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Bold Balajisms: Moral Stack – Tech Stack – Global Stack
Moral justification gives us a license to operate
A moral stack is what Balaji Srinivasan calls a Layer 0, using a crypto metaphor of Layer 1 protocols, like Bitcoin, and Layer 2 protocols, like Bitcoin Lightning.
If you don’t have your own strong moral stack and a moral cause for your product, others will impose their morality on you, and will have a root access to your company through corporate media, various online tribes and their moral justifications.
Often bitcoin is portrayed as an energy intensive asset, due to proof of work algorithm that requires validation by miners, compared to centralized payment processing companies, such as Visa or Mastercard. But this comparison is unfair, because Visa and Mastercard don’t operate in vacuum and require huge infrastructure around dollar as a technology, from rule of law to police enforcement and a military with expensive aircraft carriers.
It's because “Fiat money is backed by men with guns”. On the contrary, bitcoin, and crypto more broadly, is money backed by math. A global rule of code and neutral protocols as “the international waters of the internet” where national tech stacks can interoperate.
Therefore, it is important to state clearly the moral case for technological progressivism. All noble ideas were articulated since the dawn of humanity, but technology is what makes them feasible. Therefore, at Wezesha, we have organized our first essay competition with the focus on the importance of technological progress.
A tech stack is what makes the ideas and ideals possible to realize. Balaji Srinivasan says that in the web1 era the tech stack was the most important problem to solve. “Will we be able to build it?” was the main question. For example, a LAMP Stack allowed for many web applications to exist. After the technical aspects were solved in the web1 era of peer-to-peer communication, a new web2 era of social networking started that was much more centralized and built around model-view-controller (MVC) software design pattern. In the web2 era the most important question was “Will the they [customers] come?” Acquiring customers was the top challenge.
The web3 era will be built around client-blockchain-client (CBC) model, and Balaji explains that the most important question will be: “Will they ban it?”. Hence the importance of a global stack – a network of crypto friendly jurisdictions and very mobile founders who are able to pack a backpack and leave to a more crypto-friendly location if their project or protocol is threatened by (over)regulation.
In the web3 era all three stacks are very important. Moral justification gives us a license to operate. Tech stack is important to scale web3 to billions of unbanked people and make investing, learning or building companies as easy, as tweeting is today. Instead of virtue/vice signaling, on web3 social networks people will do value-signaling. How much value these networks can bring to users in terms of truth, health or wealth? (As the new “liberté, égalité, fraternité”). Because “Learning, burning [calories] and earning” is the new motto, as Balaji says.
Finally, for the web3 founder who wants to stay competitive the main issue today is building a global stack - or a patchwork of friendly jurisdictions & friends all around the world.
When starting a web3 business now, it’s all about friends, family, fools and friendly jurisdictions.