Participatory Budgeting with Bitcoins
How can we use new technologies to create a more democratic city? How can we involve citizens in decisions about their neighbourhood?
The idea of CivicBlocks was developed in the Blockchain City Lab at Design & the City in Amsterdam by Dorota Kamrowska-Zaluska, Hanna Obracht-Prondzynska & Eileen Wagner in collaboration with Design Informatics.
CivicBlocks uses blockchain as a decentralised public ledger of votes for civic developments and community projects. Envisioning a government of the future that would give 10% of their annual budget in equal amounts to local citizens enabling residents to donate this budget of public spending as they see fit and to donate to projects that they feel are beneficial to their neighbourhood. Each resident has to option to create a new zone for collecting money for a specific purpose, project or need, for example, this could be a new recycling centre, community school and playground. And when residents are present in one of such zones they are then able to drop coins from their digital bitcoin wallet to donate to the specific cause or project. The project wallets can then be viewed by the council to develop and built the next community project or civic development voted for and funded by the community itself. Thus not only empowering the local residents to actively take part in shaping their civic community but also creating a transparent and fair platform for the council’s public spending practices.