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08Sep/22

Digital nomads have rejected the office and now want to replace the nation state. But there is a darker side to this quest for global freedom

Dave Cook, UCL

A ‘network state’ is ideologically aligned but geographically decentralised. The people are spread around the world in clusters of varying size, but their hearts are in one place.

In June 2022 Balaji Srinivasan, former chief technology officer of the Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange, published an ebook entitled The Network State: How To Start a New Country. It is the latest in a flurry of utopian visions by self-styled digital visionaries, crypto believers and web 3.0 evangelists who are lining up to declare the death of the traditional concept of countries and nationhood.

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