Ethereum Major Developer Vitalik Speaks About Network States
- Buterin explained his understanding of network states as described in Balaji Srinivasa’s new book.
- Now the persistent and urgent question is, should crypto communities be recognized as sovereign states?
Ethereum contributor Vitalik Buterin published a detailed analysis of Balaji’s book on network states. To start with is the creation and nurture of an internet community. Secondly, is when it should be considered big enough to be recognized by traditional states as sovereign states.
Buterin on the Network States
Notably, Buterin disagrees with Balaji over the properties of network states. According to him, anyone who isn’t a crypto enthusiast won’t understand why cryptos are integral to the network states. However, Buterin states that Balaji explained his reasons for emphasizing the need to have integrated crypto as a crucial part of network states later in the book.
Most chapters and pages of Balaji’s book emphasize the need for these new communities to have moral traits. Otherwise, they won’t be successful. Buterin explains that the commitment paradox is essential, similar to what was obtainable in the early religious colonies. The most long-lasting religious communities have the highest demand from their members.
Balaji believes that each network state can’t be different from the outside world unless it has specific social norms for cohesion and core values of religious attachment. Balaji explains in his book that one primary reason for the failure of libertarian attempts at micronations is that they are like “Zionism without Judaism.”
Buterin’s interpretation of Balaji’s argument is that there is a need for political collectives based on moral force and economic interest. However, these collectives must be different from what currently obtains in our world today. Current political collectives have massive flaws and do not represent the majority’s values. Buterin revealed that Balaji provides a 7-step program to create new and better collectives.
Buterin summarizes Balaji’s ideas for network states into two: pro-tech regulatory innovation and lifestyle immersion. A network state based on health is Balaji’s example of a lifestyle immersion network state. In truth, a health-based network state won’t need any diplomatic recognition or political autonomy.
Such communities could discuss lower health insurance fees and medicare taxes for their members in the future. However, they would need to negotiate for autonomy should they need a free zone for medical innovation. There are various other examples of each category of these network states.
For instance, there can be a zone where it is legal and permissible to walk around naked. In such an environment, there would be other naked people as well. Also, there could be a zone where basic plain-colored clothing is the only permissible mode of dressing.
The goal here is to discourage the need for members to feel they need to be better than others. There could also be a zone for crypto users where all members complete their transactions in crypto, and NFT is the only requirement to become a member of such zones. The common factor in all these examples is the need for a vast land expanse. Thus, there is an enforcement of the unique rules of each network state.
Key Takeaway Points
Despite the positives of Balaji’s network state vision, Buterin worries that the current form is skewed mainly toward the wealthy. Others lower in the socioeconomic ladder will be left behind. Many won’t benefit from this vision based on recent statistics about inequality.
Per multiple data, inequalities within countries account for nearly 33.5 percent of global inequality. In comparison, inequalities among nations account for almost 67 percent. Hence, there is a need to either modify this vision or develop a new concept that suits everyone on the socioeconomic ladder.
Buterin wants to get behind network states with more democratic governance. One where there are positive relationships among surrounding communities and other ways to help anyone. The Ethereum founder isn’t sure that network states can be a viable big compromise idea that can fix all the issues many people currently desire.