Holiday Fireside Chat with Balaji Srinivasan and Ryan Selkis

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Key Takeaways

  • Humans are forming online communities enabled in part by currencies
  • The future will be a battle between decentralists and statists
  • Crypto is going to win and the community needs to ensure that it is ready for the masses
  • Web 3 is the reform of ancient institutions

Products Mentioned


Three Trends to Watch

  • Moral Stack/Foundation
    • Balaji thinks crypto is going to win. There need to be sound moral arguments that will attract the masses and inform them why this is necessary.
    • Crypto will take down many legacy institutions which is why a moral stack is needed.
  • Interoperability
    • We are in a multi-chain world. Chains will be used for storage, privacy, programming etc.
    • Balaji sees Bitcoin as a system resource like RAM or hard drive space etc. “the amount of BTC that your computer has will allow it to decide to run a computation locally or outsource it to somewhere else.
    • Balaji sees bitcoin scaling through other chains and is no longer scared of BTC scaling.
  • Globalization – Global Vantage Point
    • Most internet users, GDP, billionaires, etc are outside of the US. The largest risk for Web 3 is regulatory risk

Web 1 – Can we build it?

Web 2 – Will they buy it?

Web 3 – We can build it, we know they’ll buy it, but will they ban it? 

  • Web 3 is the reform of the ancient institutions – the fed, the banks, journalism, media, and governance.

Crypto Enabled Communities

  • People are moving to jurisdictions that are more suitable for their needs.
  • Balaji is impressed by El Salvador, Miami, and other jurisdictions that have elected crypto-friendly leaders.
  • Currency leads to network states like language led to nation-states. Every social network has its own currency.
  • People are identifying themselves with their digital art or currency, and forming communities around them
  • Laws are now dispute resolution and capital allocation mechanisms. Laws should be an encoding of our intuitions of the community. Something that we have reached a consensus on through quality content

Crisis of Confidence in the 2020s

  • Govt had a monopoly of truth and was optimized for taking down alternatives, until bitcoin. Bitcoin is decentralized cryptographic truth.
  • Decentralized Media will bring a more powerful model of truth than the current centralized media.
  • The federal govt. is a terrible capital allocator. Balaji advocates that we comply, but do not submit to the fed.
  • “Imagine enormous amounts of money being thrown into the woodchipper, that’s what the government is”.

Battle for the Future

  • The future is going to be a battle between decentralist and statists. People pro-technology and freedom vs. the opposite.
  • Woke on woke culture will continue to tear each other apart. We need to continue to build during this.
  • We need to write laws and lobby for them. If we don’t, someone else will.
  • Balaji emphasized the importance of building your own distribution channels; centralized platforms do not have your best interest in mind.
  • “Progressives want more government, conservatives want less government, libertarians want no government, and technologists want new a government.”
  • The alternative to maximalism is optimalism.
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Notes By Paul Keating

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