DiscoverThe Network State Podcast
The Network State Podcast

The Network State Podcast

Author: Balaji Srinivasan

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What comes after Google, Facebook, Bitcoin, and Ethereum? Perhaps it's the startup country — the network state. Balaji interviews tech founders and policymakers from around the world on managing billions of dollars and millions of people, as well as what it might take to start a new kind of state.
11 Episodes
Where do you legally set up your DAO or web3 organization? You might check out the Marshall Islands. They recently passed a new bill that's a model for global crypto regulation. The Decentralized Autonomous Organizations Act of 2023 has several major features: it allows DAOs to be set up in 30 days, limits DAO liability for open-source, and makes clear that governance tokens are not securities. Joining Balaji today are the architects of the DAO law as well as the founder of MIDAO (, an organization which allows anyone to set up a DAO in the Marshall Islands. OUTLINE 00:00 - The Marshall Islands DAO Law 02:00 - About the Marshall Islands 04:05 - Decentralized Autonomous Organization Act of 2022 09:17 - Visiting the Marshall Islands 10:48 - Overview of the DAO Law 20:56 - Legal Bridge Between Web2 and Web3 23:41 - Banking with Marshall Islands DAOs 27:09 - Updating the DAO Act 31:50 - Marshall Islands fully supports DAOs 34:23 - DAO Law is like the new Ship Registry 37:01 - Private Islands as Special Economic Zones 40:08 - Recap and overview of the DAO law VIDEO YouTube: SOCIAL
Joe Lonsdale is one of the most prominent investors in technology. He's the co-founder of Palantir, 8VC, Addepar, and the Cicero Institute — and one of Balaji's longtime friends. We have fun talking about education, longevity, space, and the little matter of completely reforming all governments with the internet. OUTLINE: 00:00 - How Silicon Valley got expensive 09:18 - Tech founders as philosophers 17:39 - 100% Democracy and .01% Democracy 28:51 - Internet Values vs Western Values 36:05 - How Academics Become Capitalists 46:40 - Red States, Purple States, Foreign States for AI 58:11 - Thoughts on Space, Robotics, Longevity VIDEO YouTube: SOCIAL
#8 - The Solana Phone

#8 - The Solana Phone


Anatoly Yakovenko, co-founder of Solana, joins Balaji to talk about the new Solana Phone ( The idea of the crypto phone is one where balances, encryption, privacy, and property rights are built into the very fabric of the operating system. Anatoly talks about how they did it. OUTLINE 0:06 - The Solana Phone 2:08 - Anatoly's Origin Story 6:03 - Solana Proof-of-History Algorithm 12:10 - Hardware Scales Global Consensus 16:13 - Different Chains Do Different Things 19:55 - A Self-Custody Phone 30:38 - Instant Bank Accounts 38:20 - Any OEM Can Make a Solana Phone 43:26 - Solana Phone Takes on Google and Apple 54:22 - 1% Share Changes the World 57:39 - Protocols Give Initial Userbase 1:01:18 - Starting Small Counterintuitive For Phone Companies 1:07:27 - PKI Interactions Become Routine 1:19:04 - What Anatoly's New Country Would Look Like VIDEO YouTube: SOCIAL
Bryan Johnson founded Braintree and sold it for $800M. Then he plowed the proceeds into eternal life. He turned himself into the world's most measured man, got completely jacked, wrote a book, and just launched the Blueprint store ( for the world to copy what he's done. Now Balaji and Bryan talk about how we can extend lifespans through better technology. OUTLINE 0:00 - Bryan Doesn't Skip Leg Day 5:46 - Witnessing Brain Surgery 9:31 - Measuring the Brain 18:26 - How Bryan Got Into Longevity 22:27 - Bryan's Algorithm for Health 27:21 - Every Calorie Had to Fight for Its Life 32:16 - Measuring Intervention 37:26 - Blueprint for Nutrition 42:11 - Don't Die 48:55 - No One Paid Attention Till Proof of Workout 52:05 - The Five Stages 1:03:53 - What Do Ideologies Have to Offer 1:14:12 - Spoilers for Bryan's Book "Don't Die" VIDEO YouTube: SOCIAL
Read Write Own ( is a new book by Chris Dixon, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and founder of the largest crypto fund in the world. It's an important work that is simultaneously the best crypto tutorial for newcomers and an accessible reference for experts. Balaji and Chris are long-time friends and worked together at a16z for years. Here they discuss Read Write Own and the state of crypto in 2024. OUTLINE 00:20 - Chris Introduces Read Write Own 05:04 - Why Books Are Harder than Essays 11:43 - Overview of Read Write Own 18:01 - The 2000s: Open RSS vs Proprietary Social 25:36 - Every Protocol Now Gets Global State 31:29 - Web3 Versions of Web2 Apps 35:10 - Proprietary Networks Are Locking Down 38:30 - Crypto Subsidizes Creatives 42:34 - Virtual Goods and Online Status 43:56 - Own Usernames Like Domain Names 47:35 - What Digital Ownership Means 48:32 - Tech Giants' Power and User Leverage. 58:08 - Collaborative Storytelling 01:01:07 - Digital Identity and Work with Web3 01:09:16 - Conclusion VIDEO YouTube: SOCIAL
#5 - India's Largest Exit

#5 - India's Largest Exit


The $16B acquisition of Flipkart was the largest in Indian tech history. Balaji speaks with Flipkart founder/CEO Binny Bansal on how he built the company from scratch when Indian startups weren't even a thing — and how Flipkart's rise parallels the rise of India itself.
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss talk with Balaji about how Washington, DC is losing crypto, while other countries like the UAE and Japan are winning web3. OUTLINE 0:00 - I'm 6'5", 220, and there's two of me! 0:58 - Crypto flippening from America to Asia 7:15 - Crypto-friendly jurisdictions in the US: Wyoming, Tennessee 8:10 - The SEC is a failed regulator 18:45 - Crypto-friendly jurisdictions worldwide: Japan, Hong Kong, Dubai, El Salvador 27:31 - Winklevosses expanding in India 33:25 - What comes out of crypto? 35:45 - Flashback to 2013 TechCrunch Disrupt 37:01 - Crypto and AI, without the buzzword bingo 44:14 - The Winklevoss city LINKS 1) Gemini: 2) Wyoming DAO law: 3) Tennessee DAO law: 4) UAE Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA): 5) Japan Web3 support: 6) 2013 TechCrunch with Balaji, Naval, Winklevosses: VIDEO YouTube: SOCIAL
The President of Palau and Balaji discuss how the tiny island country is becoming a digital leader, experimenting with everything from on-chain identity to drone delivery.   Despite having less than 20,000 citizens, Palau is a full UN member state. Its path to diplomatic recognition holds many lessons for aspiring founders of new communities. Joining Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr. in this chat is William Wang, founder of, the Palaun government’s crypto identity partner. OUTLINE  0:00 - Intro  2:03 - The Republic of Palau  6:18 - Palau's path to sovereignty  8:35 - How Palau is using crypto  10:40 - The President's background  16:51 - Returning to Palau  18:42 - What is RNS.ID? 25:08 - Palau's government structure  27:23 - Partnerships in Palau  34:15 - Diplomatic relations  36:29 - The advantages of small countries  42:00 - Palau's developing technologies  45:04 - Gaining diplomatic recognition  48:59 - Outro   VIDEO  YouTube: CREDITS  Editing: Images:  SOCIAL
Tobi Lütke (Shopify Founder & CEO), Kaz Nejatian (Shopify COO), and Balaji review how Shopify rose from tiny startup to $180B+ global economy, with an annual GMV on par with the GDP of New Zealand. In the process they touch on Hayek, the Hanseatic League, merchant cavemen, the history of the corporation, and the optimal level of platform decentralization. OUTLINE 00:00 - Introduction 02:39 - Shopify has the scale of a small country 08:49 - Lifestyle businesses take up your whole life 20:52 - SMBs can be harder than startups 27:13 - Shopify could invest in its merchants 32:23 - Shopify's economy is on par with Greece or New Zealand 38:40 - Money, time, risk, attention 39:55 - Is all retail a form of arbitrage? 47:14 - The history of the corporation informs the development of smart contracts 56:57 - Founders start as lead engineer, end up as chief psychiatrist 1:00:27 - Shopify is not just technology but community 1:06:26 - The concept of computational context 1:14:34 - Shopify as a dashboard for the global economy 1:22:48 - Atoms are so much more complex than bits 1:28:41 - Balancing centralized vs decentralized at Shopify 1:43:26 - If they could start a new country, what would Tobi and Kaz build? 2:03:28 - Kaz on working at Shopify 2:04:31 - Tobi's parting thoughts LINKS 1) 100 true fans: 2) Gobekli Tepe: 3) Shopify active merchant: 4) Fall of Civilizations: 5) Founding vs Inheriting: 6) Shopify careers: VIDEO YouTube: CREDITS Editing: Images: SOCIAL
A discussion between Vitalik Buterin and Balaji Srinivasan on starting new countries, improving yourself, and upgrading Ethereum. OUTLINE 00:00 - Introduction 01:27 - A brief history of Ethereum 16:54 - The DAO hack 20:32 - The Devcon 2 attack 33:24 - The Merge 35:52 - Ethereum Roadmap 47:41 - The de-OFACization of Ethereum? 1:06:18 - Starting new countries 1:22:20 - Svalbard 1:27:29 - Network effects 1:33:12 - Regulation as a bounding box 1:35:42 - What new country would Vitalik start? 1:39:39 - Network states and social networks 1:43:19 - Advice on leveling up 1:51:17 - How Vitalik learned Chinese 1:55:14 - Learning by doing LINKS 1) Ethereum Average Block Time: 2) What is EIP-1559: 3) Quadratic Hash problem: 4) The merge: 5) MEV watch: 6) Sousveillance: 7) Best weather cities to live in the US: 8) Global passport ranking: 9) Longyearbyen: 10) Demography of the Roman Empire: VIDEO YouTube: CREDITS Editing: Images: SOCIAL
#1 - Introduction

#1 - Introduction


Welcome to the show! More content coming soon! Subscribe to the channel so you don't miss the next drop. We hope you enjoy!
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