What do you think of Balaji's Network State Conference?

Full Conference Youtube Stream Link

Are there any particular projects that you find interesting? Which projects did you find the most impressive?

Personally speaking, I’m not convinced at concepts of creating more nation states like Singapore offering their own flashy visas, citizenships and Caribbean states like Saint Lucia, Cayman Islands, etc. Nothing against their hard work though, it’s quite interesting to see what will happen next.

On the other hand, It seemed to me like Pacemaker global is doing some impressive work to make multipolar multi-currency global economy a reality - impactful for billions of people sooner than network states become mainstream.

What do you think?


A lot of the talks seemed like a lot of startup pitches thinly disguised as social good creation. Or at least the public goods that were being proposed usually seemed to benefit a well-endowed counter-elite rather than the “average citizen” of the world. But that is part of a larger critique of Balaji’s conceptualization of “The Network State” in that not everything that needs to be done should be done as a company, or a startup. This stems largely from thinking that Balaji seems to utilize provocative historical analogies (cf. BTC v. NYT v. CCP framing) more for their shock value as first order historical takes rather than hanging together as a real hermeutic framework. But I guess when you’re a multi-millionaire, everything looks like a startup.

I was more sympathetic to the various co-living “pitches” in the first half of the conference born as they were out of pandemic realization of how many of us have actually pretty poor living conditions in terms of necessary social infrastructure that we actually can depend on. I basically stopped paying attention after Glenn Greenwald’s presentation finding things really degenerating into crypto startup pitches.

I still don’t know the right way to pronounce Balaji’s name…


I had the same feeling. Some were definitely very interesting ideas and concepts but the TikTok style delivery (this was on purpose) made the whole thing lack deep thinking and felt more like: let’s create a new industry and get rich off it.

I also felt taken aback by how a revolutionary concept can become just a brand. i.e.
** Takes out phone for selfie in front of audience ** “I say network you say state. Yay!” Cringe.


I also agree with all of the above. People go to these conferences in search of value. They want the current problems and the solutions to those problems. There was very little in the way of solutions…much less pointing out the problems. Instead, a bunch of people went up on stage and pitched their products, with a focus more on getting investment than solving modern issues. However, to be fair, there was a small number of speakers who got more philosophical and added actual value. For the next event, Balaji should change the format and be more selective of the speakers. He should also add panels, which would help with the value-add. I get that he wanted to show that we are actually building the future in a practical way; however, the problem is how many of those actual businesses will be around in the next year. Probably not many of them.

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Forgot to mention that I asked Balaji personally about his view on network states, public institutions and privacy. His answer was that privacy is an impediment to development, and that founders need to have as much information as possible to scale and profit. He literally said the relationship with users (citizens) is “predator vs prey”. Hard pass for me.