Blockchain takes the lead in rural revitalization and Japan’s aging and low birthrates usher in a turning point?

Yamagoshi Village in Japan has a history of more than a thousand years and is also one of the birthplaces of koi, but with the development of the times, there are only 800 people left. In order to achieve “village revitalization”, the residents’ council actively embraced web3 and introduced DAO for governance. The Yamagoshi Residents Council passed a resolution to issue the NFT artwork “Colored Carp” symbolized by koi, and it was released at the end of last year. NFT is a digital artwork token that combines Yamagoshi’s electronic resident card.

The region’s sharply reduced population, lack of young labor force, and abundant historical resources are quite successful cases of NFT and CityDAO concepts in the field of urban innovation, which aims to help sparsely populated areas in Japan realize the development of “online labor innovation” in the future .

Blockchain takes the lead in rural revitalization and Japan's aging and low birthrates usher in a turning point?

Urban and rural areas, survive or disappear?

Yamagoshi is a heavy snow area in Japan with 3 meters of snow in winter, with rugged terrain and harsh natural environment. It is also the birthplace of “Samurai Culture”, and now more and more enthusiasts around the world are paying attention to this project. A major earthquake hit the site 17 years ago, causing such devastating damage that the entire village was temporarily evacuated. There were about 2,200 local residents at the time of the earthquake and about 800 now, with an aging rate of more than 55%, and the area is on the verge of disappearing.

Last year, the NFT plan was approved by Nagaoka City and implemented by Yamagoshi Village. The digital art was sold with the samurai as the symbol, and the area’s “electronic resident card” was also bundled. Previously, Estonia, a small Nordic country, launched the world’s first e-Nation program in 2014. Even if you’re not a citizen or resident of Estonia, you can get access to some of the country’s services by registering online, with over 80,000 currently registered.

With Japan’s declining population, the Yamagoshi region’s population is unlikely to increase any time soon. But after the sale via NFT, people from the rest of the world scrambled to participate. Importantly, the idea of ​​disregarding resident populations in the region is opening up the sharing dividend of virtual populations, just as Estonia gathers human resources from all over the world.

Profiting from NFTs is not the ultimate goal

In the beginning, people who buy Colored Carp from all over the world can conduct visual transactions on the blockchain, through this proof of stake to generate a global digital population, and based on NFT sales profits, use DAO funds to promote projects needed in the Yamagoshi region and problem solving. This technology eliminates the corruption and opacity of traditional government projects, because all proposals, votes, and treasury usage are all traceable and traceable on the blockchain in real-time.

Blockchain takes the lead in rural revitalization and Japan's aging and low birthrates usher in a turning point?

But the changes that blockchain brings to the local society are far more than that. Shanyue residents become digital residents through the identity of NFT holders, and chat in a dedicated community (using Discord), real-time and NFT holders in other parts of the world. Shared development ideas and business plans for the district, successfully creating a district that uses collective democratic methods (such as gathering member opinions and voting) as much as possible.

Innovation at CityDAO has just begun

CityDAO requires three prerequisites: first, the regional development is caught in the economic lag crisis of aging and low birthrate; second, the local government actively embraces innovative technologies and seeks a reform path to open government affairs; third, the regional public opinion is biased towards digitization and collective democracy. The development model of CityDAO also faces a lot of resistance. On the one hand, the government is worried about losing regulatory control, especially the power rent-seeking space brought about by invisible corruption, which will be extremely resistant to this; on the other hand, in the long run, populist Socialism and nationalism as well as local superiors may be disgusted by the globalized DAO governance, but of course this may be more of an emotional aspect.

But it cannot be denied that CityDAO’s experiments are in the early stages of development, and no one can give a standard formula for success. But the success of the Shanyue model is not over yet. Now it is only in the period of pure NFT sales profit. With the subsequent deepening of DAO global governance and the growth of the treasury, it will cooperate with more blockchain native projects, and the global benefits will be even more considerable. Shanyue NFT is divided into two series, one is a koi carpet, and the other is a generated koi picture. At present, more than 800 NFTs in the first two batches have been sold out (the price is 0.03eth), and the time for the third batch is to be determined. They do not sell all the nfts at one time, but sell a batch, and then carry out community construction, and then sell the next batch according to the situation. The current floor price is 0.35E.

Blockchain takes the lead in rural revitalization and Japan's aging and low birthrates usher in a turning point?

As an attempt by traditional social autonomous organizations to seek breakthroughs from web3, the Shanyue project is still in the early stage of exploration. In terms of hype, it is far less Ponzi-like than the current crypto-native Boring Ape project. Maybe its route is unclear now; not enough traffic; not trendy enough. However, Shanyue can maximize the governance opportunities for residents and change the community and village together, which may be the core value of web3.

This social experiment, which will serve as a model for the revitalization of countless towns, and each participant will witness the innovation history of the Metaverse and digital assets in the physical world. In the near future, DAOs in the Yamagoshi area will focus on creating value for digital residents, including building homes that allow global residents with NFT sharing rights to move in, and providing special experiences to provide digital residents with an authentic Metaverse experience. The initial plan is to attract the wisdom, network and resources of 10,000 digital residents together. Regardless of the real society, Shanyue has established its own blockchain social governance system and formed a sustainable “Shanyue Model”.

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