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Author Topic: Anonymity vs Trust  (Read 404 times)
xanrethan
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March 18, 2013, 02:31:57 AM
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I keep trying to mull this over in my head. The internet thrives on anonymity, and in general, everyone hates filling out their information, especially if they don't know where it's going. I think this lends to the 'try it and see' part of BTC. But in terms of giving/trading with coins, the anonymity has everyone on edge. Sure you have an account here and an account there and reputation gets built on each of these forums separately. But how would one know, say, that when you're dealing with someone who wants you to go first, say, that just because they have a good rep on webby A, they might not on webby B? And what sort of recourse is there? The apparent lack of recourse is what has me wary.

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Stephen Gornick
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March 18, 2013, 03:14:45 AM
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I keep trying to mull this over in my head. The internet thrives on anonymity, and in general, everyone hates filling out their information, especially if they don't know where it's going. I think this lends to the 'try it and see' part of BTC. But in terms of giving/trading with coins, the anonymity has everyone on edge. Sure you have an account here and an account there and reputation gets built on each of these forums separately. But how would one know, say, that when you're dealing with someone who wants you to go first, say, that just because they have a good rep on webby A, they might not on webby B? And what sort of recourse is there? The apparent lack of recourse is what has me wary.

A pattern that repeats is for a person to build up trust and then once enough trust has been reached use that to scam and then abandon that profile.  Anonymity makes that cheap and easy to do.

Even knowing the person's real-life identity isn't protection -- as we know from pirateat40's ponzi scam.

The Bitcoin-OTC Web of Trust (WoT) is also vulnerable to that however it can be longer in duration and can span communities.

When dealing with non-reversible forms of payment, essentially there are no guarantees and limited recourse.  That's the nature of these instruments.

Some effort can be made to make it clear your counterparty is not in it to cut and run.  Here's an article that explains how this is nothing new:
 - http://theumlaut.com/2013/02/27/bitcoin-and-bank-architecture/

And here are some resources:
 - http://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Secure_Trading
 - http://wiki.bitcoin-otc.com/wiki/Using_bitcoin-otc#Risk_of_fraud

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