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Re-Architecting Trust Trust is the most important thing that we hardly ever think about. Until it's not there. Then it becomes the only thing we think about. Without it our civil society unravels. Trust allows different kinds of people from anywhere to interact with each other. If we all trust the same money, then we can do business together. When we trust a financial system, we can save, borrow, invest, and send and receive money smoothly. Trustworthy online platforms expand our world through marketplaces, social interactions, gig workers, and more. Throughout history the belief in trust has been codified by rules, regulations, and laws. The challenge with trust, though, is that it eventually becomes corroded – through malice, greed, and, quite often, apathy. History is littered with the carcasses of once trusty solutions that fell by the wayside. Today, trust in the most basic and important functions – money, markets, and platforms – is at an all-time low. Currencies are rife with inflation, financial firms require ever bigger bailouts, social media algorithms radicalize our friends, and politicians sell out to special interests. We can point blame in many directions, make more rules to combat the ills, but it will fail – just as such efforts have failed throughout history. Technology has long played an important role both in the evolution of trust and its undoing, especially during periods of historic change, like now. Much of the technology that we dependend on is breaking bad due to misaligned incentives and poor design. But thankfully a newer, more sophisticated, technology can be used to restore trust in our most important interactions and return power and profits back to the people that money, markets, and platforms were meant to serve without censorship or surveillance. Re-Architecting Trust is a thought-provoking exploration of how decentralized blockchain networks and the digital assets that they enable can reinvent our most important trust frameworks by creating new types of money, reinvigorating how we transact the old kind, disintermediating the least trustworthy financial institutions, and enabling meaningful business models for artists and influencers. Omid Malekan, who has studied cryptocurrencies and blockchain for almost a decade, explains how the mishmash of technologies that enable Bitcoin can be applied to everything that matters to level the playing field, preserve your purchasing power, expand everyone's access to financial services, enable brand new business models, and elevate new communities in an ever fracturing society.
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