The UK is a nation famous for its parks, London alone is made of 40% public green space. And many of them are unique in their setup.
As a nation with a monarchy spanning millennia, the UK has managed to collect a lot of strange laws and traditions. Among them is that of so-called “trusts”, which are an arrangement whereby a trustee holds property as its nominated owner for the good of one or more beneficiaries.
Legend says that these trusts were created so that knights and Lords going off to the Crusades could leave their assets in the hands of someone they trusted. But the structure has evolved much since.
Among the most interesting applications of trusts nowadays is that of public spaces. Often, aristocrats in their wills sold off their property and created so-called “garden squares” with them. These are communal gardens managed in perpetuity by investment vehicles initially funded by the aristocrat’s estate, with the sole purpose of keeping that garden in good order and accessible to the public. Hence, as strange as it is to think about, the collection of assets themselves end up owning and managing themselves as a trust with the help of nominated third parties.
Sometimes, communities take a more active role and you can even become a garden square member if you pay a subscription. Then, once you’ve paid, you’re given a key to access the space, which is why some of these private parks are called “key gardens”. But, more importantly, this British tradition hints at something quite interesting - decentralized ownership for hundreds of years!
After all, no person actually truly owns these trusts, the beneficiaries are the end-users themselves. In practice, this is similar to how a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAOs), a blockchain entity that can take custody and manage assets based on policies decided by the users, operate.
Imagine we bring key gardens into the 21st century, and instead of a key, contributing members can get a QR code that is scanned at the entrance of the park to enter. While it might seem like a far less romanticized idea, it certainly has more applications.
DAO members could, for instance, vote for what rules their joint spaces ought to have, or how they should be rearranged if there are ever to be any major redevelopments. Instead of waiting decades for government help that never comes, through DAOs, communities can jointly build something better, like a park or infrastructure.
In other words, private initiative and people coming together could address issues that the government fails to solve. DAOs are ultimately a means by which we can create leadership from a previously leaderless environment, and structure randomness into something positive.
The WACEO believes we are only at the start of the DAO revolution, but if it is to achieve its potential, it has to be nurtured appropriately. We’re a non-profit blockchain advisory organization that helps structure DAOs to be legally compliant and correctly structured to meet the needs of the community that started them.
The future belongs to the people, but only if we take the first step today!
The future of democracy is blockchain tech which helps us have fairer and cheaper elections.