...crypto cities broadly are an idea whose time has come.

-- Vitalik Buterin

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The post is making me feel optimism about social technology again.

It’s unclear how any decentralized system could work in the context of governance. By definition a government based on laws must have some central control, at least one court capable of issuing final and binding orders, at the very least to resolve disputes of interpretation. This does not seem reconcilable with any ’blockchain’ system I’ve heard of. Since transactions would have to be mutable anytime that such a court issues orders that require mutability, or if a later court decision overturned an earlier one.

Perhaps I’m not understanding the proposal but although it seems to offer solutions better than the preexisting to certain coordination problems in local governments, those benefits would only last until the first contrary court order is issued. If the proposal is really meant to replace the judicial system itself, that would be quite astonishing.

You can definitely have mutable state on chain. I think you're confusing the immutable nature of the transaction history with the mutable latest chain state.

But what if a court issues an order to alter the transaction history? (Or some other change that conflicts with any feature that requires consistency over time of said blockchain) In the US that surely is within the power of the supreme court as practically everything is, and probably the state supreme courts too.

That would be outside the power of an on-chain court (generally speaking), but I don't see why that's a big deal. You can give the court the authority to make new transactions, and I don't really see any case where it's imperative that the transaction history be altered rather than a new rollback transaction being issued.

Since in the US the top court is prohibited from being an ‘on chain court’ by its constitution, and will not recognize judicial authority in any lower court that disobeys it, and likewise for every other state and country I know of… why would we care about the decisions of an ‘on chain court’? 

Btw I’m not saying that I can see a case why that ever would be necessary but then again the folks whose opinions are considered as final judgement can make surprising decisions.

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