The Network State Conference Explores the Possibility of Decentralized Countries

Entrepreneurs and thinkers gather in Amsterdam to discuss the concept of network states and their potential to create parallel social and economic institutions.

The recent Network State Conference held in Amsterdam brought together a diverse group of entrepreneurs, investors, and thinkers to explore the possibility of creating a new form of decentralized country. Led by Balaji Srinivasan, an entrepreneur and former CTO of Coinbase, the conference delved into the concept of network states, where blockchain and cryptocurrencies are used to establish social and economic institutions. This article examines the key ideas and discussions that emerged from the conference, shedding light on the potential of network states to challenge existing societal structures.

The Vision of Network States

Balaji Srinivasan, in his opening speech, proposed that new countries could be formed through digital communities that utilize blockchain and cryptocurrencies. These communities, known as network nodes, would self-organize, raise funds, and eventually form a viable network state. The main goal of network state proponents is to create a parallel social infrastructure that competes with existing state-level institutions, offering citizens the option to opt-out if traditional systems prove insufficient for their needs.

Disillusionment with the Establishment

Attendees of the conference expressed a common theme of disillusionment with the establishment and a desire for alternative social structures. Ivy Astrix, a member of vibecamp and a supporter of Srinivasan, highlighted the need for a co-creation approach to life, rather than conforming to existing societal norms. Network states, according to Astrix, can improve the lives of “normal” people by providing alternative options that better align with their needs and desires.

The Connection to Blockchain Technology

The connection between network states and blockchain technology is evident, as both rely on autonomous nodes coming together to form a network with agreed-upon rules. Crypto-based decentralized solutions are seen as essential for the governance of community groups, especially those requiring nation-state-level social infrastructure. Frederik Zwilling of Galactica Network emphasized that the benefits and attractions of a network state must be compelling enough for users to participate.

The Physical Implementation of Network States

While the development of network states is a long-term endeavor, several projects are already focusing on community-building and physical infrastructure. Projects such as Prospera, Cabin, and Praxis aim to create real-world network states by building physical locations (nodes) that could eventually form a parallel society. Some of these projects have engaged in discussions with existing governments regarding land ownership and the formation of special economic zones.

Democratization of Governance through Blockchain

The democratization of governance is a central pillar of the network state concept, with blockchain technology playing a crucial role. The immutability and trustlessness of blockchain offer a means to facilitate democracy and democratic values. However, the challenge lies in making the value of blockchain tangible to the general public and integrating its benefits seamlessly into their lives.

Aligned Individuals and Network Effects

The network state proponents at the conference emphasized the importance of community and shared goals. Rather than advocating for a one-size-fits-all approach, they promote an open system that minimizes intermediaries and allows individuals to contribute and benefit according to their own efforts. The power of network effects, where a critical mass of community is achieved, is seen as a driving force behind the success of network states.


The Network State Conference in Amsterdam provided a platform for entrepreneurs, investors, and thinkers to explore the concept of network states and their potential to challenge existing societal structures. While the idea of creating decentralized countries through digital communities is still in its early stages, the conference showcased the determination and effort of those involved. The road to establishing network states is long and requires significant resources, but the vision of parallel social and economic institutions remains a compelling one. As the world becomes increasingly disillusioned with traditional systems, the concept of network states offers an alternative path for those seeking greater autonomy and control over their lives.






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