Decentralization Through Voluntary Commitment: The Network State Conference

by | Nov 6, 2023 | Blog

Decentralization Through Voluntary Commitment: The Network State Conference

by | Nov 6, 2023 | Blog

At the end of last month, I attended Balaji Srinivasan’s Network State Conference in Amsterdam.

Most of you, as champions of liberty, would have naturally concluded that decentralisation is one of the best solutions. Linking these decentralised nodes through networks, based on voluntary commitments, is the next logical level. Balaji has been very successful in promoting the movement and has been able to capture the imagination of many, gathering a massive following. Testament to this is the great attendance of this one-day event with over a thousand in-person attendees and, apparently, a million views online, which is very impressive by industry standards.

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Balaji opened the conference with reference to the Network State as a decentralised country, much like Bitcoin is a decentralised currency.

The two categories for the day were introduced as parallel societies and parallel institutions.

Parallel Societies

Many real-world societies with varying degrees of scale were showcased. Some were physical and some were emerging. Of these, Próspera was by far the most advanced. To me, it is obvious that projects offering hard-won new physical jurisdictions would remain the anchors of the industry.

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Erick Brimen from Próspera invited other projects and entrepreneurs to use their jurisdiction as an open-source platform to create a community of communities and to move the projects from the online world to the physical world.

Vitalik Buterin briefly spoke about Zuzalu, the two-month “pop-up city” that will have another incarnation in Próspera in early 2024 called Vitalia.

Dryden Brown of Praxis mentioned the advantages of building a community first in order to prove there is a demand to access funds for physical development.

Other projects are proving to have much interest with many, already having paying customers and followers.

Parallel Institutions

Projects in parallel media, education, laws, biomedicine, and finance were presented.

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Ashley Rindsberg’s sobering talk on media exposed the far-reaching consequences of The New York Times’ dishonesty and how it altered history for the worse. I am looking forward to reading his book: The Grey Lady Winked.

Niklas Anzinger talked about an impressive planned bio-zone and the legal layer for it.  Also how insurance can act as a regulator. This will also be based in Próspera.

Anatoly Yakovenko from Solana had an inspiring talk about the alternative financial model that is being built. Solana also had a week of talks and workshops right next door to the venue.

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The event was very well organized and proceeded without a glitch. It also had a well-attended social program, both before and after. Talks and presentations were fairly short, giving the opportunity for more speakers. Though many of the speakers were presented through pre-recorded videos, including big names like Vitalik Buterin, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, and Garry Tan, this is often the practical trade-off of events with such global reach.

The attendees were young and engaging friendly people, mostly working in tech and building parallel institutions. A lot of the people I spoke with are true digital nomads and entrepreneurs whose ideas and endeavours would flourish under a network of free jurisdictions. 

It was good to see so many projects, many of which already have paying customers or have gone through some sort of market testing. It shows the great diversity of projects having an interest in advancing the liberty movement.

In my opinion, most of these projects will need to affiliate with new physical jurisdictions to safeguard their future. Parallel institutions, BTC companies, and others will be well advised to start testing and discovering how new jurisdictions benefit their businesses and visions. They should also make sure to find a way to support new jurisdiction projects through investment. Their ventures can flourish there and may also be needed as a life raft in the not-so-distant future.

If you are interested in learning more, a list of speakers and links to the YouTube and X/Twitter streams can be found on the lu.ma website.