The seasteader-in-chief is headed ashore. Patri Friedman (that’s Milton Friedman's grandson to you), who stepped down as the chief executive of the Peter Thiel-backed Seasteading Institute in August, has resurfaced as the CEO of a new for-profit enterprise named Future Cities Development Inc., which aims to create new cities from scratch (on land this time) governed by "cutting-edge legal systems." The startup may have found its first taker in Honduras, whose government amended its constitution in January to permit the creation of special autonomous zones exempt from local and federal laws. Future Cities has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to build a city in one such zone starting next year.
Seasteading, i.e. the creation of sovereign nations floating offshore, is enshrined in libertarian thought as an end-run around the constraints of stodgy nation-states. The idea has received plenty of (mocking) mainstream coverage, most recently in a Details profile of Thiel, in which Friedman outlined the new startup he had in mind:
One potential model is something Friedman calls Appletopia: A corporation, such as Apple, “starts a country as a business. The more desirable the country, the more valuable the real estate,” Friedman says.