Peter Theil, the billionaire investor who co-founded Internet payments processor PayPal and made a key initial investment in Facebook, has a whole new idea occupying his time lately: according to a profile published in Details magazine Tuesday, he wants to build a series of island nations governed by a strict libertarian ideology.
The bizarre experiment would be a way to test alternative theories of governance, he and associates told reporter Jonathan Miles. The micro-countries would be something like city-states floating the ocean on massive platforms, like oil rigs.
Theil’s profile also mentions that he originally wanted PayPal to be a BitCoin-like alternative currency, in the techno-anarchist sense, acting as a store of value immune to the fluctuations of national currencies.
He’s even gone so far as to donate $1.25 million to the Seasteading Institute, to study the viability of livable platforms that rest on top of the ocean’s waves.