Have you ever thought of Passports as a Mobility platform?
Have you ever thought of Charter cities that have forked English law?
Have you ever heard of The Network State phygital concept and its tribe?
Have you ever thought if it is possible to start New Countries, similar to starting new companies, new Communities, and new Money?
You don’t need to be an anarchist anymore, to agree (at least partially) that Governments / Countries can’t innovate.
You don’t need to fear being seen as an anarchist these days if you agree that Government / Country Customer Services suck.
You may not agree with the Tripolar Triangle view of our world order, as explained Balaji S. Srinivasan Balaji Srinivasan in his book `The Network State` and the Moral, Martial, Money power associations.
But few will oppose the idea of taking tested concepts from Innovation and the Startup world and applying them to create a NEW STATE / COUNTRY / GOVERNANCE.
It seems wild at first. But all Breakthroughs start with a Wild idea followed by actions driven by the Breakthrough idea.
Just think of copying Startup Innovation at the City and State level 🡺 By unbundling each and every (eventually) broken, dysfunctional, or missing piece of your County, you can aim to build pieces of a Startup Society. This is the basic way and eventually re-bundling these pieces.
The Network State tribe, calls these startups — Parallel Societies
There are already several different types (like subsectors in Fintech).
A lot of the startups have focused on living and working network societies which started as Digital networks and now have Physical services and locations. Then there are Parallel Media ones, Parallel Education, Parallel Laws, Parallel Biomedicine, and Parallel Finance. We are all more familiar with Parallel Media ones — i.e., decentralized social networks either general purpose ones or specialized ones. We are also familiar with the emerging Parallel Finance ones, like Dapps or Apps built on Ethereum or Solana.
These Parallel Societies all start with Digital networks / infrastructure and then when appropriate they link to the physical world. Decentralization is omni-present.
I took a leap and decided to attend in person the inaugural 1-day Network State Conference in Amsterdam in the same location as the Break Point Conference of the Solana tribe.
One needs to step out one`s comfort zone every now and then. There were at least 2 dozen startups (90% of which I had never heard of) presenting and 1,000 enthusiastic people. Several well-known personalities came on stage (physically or virtually), like Vitalik Buterin with his early stage pop-up city Parallel Society Zuzalu, Glenn Greenwald of Rumble, Anatoly Yakovenko CEO of Solana Labs, Ashley Rindsberg author of the The Gray Lady Winked, Codie Sanchez of Contrarian Thinking, the Winklevoss….
Do I want to opt for a Citizenship in `a forward-looking` country, offered by Baseflow?
Maybe, because never say never.
Post Conference Reflections
I realized that after all the idea of a Parallel City with the Network State ethos and values, is not that wild. Yes, it may take time but probably less than what it took Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong to become the top-down `charter cities` they are and major hubs.
Bottom-up Parallel Cities start by growing a strong Digital Network connected by that `One Commandment` explained in the Network State book, which you can think of as the sole, laser-focused purpose that is the solution to the broken or missing piece of your existing City.
I walked away with an even stronger conviction that innovation is becoming more political than ever, and this will not change anytime soon. Kathleen Tyson`s startup idea, Pacemaker Global presented as part of the Parallel Finance track and closing the event, made this point very clear. Pacemaker Global plans to build the technology to enable interbank liquidity for non-reserve currencies, like the Malaysian Ringgit, the Indian Rupee, the Chinese Yuan, etc.
This is not about the demise of the USD. The USD can continue to dominate Capital markets but Global Trade of goods will have to give room to other local currencies.
It is about enabling the Belt and Road Initiative to function and Trade in Asia, to depend less on the USD.
Global Trade wants to rid itself from the USD Hegemony because it has become too risky (e.g., sanctions) and too costly. Global trade in goods is c. $46 Trillion and half of it (I.e. $23 trillion) is done in USD. Asia would rejoice if they could reduce their dependence on the USD by let’s say 50% (i.e., bring it down to c. $11 Trillion only in USD and the rest in local currencies).
To do that, they need infrastructure for interbank liquidity in Asian currencies. It is faster to do this than to build CBDCs in each of these countries and connect them.
I realize the extent that innovation is strangled because of geopolitics and power games. At the end of the day, Capital Market flows (FX, Derivatives, etc.) are mainly in USD and so much bigger than Global Trade in goods.
We are in dire need of innovation at the infrastructure level for money. Brazil, India, and China are showing the way with very different Top-down approaches. A Central Bank approach (PIX), a Government approach (UPI), a Central Bank Digital Currency approach (e-yuan).
Bottom-up innovation with networks that change the way we organize are being built as we speak. They touch on all aspects of our lives, housing, working, education, media, law, and finance. Finance is connected to all aspects of life, as it is an enabler. We will realize the importance of Parallel Finance Societies or Networks, when the re-bundling of these emerging Parallel clusters starts occurring.
For now, we focus on items like: SolanaPay being integrated with Shopify. Tomorrow, we may focus on headlines about X seamlessly integrating for its subscribers a self-custodial wallet or a Dapp to offer a decentralized banking user experience.
These are all connecting the establishment with Parallel networks.
The next phase will be the re-bundling of Parallel Societies. No one knows how this will happen. My intuition tells me that building Digital Networks first a la Network State — with a One Commandment purpose / a la Startup World — and then connecting with the `real world` (either physically or with the establishment) is the way forward.
Stay tuned. Watch innovation as it unfolds in this scattered manner. Societal change is underway. Ironically, complexity and adversity will be accelerating these emerging innovations.
I am the author of `𝐂𝐫𝐲𝐩𝐭𝐨𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐩𝐡𝐲 𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐍𝐞𝐱𝐭 𝐖𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐒𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐭𝐚𝐥 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞`, May 2021, Wendt, K. (eds) Theories of Change. Sustainable Finance. Springer
A detailed definition of A network state out of the book (which is free to download here)
A network state is a social network with a moral innovation, a sense of national consciousness, a recognized founder, a capacity for collective action, an in-person level of civility, an integrated cryptocurrency, a consensual government limited by a social smart contract, an archipelago of crowdfunded physical territories, a virtual capital, and an on-chain census that proves a large enough population, income, and real-estate footprint to attain a measure of diplomatic recognition.
 More details — The Current State of Social Protocols: Farcaster & Phaver | TKX Weekly
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