Web3: Birth of Network State

    Tanya Sharma
    Tanya Sharma

    Updated on January 10, 2023 02:20 PM

    Published on December 21, 2022 06:10 PM

    A "well-aligned web3 community with a capability for collective action" is how Srinivasan describes the network state making it One of the BIG IDEAS he presents in a new book.

    Web3: Birth of Network State
    Source: The Network State

    Srinivasan describes the network state as a "highly coordinated online web3-based community with a capacity for collective action that crowdfunds territory around the world and eventually gets diplomatic recognition from pre-existing nations".

    The author explains that a network state can use Web3 for governance, such as performing their census on-chain and using cryptocurrency wallets to prove their economic viability.

    The Web3 Network State- Srinivasan

    Eche Emole, one of the co-founders of Afropolitan (a network that brings together the greatest in art, finance, technology, and media from Africa and the diaspora) had seen Balaji Srinivasan's online manifesto "How to Start a New Country" earlier in 2021.

    It was eventually developed into the book "The Network State: How to Start a New Country," which was a dizzying mash-up of philosophy, Web3, history, and Galaxy Brain concepts.

    The goal described in the book is to start with an online community that is economically affluent, engaged, and shares values, and then bring it into the physical world.

    According to Srinivasan, the world's present nations are "geographically concentrated but ideologically misaligned," but the network state is the inverse: "ideologically aligned but geographically decentralized."

    The veteran author admits that a network state is unlikely to obtain a large enough swath of territory to establish a nation. However, it can start with scattered clusters of actual in-person attributes.

    "It can link a thousand apartments, a hundred houses, and a dozen cul-de-sacs in various cities into a new form of the fractal polity with its capital in the cloud," added Srinivasan.

    ALSO READ: A Brief History of Web3

    Eche Emole was influenced by The Web3 Network State

    December 20, 2021. Eche Emole was unable to sleep. He was in a Nairobi, Kenya, hotel, and his mind was on fire. He considered all of Africa's problems: poverty, injustice, and terrible history. In the motel room, he paced back and forth.

    He reflected on how, for ages, outside influences shaped African countries, often via violence. The continent was divided up by European powers. Africans were hardly heard. He reflected on how, as he later phrased it, "African American brothers and sisters felt like second-class citizens in the United States."

    But he realized that Africans had economic clout throughout the world. He was aware that in 2019, during the "Year of Return" commemorating 400 years since the first slaves arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, over one million people from the African diaspora visited Ghana, generating $2 billion in economic activity.

    Emole continued to pace in that hotel room, his partner still sleeping. He reflected on how, since he was a law student at U.C. Hastings in 2016, he had been organizing African-themed events, concerts, and parties, creating the group "Afropolitan," which now has 200,000 informal members. He knew the group had clout. He was aware that the group was wealthy.

    In that late-night sleep, Emole even considered Alexander Hamilton, the Federalist Papers, and the birth of the United States.

    "The important question [is] whether societies of men are indeed capable or not, of forming a good government from study and decision, or whether they are forever condemned to depend, for their political constitutions, on accident and force," Hamilton stated in Federalist Paper #1.

    He was struck by two words: reflection and choice. Africa has not had this luxury. "No modern-day African state was founded via reflection or choice," Emole now asserts. "There was always a lot of motion and force."

    That's when he had the crazy notion. What if Africans all around the world could develop a network that truly harnessed their power via collective action? What if they could act - with their agency - as a result of thought and choice?

    The thought hit him full force. It was now 5 a.m. His companion awoke and inquired as to what was wrong. "I think I finally understand what Balaji was saying," he said to her.

    She inquired as to what he meant. "I believe we should establish a new country. Of course, all of this may sound a little shaky. How can a group of internet nerds become a country?"

    Although it may take fewer nerds than you think. "A new state with a population of one million to ten million people would be comparable to the majority of existing states," Srinivasan adds. The data supports this.

    According to Srinivasan, "20% of the 193 United Nations-recognized sovereign entities have a population of less than 1 million, and 55% have a population of less than 10 million." Ireland, New Zealand, and Singapore are among the countries on our list that we consider to be legitimate and even thriving.

    According to Srinivasan, Facebook has 3 billion users, Twitter has 300 million users, and many individual influencers have more than one million followers.

    As a result, "it's not too far-fetched to suppose we can establish a 1 million to 10 million startup civilization with a genuine sense of national consciousness, an integrated cryptocurrency, and a strategy to crowdfund various bits of territory all over the world."

    Perhaps this isn't "too wild," but what will surprise people is that the network state is no longer simply an abstract concept - the network states are already present. Or, at the very least, they're getting started.

    Srinivasan keeps track of start-up societies that have already begun their journey on an online dashboard. There are currently 26. Emole's Afropolitan is one of them, as is Satoshi Island, which is "building a crypto community in Vanuatu," Culdesac, which is "building a car-free neighbourhood" in Tempe, Arizona, Kift, which is "building a van-life community," Cabin, which is "building a decentralized city for creators," and Figment, which is "building a club in the metaverse." and W3ST, which is "creating a solarpunk civilization."

    It appears to be a 'new generation' movement, but it is actually a conservative movement for those who require a feeling of boundaries.

    Afropolitan from "The Network State Idea"

    Emole grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, and came to the San Francisco Bay Area shortly before graduating from high school. He was the only African-American in his class. He went from living in a country where "race was nothing" (since all of his contemporaries were Black) to one where "it's staring me in the face."

    His new students assumed as he puts it now, that "I understood everything about blackness." He was familiar with Nigerian culture but not African American culture. Kids would question him about Jay-Z and other rappers, and he now laughs, "I had no idea who these individuals were."

    Emole envisions the nation's construction in four stages. The first stage involves establishing an online community, which he has been doing for years. Emole and partners will next filter these NFT owners for persons with "high alignment" and choose the 500 "founding citizens" using a 10,000 non-fungible token (NFT) drop. (The NFT dip occurred on November 1; this is still in the works.)

    The DAO and its sub-DAOs will then be launched by these citizens. That concludes Phase 2. "We want to create our technology stack. What would an Afropolitan super-stack look like, where you could conduct things like remittances driven by crypto?" Phase 2 also includes establishing tokenomics, establishing laws and norms, and signing the Afropolitan Constitution.

    Emole refers to Phase 3 as the "minimum viable state." What must happen for them to gain diplomatic recognition? There are already glimmerings of hope. The New York Stock Exchange named Afropolitan the first internet country on September 13. "So today it's the New York Stock Exchange, tomorrow it's the United Nations," Emole explains.

    Finally, Phase 4 is the embodiment of Afropolitan on the actual ground. A new country on the actual ground. "As a country, we don't want just one piece of property," Emole continues, "but land that spans over the world."

    How would that benefit the typical Afropolitan? A DAO may be a lark or a fun intellectual experiment for many crypto dudes.

    According to Uwazie, the rate of investment for Black entrepreneurs is lower than the industry average. "Tech businesses have tried to diversify, but they've scarcely made a difference," Uwazie says. "It will take a long time to change the system."

    Members of an Afropolitan network state may have better access to loans, refinancing, and investment money through DeFi and the DAO. Perhaps they could accept payments in Afropolitan tokens. "My number one goal is to economically empower my community," Uwazie says.

    "That's when things began to change. People's lives are altered when they are economically empowered. It affects generations."

    Emole is aware that "utopia" projects scepticism. "I'm aware of those projects," Emole replies. One thing he thinks separates Afropolitan from others is that "in the West, it feels like a nice-to-have. It's a necessity in Africa." Then he becomes more open. "We don't have [anything] that works," he says, comparing Africa's infrastructure to, say, Switzerland's.

    of a person in the previous year. "Why do you need to create an entirely new country?" When he brings this up with other Africans, the response is always, "It's necessary."

    What will it take for Afropolitanism to become a reality? According to Emole, the largest barrier is not technology, wealth, or politics. The most difficult challenge is persuading people to believe. "When they hear this vision, people get afraid," Emole explains. He wishes for Africans to be more daring. To have faith. "I'm used to seeing African founders come to Silicon Valley and say, 'Hey, I'm building Stripe for Africa,' or 'I'm building Uber for Africa."

    His point is simple: Why can't Africans try something completely new? Instead of importing San Francisco concepts to Africa, why not be the first to put this ambitious notion into action? "We're used to playing it safe," Emole explains. "We have to aim for the stars."

    WEB3 FAQs

    Q1) Why should I understand Web3?
    Ans: A group of cutting-edge tools and technologies known as Web3 are being used to create distributed, decentralized apps. The basic components of a web application, such as tools for file storage, data storage, name resolution, identity, computation, and even code hosting, are all included in this.

    Q2) What purposes does Web3 serve?
    Ans: Users can engage with decentralized applications created using blockchain technology using Web3 browsers. The next-generation internet will be open to anyone and provide benefits thanks to Web3 technologies like distributed ledgers, AI, Metaverse, and others.

    Q3) What components makeup Web3?
    Ans: Semantic web, decentralization, artificial intelligence, connectivity, ubiquity, and spatial computing are some of the notable characteristics of web 3.0.

    Q4) What do Web3 protocols entail?
    Ans: Web3 is a backend revolution, whereas Web2 was a frontend revolution. By fusing the logic of the Internet with the logic of the computer, this group of protocols, led by blockchain, aims to completely rewire the backend of the Internet.

    Q5) What issues can Web3 address?
    Ans: However, Web3 aims to fix the issues of Web2, opening the door to a decentralized internet era. Decentralization increases user power by breaking Big Tech's monopoly and addressing issues with data security, unfair censorship, financial freedom, transparency, automation, and the creator economy.