[bitcoin-dev] trust

Benjamin benjamin.l.cordes at gmail.com
Sat Aug 8 09:24:18 UTC 2015

>> The point was NOT to trust no-one, the point was to trust everyone, but
keep everyone honest by keeping the ledger open and publicly available.

Trust takes many different forms and is not a binary function. You trust a
surgeon to do an operation and a pilot to fly a jet, but not vice versa. To
trust someone explicitly, you need to know who they are. Most social
structures work without explicit identity and they still function quite
well. For example companies are mostly anonymous to the consumer - if you
buy something in a shop you trust a chain of people producing that good. A
priori there is little reason to trust others, but rather that trust is
already developed through social institutions. Money is one such
institution with specific trust problems, and the history of money is
indeed a very good way to study these problems. Unfortunately in Bitcoin
development such insights are rare to find.

Lightning assumes explicit trust and ID - much like Ripple. That's not
going to work, and I'm surprised that someone with basic knowledge of
crypto doesn't see this problem. Having explicit counter-parties is
something very different from Bitcoin where the entity doing transactions
verification is unknowable and changes all the time. Users of Bitcoin trust
nodes doing the verification because they know it is in their best interest
to be honest. Neither Sidechains nor LT have preserve that important
property, and so IMO there are no good proposals to make Bitcoin scale (if
that is possible at all).

On Sat, Aug 8, 2015 at 10:54 AM, Thomas Zander via bitcoin-dev <
bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:

> I didn't say off-chain, and gave an example of on-chain usecase with
> trusted middleman.
> So, no, that's not what I meant.
> Sent on the go, excuse the brevity.
>   Original Message
> From: Adam Back
> Sent: Saturday, 8 August 2015 09:50
> To: Thomas Zander
> Cc: Bitcoin Dev
> Subject: Re: [bitcoin-dev] trust
> If you are saying that some people are happy trusting other people,
> and so would be perfectly fine with off-chain use of Bitcoin, then we
> agree and I already said that off-chain use case would be a
> constructive thing for someone to improve scale and interoperability
> of in the post you are replying to. However that use case is not a
> strong argument for weakening Bitcoin's security to get to more scale
> for that use case.
> In a world where we could have scale and decentralisation, then of
> course it would be nice to provide people with that outlook more
> security than they seem to want. And sometimes people dont understand
> why security is useful until it goes wrong, so it would be a useful
> thing to do. (Like insurance, your money being seized by paypal out
> of the blue etc). And indeed providing security at scale maybe
> possible with lightning like protocols that people are working on.
> Adam
> _______________________________________________
> bitcoin-dev mailing list
> bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org
> https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-dev
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