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While the challenges facing the future viability of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies remain unresolved, the underpinning technology that supports Bitcoin, Blockchain, has the potential to revolutionise the way we leverage trust- and even the way we think about trust.

Trust is a fundamental good that, while largely intangible, is key to the functioning of practically every meaningful interaction in society. We tend to think of trust concerning business, banking, relationships and finance since the necessity of trust in these areas is clear and undeniable. In fact, without trust, no transaction can go forward – indeed, the very idea of even the simplest negotiations becomes implausible without it. Without trust, the law becomes tyranny and business become piracy.

At present, trust has been made diffuse across systems. We have our system of credit, various checks and balances, laws, and regulations, as well as whatever security measures we have in place. We extend credit to people and organisations in whom we have trust. To establish this trust, we rely on reputation, proven track records of trustworthiness, and other vague notions. This allows us to do business with people whom we may not necessarily trust – in the strictest sense of the word. But there …

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