Technology vs. nation state – POLITICO

With the help of Derek Robertson

In the world of cryptography and Web3, manifests are the new presentations and a former top Coinbase executive just dropped major technical and political manifestos.

New technology policy often means that technology innovators challenge national oversight systems designed for another era, or seek to go completely beyond those national systems.

Network status‘ Balaji Srinivasan, posted online as a draft earlier this month, offers insight into one version of Team Tech’s endgame in these conflicts: the gradual replacement of the nation-state with internet-enabled ‘network states’ that start in the cloud and then start poking into the real world. world.

The book-length text (which describes itself as a “toolbox, not a manifesto”) reads in places like a satire of Silicon Valley utopianism: , subscriber acquisition, churn calculation, customer support – there’s a manual for it all. It’s just Society as a Service, the new SaaS.

But the stimulus behind the text is real. The rapid introduction of new technologies, especially the Internet, is shaking societies and testing the strength of the nation-state system.

Eventually, this system crystallized in the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 as a solution to the 30 Years’ War, which was largely a consequence of the Reformation, whose roots, in turn, often go back to the invention of the printing press. That the advent of the Internet could bring about a similar evolution in governance systems does not seem far-fetched.

And obviously there is an appetite for experimentation in some circles. Late last year, the decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, is a new kind of online organization which uses blockchains for management – bought 40 acres of land in Wyoming to achieve their goal of building a blockchain-powered city (although the hackers later escaped with most of the remaining money).

A few months later one online catalog lists more than a dozen DAOs that have acquired the land, including “a crypto co-op working to build a village in the heart of the Texas Hill Country,” and dozens more who intend to do so.

Srinivasan’s vision for the future is more ambitious. In it, people build online social networks around a shared social vision (such as longer life or greater income equality) and eventually cluster in pockets of physical land in the real world, forming Internet-connected archipelagos. They also use cryptocurrencies, keep records using blockchains, carve out their own parts of the Metaverse, and ultimately seek diplomatic recognition from existing nation-states.

This vision culminates in what Srinivasan, a vocal critic of both the American and Chinese political elites, calls the “recentralized center.” In other words, network states unite and take over the world.

Whether or not Srinivasan has found a recipe for future human governance, he is at least at the forefront of the books. It first publishes the text as a website, with highlighted hyperlinks for each section. Srinivasan writes that he intends to periodically update the online version of the book before publication “director’s cut» hardcover. “Think of it,” he writes, “as a dynamic book application“.

Publishers and presidents, take note.

Bloomberg reported yesterday that the House Financial Services Committee plans to introduce a bill to regulate stablecoins as early as next week amid growing concerns about their connection to the traditional financial system.

A bipartisan group including Maxine Waters (D-California) and Patrick McHenry (D-California) worked on a bill that reportedly would require issuers to maintain reserves equal to 100 percent of all deposits in “highly liquid assets such as cash.” or short-term government debt. according to the Washington Postand, among other things, prohibit lending to stablecoins.

Legislative maneuver should last remarks from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who urged lawmakers to get involved in regulatory action following calls from the Treasury and the White House task force for stablecoins to be placed under the traditional banking industry’s regulatory umbrella. (Group of executive bodies issued a report late last year, which called for temporary measures to regulate stablecoins, including the potential use Glass-Steagall law in addition to new legislation.) — Derek Robertson

Sometimes two great tastes not tasty together: The employees of Minecraft, Microsoft’s popular online metaverse-like game, announced yesterday that he intends to keep the NFT — and the blockchain itself — completely off the platform.

In a surprisingly clear statement, the authors write that many popular NFT gaming apps create “digital property based on scarcity and exclusion, which is not in line with Minecraft’s values ​​of creative inclusion and cooperative play” and that NFTs “are not inclusive.” our entire community and create a scenario of haves and have-nots.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Minecraft team has taken this stance: NFTs tend to extremely unpopular in the video game communities that have been fighting for years with game companies trying to charge players for things in a game, even after they’ve bought it.

But this decision is somewhat counterintuitive, at least for metaverse proponents who believe that space couples naturally with “digital property rights” that represent blockchain, NFTs, and other Web3 technologies. For now, if you want to create some kind of digital value in a specific world similar to the Minecraft metaverse, you’ll have to build it yourself like everything and everything else. — Derek Robertson

Stay in touch with the entire team: Ben Schrekinger ([email protected]); Derek Robertson[email protected]); Konstantin Kakaes (ur.[email protected]); and Heidi Vogt ([email protected]). Follow us on Twitter @DigitalFuture.

Ben Schrekinger writes for POLITICO on technology, finance and politics; he is a cryptocurrency investor.

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