Location: No one knows, and very few can find out.
“On the internet, everyone knows your name, but no one knows who you are.” Thus I wrote in a paper in 1999. One would think that this fundamental issue would have been addressed by now, but it has not. Worse, with terms such as trust, trustless and zero trust, it is easy to get confused and make the wrong decisions about safety.
Trust is a complex subject because it is not one that can be easily defined: It is not measurable, nor is it fixed. One cannot simply write it down and say, ‘There, now I am trusting.’ Trust is an emotional reaction to something, i.e., a psychological feeling. It is closely allied to knowledge, belief, and suspicion, as well as their counterparts falsehood, agnosticism, and... well, there is no exact counterpart to suspicion because suspicion is, in a way, suspended between knowledge and belief, yet also part of both the presence and absence of each.
Here is where the language used in relation to the technologies behind the metaverse starts to make no sense in the real (i.e., non-techy) world.
To understand ‘trustless,’ one should start with the concept of ‘stakeholders’ - in its original sense. In gambling, a stakeholder is someone who holds the bets of each party until the result is known and pays to the winner. In the United Kingdom, in property sales and purchases, the vendor’s attorney holds the deposit as a stakeholder pending completion of the sale. Other jurisdictions use different terms, but the basic principle is the same. In other fields, the term has become corrupted, but that is the meaning I am sticking with here for the purposes of this article.
In commerce, the stakeholder concept is used in letters of credit. A letter of credit is a thrThe content herein is subject to copyright by The Yuan. All rights reserved. The content of the services is owned or licensed to The Yuan. Such content from The Yuan may be shared and reprinted but must clearly identify The Yuan as its original source. Content from a third-party copyright holder identified in the copyright notice contained in such third party’s content appearing in The Yuan must likewise be clearly labeled as such.