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Executive summary: The Network State by Balaji Srinivasan — How To Start a Digital Country

In this article, I explore the concept of the Network State by Balaji Srinivasan, discussing its potential benefits, step-by-step formation process, and the future implications of digital countries based on blockchain technology.
Executive summary: The Network State by Balaji Srinivasan — How To Start a Digital Country

Summary: The Network State by Balaji Srinivasan explores the idea of creating digital countries using blockchain technologies as their foundation.

Who Is Balaji Srinivasan?

  • Balaji Srinivasan is an angel investor and entrepreneur, the former CTO of Coinbase, and a former partner at Andreessen Horowitz.
  • He is a thought leader in the blockchain space and a respected voice on the topic.

What Is a Network State?

  • A network state is a highly aligned online community that can take collective action, crowdfund territory, and gain diplomatic recognition from existing states.
  • Based on the premise that blockchain technology allows the foundation of new societies, which can evolve into digital nations and states.
  • Avoids traditional methods of country formation such as war or secession.

The 7 Steps To Forming a Network State

  1. Founding a Startup Society: A network state begins as a community focused on a specific purpose and introduces a "moral innovation."
  2. Organize the Society Into a Group Capable of Collective Action: Similar to a union, a network state drives positive change by taking collective action according to its guiding principles.
  3. Build Trust Offline and a Crypto Economy Online: A network state is backed by a cryptocurrency and builds trust offline to develop into a high-trust society.
  4. Crowdfund Physical Nodes: The society secures a physical footprint by building physical nodes, such as apartments, farmlands, or other locations.
  5. Digitally Connect Physical Communities: The capital of a network state is online, connecting members who may be physically distant.
  6. On-Chain Census Tracking Its Growth: A network state has a ledger of its members, which allows it to track metrics and build clout with other organizations.
  7. Diplomatic Recognition: The final step is obtaining recognition from existing entities, such as becoming a member of the United Nations.

Why Do We Need a Network State?

  • Balaji Srinivasan believes existing systems are not working efficiently and do not foster innovation.
  • Network states can provide new ways of organizing societies, ensuring positive change, and legitimately starting new countries.

Do Network States Already Exist?

  • While there are some examples of similar concepts, such as e-residency programs in Estonia and blockchain-based voting systems in some countries, network states in the full sense of Dr. Srinivasan's concept have not yet been fully realized.

What Does a Network State Look Like on a Map?

  • A network state would have both an online presence and real-world physical nodes, like workspaces or communities.
  • It might be spread across multiple geographic locations, with its "map" being a representation of the online connections and offline nodes.

What Does Vitalik Buterin Think About Network States?

  • Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin is intrigued by the concept of network states as a potentially more legitimate and organized way of starting new countries.
  • He emphasizes the need for careful design and governance of these new digital nations to avoid the pitfalls of the past, such as centralization and a lack of transparency.

Full article:

The Network State by Balaji Srinivasan — How To Start a Digital Country | CoinMarketCap
Want to start your own country? The Network State by Balaji Srinivasan might just be what you need.