Tech entrepreneur, angel investor, and author Balaji Srinivasan advocates for the creation of a “giant robot” composed of supportive governing bodies and crypto proponents to combat the “giant monster” that is the US federal government. This thesis was discussed during Srinivasan’s presentation at the ETHGlobal Pragma Tokyo Summit last April 13, during which he spoke about the impending economic and societal changes affecting the world today. He noted that the tools crypto and decentralized communities have at their disposal can serve as a lifeline to get through these turbulent times. However, he observed that some degree of trust is still crucial for society to function at a basic level, emphasizing that trust should be built through physical meet-ups.
According to Srinivasan, the fiat crisis will soon drive people towards decentralization due to a “deficit of trust in the world.” He further stressed that the decentralization trend is inevitable and will require some level of re-centralization into smaller clusters of consensual agreement. He mentioned that he is working on a follow-up book to The Network State and is planning to release videos to detail the crisis and address shifts that may occur in a few years instead of the ten years he earlier predicted.
Srinivasan also pointed out that digital lockdowns are coming, which would entail financial and capital controls, wage checks, and price controls to prevent people from escaping. He added that a new era of low-trust society would require verification through cryptography, which will make everything that crypto enthusiasts do more valuable if they could survive the lockdown. To achieve this, communities must build high-trust societies through physical meetups, where individuals could verify each other’s identity and resources.
Srinivasan also expressed that people from certain states are more susceptible to state failure and have been migrating to areas that are more crypto-friendly, such as Latin America and Republican states in the US. He suggested that crypto enthusiasts should seek out jurisdictions like El Salvador and Palau that are supportive of crypto and establish relationships with them to have some sort of government backing.
In conclusion, Srinivasan emphasized that a “good robot” is necessary to defeat the “gigantic monster” that is the US federal government. He calls for a sovereign-against-sovereign fight, to oppose the government that wages war against crypto freedom. While there may be no “good states,” Srinivasan acknowledges that the power of state-level action is essential, making government-tier action necessary for the average individual.
Overall, Srinivasan’s presentation points towards a growing movement that sees crypto and decentralized communities as a potential solution to the economic and societal changes the world is currently facing, bringing forth new challenges, opportunities, and redefinitions of trust and sovereignty.