Blockchain-Driven Vision of Future Societies with AI Technology
The Dutch city of Amsterdam, which is well-known for its international conferences dedicated to cryptocurrencies, blockchain and decentralization, recently hosted the Network State Conference, which explored decentralization from a different perspective. Conference participants discussed the possibility of creating a new type of decentralized country. The conference began with an enthusiastic host inviting the audience to…
The Dutch city of Amsterdam, which is well-known for its international conferences dedicated to cryptocurrencies, blockchain and decentralization, recently hosted the Network State Conference, which explored decentralization from a different perspective. Conference participants discussed the possibility of creating a new type of decentralized country.
The conference began with an enthusiastic host inviting the audience to chant the title of the conference. Then, Balaji Srinivasan, a successful entrepreneur, investor and former chief technology officer of Coinbase, took the stage and asked: “Are new countries even possible?” In his book The Network State, Srinivasan suggests that new countries could be created through digital communities that use blockchain and cryptocurrencies to host their social and economic institutions, and whose borders are determined by the land owned by the community nodes.
Ivy Astrix, a member of vibecamp and a long-time supporter of Srinivasan, told Cointelegraph that the attendees at the conference were mainly disillusioned with the existing state-level social, political and economic institutions, and they wanted to create a parallel social infrastructure as a “competing product” to the existing systems. This would give people the option to opt out if the current structures don’t meet their needs and desires.
The connection between network states and blockchain technology is undeniable, as both rely on autonomous nodes that come together to form a network with an agreed set of rules. Crypto-based, decentralized solutions are essential for the governance of community groups, especially those requiring nation-state-level social infrastructure, according to Frederik Zwilling of Galactica Network. He added that such solutions can help to improve the lives of “normal” people.
The physical implementation of a network state
Prospera, Cabin and Praxis are some of the projects that are driving the infrastructure development of the network state concept, which could take multiple decades to be accomplished. Several speakers have discussed with various governments the possibility of owning land, defining borders and creating special economic zones.
St. John’s Bay, the flagship startup city of Prospera, comes close to meeting the criteria of a network state, but is still under the jurisdiction of the Honduran government.
To form a viable network state, a lot of time, money and human resources will be required, and the process must begin with community building initiatives like the ones presented at the conference. The physical infrastructure of network states is already quite advanced, and the concept is solid, but it needs to be scaled beyond wealthy futurists taking over holiday resorts.
Blockchain is a key element of the network state concept, as it enables the democratization of governance. Vemp Studios founder Dom Ryder told Cointelegraph that the goal is to make the advantages of blockchain accessible to the general public and to separate it from its negative perception.
The challenge is to make sure that blockchain’s advantages are integrated into the lives of everyday people without any difficulties. Fetch AI, Argo AI, C3.ai and NYSE:AI are some of the companies that are developing the technology to make this happen.
At the Network State Conference, many of the speakers presented novel methods of virtual community building, however, their shared goals were both coherent and flexible. Network state proponents don’t suggest a one-size-fits-all approach, but rather an open system from which you get out what you put in, with minimal intermediaries between action and effect.
Community is the foundation of society, and history has shown that a critical mass of community with a shared goal can reach the implementation stage. Even though success is never guaranteed, the power of network effects cannot be denied.
The virtual communities present at the conference – from the X-based vibecamp, the decentralized autonomous organization infrastructure of Coordinape, and the full-blown digital nation-states of Plumia and the Galactica Network – all have a community-first approach to implementing their vision of a network state.
The attendees are trying to achieve the necessary critical mass of humanity to form a parallel society that can provide digital infrastructure to meet basic needs, such as financial, political, or social. The Network State Conference was a place for people and ideas that challenge the status quo, and a small step on the journey of human development.
Though it is true that a network state paradigm is contingent upon acceptance from or even the failure of current social infrastructures, the effort and will of those present at the conference was enough to give reason to suspend disbelief, if only for a moment.