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The Satoshi Revolution – Chapter 3: Exchanges – Exchanging Liberty for Convenience? (Part 6)

•, Wendy McElroy

The utter brilliance of Satoshi Nakamoto's insight into the "trusted third party" problem is not obvious. Nor is its importance to freedom. It is not merely an economic insight or a clever sidestepping of government; it is a key to human progress that is as pivotal as the concept of property rights, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion.

First, it is necessary to seemingly disagree with Satoshi in order to arrive at a point of total agreement.

Trusted third parties (TTPs) are intermediaries between two parties who wish to transact business but require someone to administer the exchange, as in the case of the escrow on a house. TTPs can be an unadulterated good because they are a natural and valuable evolution within a complex human society. As society grows beyond barter, people need representatives whom they can trust on the basis of personal knowledge, reputation, or the vested interest of the TTP. International transfers of money, guarantees on loans, investment in start-ups…these are the stuff that allows businesses to establish and flourish.

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