[bitcoin-dev] trust

Thomas Zander thomas at thomaszander.se
Mon Aug 10 21:43:46 UTC 2015

On Monday 10. August 2015 22.17.52 Jorge Timón wrote:
> But I don't see how that is relevant, allowing trust to be involved in
> different ways is a feature, but it's optional.


> I think the point "you don't need to trust anyone to use Bitcoin" remains.

yes, and thats fine.

The argument that Adam was making was the other extreme; that Bitcoin was 
useless the moment he has to trust any 3rd party.
And that is why I started this thread, because that idea that Bitcoin looses 
its functionality when you deviate from the trust-no-one path, is destructive.

For instance I suggested a week ago that the Chinese firewall (blocksize 
propagation) problem could maybe be solved by having a chinese miner partially 
trust some full nodes on Internet hubs. For instance in Amsterdam, one in 
Stockholm, etc.
And then propagation of a newly mined block would make the miner only sent the 
header to this server where a full x-MB block is then created by some 
specialized software that bases it on the mempool of its bitcoind.

Propagation of a Chinese miner then suddenly doesn't care about blocksize when 
hopping over the chinese firewall. You'd only send a small amount of data, 
likely around 20Kb for even 8Mb blocks.

A critic would argue its a useless strategy because you'd have to trust the 
data center operators.
I'd argue that its a risk, for sure, but one that can be mitigated easily by 
having various datacenters around the world where you'd run your software so 
you'd be able to check the validity of each.

Risks can only be assessed fairly if people are less black/white in their 

I love that about Bitcoin, it combines technical specialized thinking with 
Economics and planning. If you don't have both, you probably end up rejecting 
the best ideas.

> Adam, I think he means a multisig escrow transaction where the escrow
> is trusted by both parties, and other examples like that.

Yes, thats one example. Thanks Jorge!

A similar but relevant example would be like the M-Pesa example.
People that have a phone but not a smart phone can choose to have their 
private keys stored at a trusted company in their own country. Some payments 
can be off-chain, but as soon as you deal with people outside of this small 
community they would be on-chain.

When we are talking about remittances, this means one of the two parties does 
not have an account at the trusted party and as such this will be an on-chain 
Same for a farmer in Nairobi buying equipment from a company in Cairo, or a 
Internet startup in Kampala/Uganda selling services to users in Europe and 
those users send their payments on-chain.

All of these examples are about the largest group of people in the world; the 
unbanked. Bitcoin could mean a huge change to these people and I care a lot 
about this usecase. We need bigger bocks for these usecases as LN will not do 
anything for them.

Thomas Zander

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