Cabin's Litepaper: A Network of Neighborhoods
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October 18th, 2022

Cabin is building a network city for online creators. Our community is developing shared culture, economy, and governance across a global network of physical locations. The MVP version of our network city is a global coliving network for thoughtful people to create, colive, and conserve.

This document outlines the structure of our city and how it will grow over time:

  1. Defining our Network City

  2. Cabin’s Structure: Neighborhoods, Residents, and Contributors

  3. What we’ve accomplished (so far)

  4. Getting Involved

    1. Becoming a Neighborhood

    2. Cabin’s Passport for Residents

  5. Network Development

    1. Phase 0: Bootstrapping the DAO (2021-2022)

    2. Phase 1: Seeding the city (2022-2023)

    3. Phase 2: Growing the city (2023-2025)

    4. Phase 3: Confederation of cities (2025-2525)

Don’t have time to read it all now? No problem. We compiled this litepaper into a PDF you can download for later. ☕️

Defining our Network City

Cities are places with a high density of shared culture, economy, and governance. Creating this density historically required a city to be located in one place—but cities adapt to new technologies. The cities we live in today are designed around cars. We believe cities of the future will be physically decentralized and organized online.

Cabin is building a global, network city for online creators: location-flexible knowledge workers who make a living online. Our city’s community, culture, and economy starts online and then builds physical hubs IRL. We are made up of independently owned and operated neighborhoods that typically share three characteristics:

  1. Strong community

  2. Fast internet

  3. Access to nature

Our vision of a new city sits at the confluence of several trends:

  1. Economic: growth of the gig and creator economies, now expanding to knowledge work

  2. Demographic: remote work & growth of digital nomads with location flexibility

  3. Social: tokenized digital communities & the URL → IRL pipeline

  4. Infrastructure: an emerging tech stack of satellite internet, solar power, self-driving cars, modular housing, etc

  5. Governance: startup cities, network states, & decentralized autonomous organizations

  6. Natural: climate change & a renewed interest in building local regenerative systems

These trends are aligned across the full spectrum of pace layers, and rhyme with the movement that coalesced around the Whole Earth Catalog 50 years ago:

The Whole Earth Catalog’s tagline was “access to tools”, and it provided these tools to a broad range of local back-to-the-land communities. Steve Jobs called it “Google in paperback form”. One loose but useful metaphor for Cabin: imagine if the Whole Earth Catalog had the tools to bootstrap its own economy:

  • a catalog (or token curated registry) of people and places

  • tools and resources for community-centric neighborhood development

  • digital communication, coordination, and governance


Cabin’s Structure: Neighborhoods, Residents, and Contributors

Cabin is a network of neighborhoods owned and operated by its members. This network is designed as a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) that manages itself using on-chain governance and protocols. Legally speaking, the network is an Unincorporated Nonprofit Association (like a neighborhood association) that is made up of a constellation of other independently run organizations and people.

There are three types of members in this network:

  • Neighborhoods: organizations that own and operate independent properties in the network

  • Residents: people who spend time living and working in the neighborhoods

  • Contributors: service providers that power the Cabin network and economy

Neighborhoods are the core of Cabin’s network city. They are physical locations, independently owned and operated by a local community. Neighborhoods have Caretakers, the catalysts who embark on the journey of building these communities. They join Cabin to access the community and tools developed by the network. Neighborhoods can be profitable businesses, but they are motivated by more than money—they want to build communities and be a part of a broader global network of communities.

Residents are the lifeblood of the city. They are the community of people who live, work, and play across Cabin’s neighborhoods. Some residents come to neighborhoods for short stays, others live in the neighborhoods permanently. They join Cabin to be a part of a community of other residents spending time together in neighborhoods.

Contributors are the service providers that help neighborhoods find residents, help residents find neighborhoods, and help neighborhoods build their capacity. They are typically organized into small teams, called fellowships, that operate independently and are hired by the DAO to build network infrastructure and capacity. Cabin itself has no employees — it contracts with contributors as needed to support the network.


What we’ve accomplished (so far)

Cabin started in 2021 as a residency program for independent online creators. Since then, we have accomplished an ambitious roadmap to plant the seeds of our network city:

Neighborhoods

  • Developed Neighborhood Zero, where we operate programs out of three independent cabins spanning 50-acres in the Texas Hill Country. The core of Neighborhood Zero is a custom 4-bedroom prefabricated shipping container home designed for co-living & surrounded by DAO-built amenities like a sauna and fire pit pergola.

  • Added two more neighborhoods to the Cabin network, Montaia Basecamp (Sierra Nevadas) and Radish (Bay Area, CA).

  • Began partnership discussions with a pipeline of dozens of other potential future neighborhoods, including locations in Washington, Puerto Rico, Nevada, Bangalore, Colorado, Portugal, and Costa Rica

  • Developed a framework for how token curated registries could form the basis of our network

Programs & Gatherings

  • We’ve been running a packed calendar of retreats and residency programs for DAO teams and leaders from across the ecosystem. Dozens of DAOs have visited Neighborhood Zero for programs and team retreats. Projects launched by people staying at the cabins include ConstitutionDAO, $DOG, and Station.
  • Cabin supports neighborhoods by running Build Weeks — where members of the DAO come to help create physical infrastructure at Cabin neighborhoods. We’ve brought together Cabin members to construct a patio, pergola, fire pit, and sauna. We are currently planning a DAO-built expansion at Neighborhood Zero, including two more cabins and a bathhouse.
  • We’ve also started bringing together larger groups for conference-style gatherings, starting with DAO Camp: a summer camp event for 60 amazing leaders from across the DAO ecosystem.

Product Development

Media & Brand

  • Developed our brand as one of the consistently cited top social DAOs

  • Published >60 articles at creators.mirror.xyz, a top resource for DAO knowledge sharing

  • Shipped 24 episodes of Campfire, a 5-star reviewed podcast for city builders

  • Hosted hundreds of thematic community events and virtual gatherings

  • Grew our twitter audience to 10k (100s of thousands of monthly impressions), newsletter audience to 1k, and discord server to thousands of messages and voice minutes per week

  • Featured across top traditional and web3 publications

Becoming a Neighborhood

If you are interested in building a neighborhood in Cabin’s network city, you can start by applying or referring someone to join the Neighborhood Catalog. The Catalog contains two types of listings:

  • Neighborhoods have been approved as part of Cabin’s network city.

  • Outposts are interested in becoming neighborhoods.

Neighborhoods are semi-permanent locations that host members of the Cabin community. The city limits of Cabin are defined by the Neighborhood Catalog, where Cabin members curate the physical locations that are part of the city.

Outposts are places that are starting to bootstrap a local neighborhood. These can be permanent locations, one-off events, or temporary hubs of activity for people interested in building in Cabin’s network city. These locations are not curated or sponsored by Cabin, but we maintain a catalog of them to help foster collaboration and create connections across potential neighborhoods.

The Neighborhood Catalog

When you join the Catalog, you add an entry describing your location and the offerings you want to provide to the community. You can see examples from the Neighborhood Catalog here:

By joining the Catalog, you can create offerings that allow members of the Cabin community to participate in programs, events, and stays at your neighborhood:

Joining the Neighborhood Catalog

The Neighborhood Catalog is curated by Cabin members, using our native token, ₡ABIN. Here are the steps involved in becoming a Cabin neighborhood:

  1. A potential neighborhood proposes its membership to the DAO

  2. The neighborhood passes the vetting process and hosts a pilot event

  3. The neighborhood acquires an ownership stake of ₡ABIN

  4. The DAO votes to approve the neighborhood

  5. The neighborhood stakes its ₡ABIN to the network & is added to the catalog

  6. The DAO can vote to remove a neighborhood if it is not contributing to the network

This process happens using a protocol, called a token curated registry (or TCR). By acquiring an ownership stake of ₡ABIN, you gain the ability to participate in the network and govern the DAO. The DAO is responsible for determining the proposal and vetting process, voting to add and remove neighborhoods, managing the protocol and rules for staking, and displaying the catalog.

There are more game-theoretically complete rules for managing the incentive structures of TCRs. We’ve mapped out how these rules could work for Cabin, and they should be added over time as the size and complexity of the network demands them.


Cabin’s Passport for Residents

Neighborhoods determine their own rules for deciding which Cabin residents can participate in programs, experiences, and stays at their properties. In order to help neighborhoods make these rules, Cabin provides tools for residents to demonstrate reputation and identity within the network. Reputation and identity is represented via on-chain credentials called Passport stamps.

Passport stamps are NFTs (non-fungible tokens) that are akin to boy scout patches, water bottle stickers, or jacket patches. They can be earned, gifted, purchased, or staked by members of the Cabin network using an open and permissionless set of tools. They create an IRL and URL vibe check that can be used by to neighborhoods, residents, contributors, and the broader web3 ecosystem.

Stamps can represent:

  • tickets to events or experiences at a neighborhood

  • participation in activities in the network

  • skills verified within the Cabin community

  • roles and responsibilities held in the DAO

  • rights to access physical or digital spaces

  • any other credential people want to track

Each resident has a Passport that holds these stamps and can be used by neighborhoods to provide access to specific types of experiences. These Passports are wallets on a blockchain that hold NFT passport stamps and are tied to physical chip-embedded cards that hold signing keys for the wallet:

Together, the Neighborhood Catalog and the Cabin Passport create a system that can provide verifiable trust, ownership, and economic alignment for Cabin’s network city. This system is special because it is self-governed, owned, operated, and managed by the participants in the network. Value accrues directly back to the people who participate in the network.


Network Development

Phase 0: Bootstrapping the DAO (2021-2022)

Our first year was focused on developing a proof of concept for the DAO:

  • Neighborhood Zero — our first neighborhood

  • DAO-oriented residencies & retreats — our first residents

  • Fellowships & contributors — our first service-providers

  • Passports & TCRs — our first tools designed for neighborhoods

  • Media & Community — our first pipelines for connecting residents to neighborhoods

Now that these primitives are in place and we’ve designed the basic mechanisms for their interactions in the network, we have completed Phase 0. We are ready to start seeding the city.

Phase 1: Seeding the city (2022-2023)

1 city | 10s of neighborhoods | 100s of residents

With the addition of the first new neighborhoods, we’ve begun Phase 1: Seeding the City. In this Phase, we will add the first neighborhoods to the network in a manual hand-curated way in order to maintain quality, develop the catalog, and define the protocol. Primary goals and milestones of this phase include:

  • Manually onboard the first 10s of neighborhoods and build for their needs

  • Provide neighborhoods demand for retreats and residencies (and experiment with longer term stays)

  • Develop and test the Neighborhood Catalog and its underlying protocol

  • Develop and propagate on-chain vibe checks and credentials for residents via Passport stamps

  • Increased distribution of ₡ABIN to neighborhoods and residents, still mostly held by treasury

Phase 2: Growing the city (2023-2025)

1 city | 100s of neighborhoods | 1,000s of residents

One we grow beyond the first ~10 neighborhoods, we will formally implement the Neighborhood Catalog protocol and begin using it to accept new neighborhoods. This will allow us to scale to a much larger number of neighborhoods in the network. We will also have the scale to increase the services offered to neighborhoods and the marketplace liquidity to deepen our offerings to residents. Primary goals and milestones of this phase include:

  • Onboard hundreds of neighborhoods via our Neighborhood Catalog protocol

  • Onboard thousands of residents and offer longer-term and flexible cross-neighborhood stays

  • Begin to grow new neighborhoods from scratch via a network of service providers for neighborhood financing, property identification, community building, real estate development, insurance, and other services

  • ₡ABIN owned by a broad set of neighborhoods, residents, and contributors

Phase 3: Confederation of cities (2025-2525)

100s of cities | 10,000s of neighborhoods | 1,000,000s of residents

At the scale of 100s of neighborhoods and 1000s of residents, the nature of our community will change again. The network itself will no longer feel like one city. Groups of neighborhoods will emerge that share tighter-knit clusters and are loosely connected to the rest of the network. In this phase, we can expect that we will:

  • Fork into a nested set of Neighborhood Catalogs operating on a battle-tested protocol

  • Have deeply established permanent neighborhood communities all over the world

  • Participate in a broad economy of neighborhood development goods and services

  • Provide a new way of living and working to millions of people


You made it! We also compiled this litepaper into a PDF so you can download for later. ☕️

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