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Re: A problem with anonymity

Having not read the FAQ, I foolishly jump in...

Timothy May wrote,
>At 2:38 AM 9/3/95, MONTY HARDER wrote:
>>  But if the escrow agent is anonymous, we simply recurse, moving now to
>>the question of whether anyone can trust the Anonymous Escrow Agency not
>>to take the money and run.
>Well, at one level, everything is always recursive.
>And, of course, it is possible to structure things so that the escrow agent
>cannot "take the money and run," because the money is not accessible to
>This is analogous to an escrow agent in the real world holding a check from
>Alice to Bob until Bob completes some set of conditions. The escrow
>agent--call her Essie--cannot cash the check herself. She can of course
>renege on the deal, even if Bob does his part of the bargain, but there is
>little incentive for her to do so.

For example, the money exchanger or bank can allow an exchange option that
packages up the new money for some AND/OR list of package openers, certify
what it is and then seal it up & send it to the escrow agent.  As mentioned
by Timothy and Monty this just pushes the question down to whether anyone
can trust the bank.  Timothy claims evidence that there will be entities
such as banks that do not scam customers.

I observe that from a few trusted entities a great amount of trust can be
created--bubbling up that same recursion.  In the above example, the trust
of the Anonymous Escrow Agency is increased by the mechanism that does not
allow the agency to get at the cash.  This uses the trust of the bank, but
does not decrease the trust of the bank.

Perhaps trust formal transfer mechanisms can evolve so that almost
everybody can become almost as trustworthy as the most trustworthy entity
in the commerce.

(who knows he should have checked the FAQ)

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