[messaging] Do Blockchains solve Zooko's triangle? (was: Another Take At Public Key Distribution)

Ben Harris mail at bharr.is
Wed Sep 16 19:33:55 PDT 2015

On 17 Sep 2015 12:10 pm, "Phillip Hallam-Baker" <phill at hallambaker.com>
> On Wed, Sep 16, 2015 at 9:47 PM, Ben Harris <mail at bharr.is> wrote:
>> At the end of the day, don't these all just build upon a different
definition of trust?
>> In the centralised architecture you trust that none of the authorities
are compromised.
>> In Bitcoin you trust that no one has spent the money to get to 51%.
>> In PoS are we trusting that no one has purchased a majority stake?
>> In transparency methods, we trust that no more than N-1 verifiers are
> There is a big difference in the incentives created.
> In a multiple notary system the notaries have a major incentive to reject
collusion attempts, it is the end of their business. BitCoin on the other
hand creates a multi-million dollar incentive to defraud the system with
absolutely no accountability for the parties making the attempt.

That may be, but you are combining what you trust with why you are trusting

If we reframe the triangle as Security - Human Readable - Trust-less, then
maybe we see that "squaring the triangle" is actually just selecting a
convenient definition of Trust-less (e.g. You don't need to trust
centralised authorities).

All the Secure/Human Readable solutions will require some level of trust.
It is about making that trust transparent and deciding if that is
acceptable to you. To steal a concept from my industry, ATARP - As
Trust-less As Reasonably Practicable.
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