Corporations are associations of people with a set of rules or purposes, which have a more or less permanent legal identity separate from its members and managers. Thus, a corporation is often referred to as a fictional person. This should not be taken too literally - it is a fictional person for certain legal purposes only, mainly concerning things like ownership and making contracts.
The first corporations were natural corporations, such as churches. If someone bequeathed property to a church, they wanted it to go the the church corporation, not to the pastor to pass on to his descendants. The corporate form was adopted by the State after the Treaty of Westphalia, creating a world divided by nearly 200 sovereign corporations, most offering equity in the form of fiat currency.
The first successful "multinational corporations" were GSEs, government sponsored entities. Great Britain created a firm with a legal monopoly on trading with Asia, and the Dutch quickly followed suit. (The East India companies.) Britain also created government monopoly entities for fur trading in the Americas (Hudson Bay Company), for sales of giant grants of land (e.g. the Virginia Company), and other products and industries.
But that was then; this is now. We have the internet, and strong crypto, and ubiquitous computers. Technology, and the falling return on organized aggression, may be taking us back to natural law corporations. Corporations are coming to the counter-economy, thanks to “Crypto 2.0”. Suppose I want to create a corporation, say a banking service. I simply create a Ripple wallet, issue a “currency” labeled HogeyeBankShares, and I have a corporation. I can pay dividends in XRP or Bitcoin or silver to all shareholders, all online, with no interference from government goons like SEC thieves. If shareholders were pseudonymous, they would have de facto limited liability. So much for the notion that limited liability requires government or even law. Anonymity will do just fine.
The example above shows that natural corporations are possible, and further, that we have the technology to create them today. I used Ripple as an example, but one could also use Bitcoin or any number of others. Bottom line: Digital crypto currencies can be used as provable tokens for shares of stock, and their blockchains can be used for public disbursement and disclosure. There are even services that will set up your Natural Law Corporation, help you pay dividends, help you create “smart contracts” that are automatically enforced by software, and so on. Swarm, EquityNet, and Localstake are some to check out.
All this stuff is on the cutting edge of crypto. There are many firms vying to create the infrastructure, even though by decreed law equity crowdfunding is still illegal. Kickstarter entrepreneurs can give away t-shirts or pre-sell a product, but they cannot offer equity yet. But for all the agorists out there, who don’t mind ignoring decreed law, especially those protected by the anonymity of a pure cyber enterprise, natural law corporations may be a good way to raise capital. What a wonderful time to be an anarcho-capitalist!
- The New Frontier after Cryptocurrency: Cryptoequity
- Equity Crowdfunding Platforms
- Move Over Kickstarter, Crypto-Equity Is the Next Frontier
- DAC’s Decentralized Autonomous Corporations