventures that will accept them.
  • When Seasteading Inc is not actually building yet, it could use just invest it in something conventional like gold. This could be a way to invest in gold without having to pay VAT.
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