Woodland Patchwork is a newly created micronation in Japan. A micronation is a microstate which is not officially recognized by a nation-state.
Most micronations and microstates come about when someone takes a shine to a little patch of dirt somewhere, or perhaps an oil rig or an old military fort. This one’s a little different. The founder of Woodland Patchwork, Hideyuki Yoshida aka “ken elwood”, has claimed 2.5 million acres of unused land in Japan, using acquisitive prescription (legal squatting). According to the Micronation.org wiki page, 20% of this land is arable, which should provide more than enough food for the residents of the new micronation.
Further dispensing with tradition, the official currency of “the Patch” is Bitcoin. No need for the big banks to come and build branches in these mountains – WP will be able to collect their taxes and pay their vendors over the Internet from day one.
Details on the government structure of Woodland Patchwork are still hazy – it’s governed by the Laws of the Universe and Free Thought, apparently. There appear to be seven administrative districts which encompass the widely non-contiguous territory claimed (in red, orange and yellow on the map above), each with a head who participates in a central council. No word on democratic structures yet.
This would be a fantastic opportunity for the people involved in Woodland Patchwork to spearhead use of distributed anonymous government functions within Bitcoin. Census, voting, and accounting can all be done in the blockchain.
Currently the government of Japan has yet to respond publicly to their new neighbor. We’ll be following up with more information about this story as soon as we receive it.