Building Trust in the Modern Age
The full article was originally published by Chris Mueller on HelloIOTA. Read the full article here.
Trust between two parties in an interaction has always been pivotal in every exchange. Whether it was hunter gatherers exchanging berries for venison, or it was Joseph Bonaparte and Marquess Cornwallis signing the Treaty of Amiens to end the French Revolutionary Wars, each person has to trust the other to keep their word if the transaction is going to happen.
The crypto revolution brought a new notion of trust to the fore. Cryptocurrencies aspired to recreate the environment of trust by putting the burden of trust not on or between participants, but rather on the software running the currencies themselves. US Dollars have “In God We Trust” printed on them.
Cryptocurrencies might analogously have “In the Protocol We Trust” printed into their wallets. It’s fair to say that cryptocurrency users, especially early adopters of the libertarian and anarchist bent, have been successful in their push to outsource trust entirely. All faith is to be put into the protocol, its security via cryptographic hashes, and its reliability via the trustworthiness of the network writ large.
But, what if that inter-human trust never actually disappeared? What if it’s still present as strong as it’s ever been, and those early adopters mis-characterized and/or misunderstood the trust issue altogether?
Tim Sullivan explores this possibility in his article for a 2015 edition of the Harvard Business Review: