Balaji Srinivasan’s “State of the Network” Could See Citizens Trading Passports for Ethereum Names


Swap blockchain technology with legacy census tools, and you start to see the basis of what Coinbaseformer CTO Balaji Srinivasan calls Network status.

At an event hosted by CoinDCX in Bengaluru on Friday, Srinivasan explained how an online community of individuals around the world could eventually become an official state.

This Network State is a group of several countries acting as a single entity. The entity would also be built using blockchain technology with common goals funded using cryptocurrencies.

He said, for example, that there could be members in Tokyo, Mumbai, Delhi, etc., and they could eventually “build something that would have the scale of an annual income and a real estate footprint of ‘a traditional state’.

Here is one way the network condition could manifest itself. Source: Network status.

It’s an ambitious idea, and according to Srinivasan, establishing a country without diplomatic recognition is futile.

In principle, only sovereign states can become members of the United Nations (UN) with diplomatic rights. And by international lawsovereign states must have a permanent population and a defined territory.

Such a community should therefore establish a reliable mechanism to prove population and off-state territory.

And to do that, look no further than blockchain technology. With the help of oracle networks and the Ethereum name service (ENS), argued Srinivasan, this could be achieved.

Ethereum name service and network status

The Ethereum name service is a cryptography-based domain name protocol based on Ethereum. It allows simple names to be assigned instead of the long string of letters and numbers currently used for crypto addresses.

For example, you can use “decrypt.eth” instead of the 42-character address that identifies your Ethereum wallet.

It could also provide a smart alternative to traditional national ID cards etc. Since the Network State is made up of individuals from all over the world, such ID cards would not necessarily be able to establish a census either.

In his book on the subject, he Explain how one could “create decentralized identities similar to ENS and SNS to serve as digital passports for network state”.

“You can think of the population metric as an underlying chart with 1,729,314 people, each of them, say, has an ENS, and there’s an oracle reporting that they’re all human,” said said Balaji, explaining the calculation of the chain population census. .

ENS domain registrations

State of the network or not, the activity of the ENS is already booming.

As of this writing, nearly 2,121,083 ENS domains have been registered per data from Dune analysis. Monthly ENS renewals also peaked during this month.

By data of Dune analysisusers spent nearly 29,950 ETH, worth $62.39 million, to acquire ENS domains.

Monthly ENS enrollment shows a peak over the past 120 days. Source: Dune Analytics.

Monthly subscription to ENS indicating a peak in the last 120 days; source: Dune Analytics

Last month, monthly registrations at the ENS too hit a record high of 378,804 listings, roughly the size of Tampa, Florida. Whether this is enough for a network state remains to be seen.

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