The Move from Geopolitics to Technopolitics
The rise of decentralised protocols like Bitcoin and Ethereum that are controlled by neither states nor companies are shifting the world order and putting the power on the internet. The introduction of crypto protocols, which can safeguard property and execute contracts beyond the boundaries of traditional nation states, have addressed the weaknesses in global technology firms. Here are the ways in which we are transitioning from an age of geopolitics to one of technopolitics.
Network proximity is now on par with physical geography
While in previous times the distance between two people was concerned with their physical positioning on the globe, in the age of the internet it is more about the degrees of separation in their social networks. Anyone can put themselves near anyone else by simply following them on social networks or keep others away by blocking their accounts on those same networks—no plane ticket required. Any floating entity within this cloud continent can likewise attempt to interact with any other by pinging the right IP addresses, for the purpose of anything from transactions to cyber invasions—no pre-existing proximity required. Anybody with internet access can be a part of this new world, simply by using their devices to telecommunicate, as so many of us do on a daily basis. Encryption serves as the digital equivalent of physical fortifications in the cloud, allowing any user to defend their digital property without resorting to traditional munitions—no physical force required. Network proximity is now on par with physical geography, and basic geopolitical assumptions about citizenship, migration, power projection, and the use of force need to be rethought for the digital world.
National currencies will face digital monetary competition
Already, national currencies compete with cryptocurrencies because individuals and institutions hold digital wallets filled with various assets that can be traded against one another. This will only accelerate once central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are introduced. Every asset will be traded against every other asset in a gigantic table we call the “defi matrix” (defi is short for decentralized finance), including CBDCs themselves. Rather than the current environment of unchecked inflation and competitive devaluation, the defi matrix imposes a new kind of discipline on national currencies, as billions of people make individual choices regarding which currencies to hold. The digital version of the Japanese yen will be plunged into head-to-head global competition with the Swiss franc, the Brazilian real, and any other asset with an open capital account, including Bitcoin.
International rule of law is becoming rule of code
We are still in the early days, but enforceable international law may become synonymous with decentralised smart contracts, at least in the context of international trade. And beyond trade, crypto protocols provide transnational protection for civil liberties like freedom of speech and privacy. This is not yet the entirety of what the rules-based order purports to protect, but the ability to guarantee free speech and free markets to anyone with an internet connection is a major step forward.
Shaping the cities of tomorrow…today
Blockchain has the potential to create countless smart networks and grids, altering how we do everything from voting and building credit to receiving energy. In many ways, it could be a crucial component of what is needed to circumvent outdated systems and build long-lasting solutions for cities.
We have found ourselves in that generation-defining moment — electric car companies are on the up, oil companies are on the down, and we see significant investment going into emerging technologies. Smart City is leading the shift towards cities of the future by using smart technology to improve public safety, energy efficiency, sustainability, and overall quality of life. Get in touch with us today to learn more about what we do.