The Centralized East vs The Decentralized West | The Balaji Series| Episode 6

Key Takeaways

  • In the present day, the US as the world superpower has to be able to defend the whole world to maintain its power. If it decides not to engage or loses a battle, its status is lost. 
  • Balaji sees a hypothetical scenario where the CCP and BTC both win, which will lead to the Centralized East vs the Decentralized West.
  • Centralization provides stability and decentralization provides opportunity.
  • Technology radically advances during periods of chaos and decentralization. E.g., Wild West, Renaissance.


  • Host of the What is Money Show, Robert Breedlove (@Breedlove_22) interviews a man who is living in 2050, Balaji Srinivasan. @Balajis on Twitter to see what he is up to.
  • In Episode 6 of 7, Balaji lays out a future situation where BTC and the CCP win and the US loses its superpower status.

Wargaming Taiwan

  • If China invades Taiwan, the US has a decision to make; Support Taiwan or ignore it.
  • If they ignore or lose, they will cede power to China. China would most likely issue a “Monroe Doctrine” type of policy forcing the US out of local areas. Balaji thinks the US would lose a battle.
  • Global power has to win everywhere. The regional power has to win once. The US now how to win everywhere.
  • Foreign military defeat has been a catalyst for internal turmoil. The US is already fighting internally. States and feds are already pulling apart.

Division in the US

  • US military may protect the US homeland, but if there’s civil division, who does the military defend?
  • There will be an ideological split, not demographic. Centralist vs Decentralist.
  • Balaji sees a potential for a Bitcoin seizure bill like executive order 6102 which forbade ownership of gold in the US.
  • It’ll be centralist vs decentralist. It looks like hacks cyberwar, people with guns eg. Afghanistan.
  • The West in general is decentralizing because they’re no longer a culture with shared values and aspirations. The internet has allowed people to connect with like-minded people anywhere.

China as the Centralized Superpower

  • China is the most centralized in a decentralized era which provides stability in the decentralizing world.
  • China has a potential 10x and they are ruthless. E.g., They banned Btc mining, the great firewall.
  • Long-term Balaji sees China falls to decentralization, but the new states would have to survive an attack against a Chinese superpower.
  • The future may be Centralized China vs decentralized developers.

Centralized vs Decentralized

  • Potential conflicts: Cyberwarfare vs Giant AI. Crypto vs CBDC. Migration and mobility vs. Control of Internal Migration.
  • Decentralized states would need to be able to defend against China’s colonization.
  • The decentralized defense will look like spec ops and terrorism combo. Digital gorilla warfare.
  • Many states will elect colonization
  • All of this is somewhat a Scifi fictional scenario
  • There are decades where not much happens and weeks where decades happen.
  • When there’s totalitarianism, people want freedom. When there’s anarchy, people want leadership
  • Balaji views India as a rising force and will play an important role in the future. They’re highly patriotic.
  • “Bitcoin Breaks all incompetent states”

The Sovereign Collective

  • Sovereignty is fuel for innovation. There’s more upside and more downside.
  • We’ll see organic leaders and cultures. Messy, but we’ll see some amazing cities and network states.
  • 2000’s Tech Companies, 2010’s – Crypto Protocols. 2020’s – Startup Cities. 2030’s – Network States.
What is Money Show : , , , ,
Notes By Paul Keating

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