OUTLINE OF CONTENTS
- 1. Beringia Executive Summary
2. Vision and Mission
- a.Why Beringia?
- b.The Problem
- c.The Solution
3. Organization and Management
- a.Legal Structure and Governance
- c.Founder of Beringia
4. The Beringia Currency
- a.Token Name
- b.Token Shortcode
- c.Amount to be Raised
- d.Price per Token
- e.Fund Allocation
- a.Future Potential Impacts
6. Technical Considerations
- a.ERC20 backbone
- b.Bering Tunnel as a DApp
- c.Blockchain-based DApps
- c.Subsequent Offerings
Beringia Executive Summary
Thirteen thousand years ago, the only strip of land connecting Europe, Africa, and Asia with the New World continents of North and South America disappeared beneath the frigid waters of the Bering Sea.
Many millennia later, in 1975, a US Apollo spacecraft docked with a Soviet Soyuz vehicle in the midst of the Cold War, showing that neither physical distance nor the specter of global war could hold back our desire for peace and cooperation.
Now, in a new precarious age, with diplomatic expulsions and trade wars, it is time to revisit the humble Bering Strait. It is here that, under the sea, a rail tunnel can unite the great powers of Russia, China, and the United States toward a common goal, even as uncertainty reigns elsewhere. Indeed, it would not only provide a chance for peace, but prosperity, as the Bering Strait tunnel is projected to handle more than 3% of the world's freight, at lower economic and environmental costs. The Beringia currency, therefore, has been created to help fund this tunnel and work for a more interconnected world.
With regard to the stability and sustainability of the currency itself, by requiring that tunnel usage fees be paid in Beringia, freight and passenger train services will need to hold large quantities of the currency in reserve, to convert their customers’ fiat payments into Beringia. This will serve to bolster the value of the currency and to establish it as an alternative global reserve currency.
From ICO through to the completion of the project, the Beringia project, via its administrators, will work together with relevant governments to establish permitting for cross-straits construction, while also working with private industry to select qualified contractors (e.g. interfacing with Elon Musk’s The Boring Company and others, if a tunnel crossing is chosen). Although the Beringia project is solely committed to the Bering Strait crossing, it will also engage with all relevant parties toward the construction of rail infrastructure needed to connect into existing cross-continental rail systems. We believe, however, that construction of a cross-straits tunnel will serve as a catalyst for governments to extend their rail infrastructure to the Bering Strait.
Vision and Mission Why Beringia?
As reported by Voice of America, Russian Railways estimates that a Bering Strait tunnel could eventually handle three percent of the world’s freight cargo. Since global e-commerce sales (not to mention other freight categories) have already topped $2 Trillion USD in 2017, three percent is not a trivial number. During America’s 2017 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, for instance, Adobe cited a new record in e-commerce sales, coming in at $2.87 Billion USD, which eclipsed last year’s sales of $1.93 Billion USD. Many of these products were originally made in China, which explains that country’s interest in a cross-straits tunnel as well.
Just weeks earlier, during China’s 2017 “Single’s Day” (China’s equivalent to Black Friday), Alibaba’s properties alone brought in over $25 Billion USD in sales. Many high-quality consumer products and food items were imported from the United States during this shopping holiday, which serves to illustrate why the United States should also make connecting the continents by rail a priority.
Besides the immediate economic benefit of an intercontinental rail line beneath the Bering Strait, there are many less-tangible benefits to be derived from this endeavor. Much how Russia and America have continued to work together in outer space amidst the ebb and flow of international relations, a collaborative effort in the Bering Strait will not only bring jobs to both sides, but will offer a cooperative arena to counterbalance current political tensions in North America’s relationship with China and Russia. As the countries become physically as well as economically intertwined with one another, it will be all the more harder to fall into conflict.
As for the Beringia (BER) currency itself, prior to the Beringia project, there existed neither a fiat currency nor cryptocurrency specifically tethered to the construction and administration of a large-scale transportation infrastructure project. It is hoped that Beringia will also become an example that can be replicated in projects both large and small, from bridging the Strait of Gibraltar to fixing New York City’s antiquated subway system.
Governments are inefficient and unwilling to commit public funding to long-term projects which could benefit their citizens for generations to come. An unfortunate side effect of the election cycle in otherwise mature democracies is that politicians are often drawn toward projects which can be completed before they are next up for reelection. Short-term benefits to voters are of paramount importance.
Furthermore, public infrastructure bonds are issued under the jurisdiction of a single national government, and thus are a better fit for domestic projects rather than an intercontinental undertaking of global significance. Bonds also return to face value upon maturity and therefore speculation merely begets more speculation; long-term bond holders earn yearly interest and a final, predetermined payout upon maturity, but there is no further relationship with the infrastructure project after the bond has matured.
As described in the preceding paragraphs, the Bering Strait tunnel needs a new, visionary method of fundraising if it is to become a reality within the next decade.
Beringia – the solution we propose – will become the world’s first completely decentralized method of funding large-scale transportation infrastructure projects of global significance.
By enabling society to plan for infrastructure needs beyond the next election cycle, everyone benefits. However, for those who wish to play a larger part in the future of transportation infrastructure, the benefits of the Beringia currency, unlike a bond, do not cease upon the completion of the Bering Strait tunnel.
For instance, when the crossing opens, early buyers of Beringia will have extremely affordable access to any intercontinental shipping and personal transportation which occurs across the strait, due to projected appreciation of the currency. Further, to bolster the use of Beringia as a global “freight reserve currency,” all usage fees/tolls will be payable in Beringia, which will prompt carriers and freight forwarders to store large quantities of the currency in reserve.
With regard to environmental concerns, while the construction of the Bering Strait tunnel and connecting railways is clearly not a carbon-neutral endeavor, the reduction of even a small percentage of global air cargo due to a land-based intercontinental shipping alternative will more than balance out any detrimental effects of the project. This is particularly true since air cargo generates roughly 500 grams of CO2 per metric ton of freight, compared to as little as 30 grams of CO2 emissions for trains.
Organization and Management Legal Structure and Governance
The Beringia project has been instituted for the purpose of constructing and managing a functional rail tunnel under the Bering Strait to: promote peace and understanding among global superpowers, to determine the fiscal and technical policy of the Beringia currency, and to negotiate with governments and other stakeholders toward the success of the project.
The Beringia project and token is not currently tied to any existing business or organization, yet the project administrators are investigating the possibility of establishing a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States or a similar organization based abroad, which would oversee global operations, and conduct international fundraising campaigns according to a legal and a regulatory climate which is friendly toward the project.
Beringia will be governed democratically by a board of directors to be chosen upon incorporation of a 501(c)(3) or similar organization abroad. Currently, the decision-making process regarding Beringia is directed by the founding team, acting as administrators of the currency and the overall Beringia project; however, the governance process may be changed in the future so that additional stakeholders may become members of Beringia and vote for its leaders. Voting may be conducted on the blockchain using decentralized, secure solutions for community governance.
The ideation phase of the Beringia project began in November of 2017, but was first incubated by founder Ken Chester over two decades ago, as he drew on his grandfather’s maps as a young boy. While it may have looked like a child’s attempts at playing “connect the dots” with a map, it was his first attempt to connect the world’s landmasses at points that seemed most logical and effective.
Although Ken’s childhood series of island-hopping tunnels and bridges connecting Australia to mainland Asia via the Indonesian archipelago may not become a reality anytime soon, several of his less fanciful routes have indeed become real bridges or tunnels in the time since they were drawn.
Founder of Beringia
The Beringia Currency
- a.Token Name: Beringia
- b.Token Shortcode: BER
- c.Amount to be Raised: $10,000,000,000 (10 Billion USD)
- d.Price per Token: $0.2 (x 50,000,000,000 BER tokens = $10 Billion USD)
- e.Fund Allocation: 10% allocation to founders, particularly for the purpose of attracting high-level tunneling experts and other skilled professionals in the US, Canada, Russia, and China.
Impact Future Potential Impacts
As discussed previously, Beringia (BER) has the potential to become a global “freight reserve currency” due to its use in sending freight by intercontinental rail between the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. As a borderless currency for all fees related to the usage of the Bering Strait tunnel, the currency reserves held by carriers, freight forwarders, and other stakeholders may lead Beringia to become the currency of choice in further transportation infrastructure projects.
Perhaps more importantly, however, Beringia may become the dominant currency for day-to-day transactions along the many complex links of the global supply chain. Under the current system, foreign exchange rates can fluctuate dramatically over the course of a supply agreement, increasing risk and resulting in higher prices for consumers. Conversely, the introduction of Beringia would mitigate a large amount of currency risk and reduce costs for both carriers and consumers across the board.
Since Beringia is an ERC20 token built upon the Ethereum network, a variety of useful DApps (decentralized applications) for freight management are possible via blockchain-based smart contracts, with further details on these opportunities discussed below. However, before diving into the variety of use cases, one must take a step back to see the true scale of Beringia's top-level DApp: the Bering Strait tunnel itself.
How can a real-world rail tunnel be called a decentralized application? Consider the tunnel as a DApp and Beringia as a usage token which powers the DApp by enabling the hyper-efficient transit of goods and people through the tunnel, from Asia to America and vice-versa. Indeed, the payment of tunnel usage fees in Beringia will be much more desirable than with other currencies because it will enable a single currency for intercontinental freight, freeing the tunnel authority, freight forwarders, carriers, and other participants from maintaining a basket of currencies or favoring a single national currency for payment, to the detriment of others.
Returning from the bird's eye view of the Beringia project down to its technical specifications, software used in the ERC20 development process included Truffle, Geth, Solidity and Web3.js (for the web interface connection). The first actual DApp for Beringia is slated to be built for the purpose of freight shipment tracking. Several blockchain-based supply chain management innovations have already been created and put into practice in the industry, and Beringia seeks to further contribute to this field, aiming toward the goal of safer supply chain networks, immune to hacks or counterfeit data.
Funding and Capitalization
After a discounted Presale period and an ICO, the Beringia administrators may periodically announce additional public token sales. These public sales will occur at times of the Beringia administrators’ choosing. Beringia will continue to hold public sales until:
I)The Beringia project acquires an amount of foreign currency reserves (USD, Bitcoin, etc.) sufficient to complete the Bering Strait tunnel; or
II)The value of Beringia (BER) has increased to the point that construction companies (such as The Boring Company) are willing to directly accept the Beringia project’s holdings of the BER currency as payment.