Just like digital marketing and SEO, the world of blockchain loves it’s jargons. These jargons essentially have a pretty straight forward dictionary meaning. However, there’s a lot more to them when you dive in deeper. Today, we discuss one such jargon and try to understand it through a very interesting analogy. The term of the day is: Distributed Trust.
You must have come across this word a lot more than often whenever the topic of blockchain pops up. It is also referred to as trustless network. But what is trustless or distributed trust? Let’s jump in right away:
What is Distributed Trust:
Distributed trust has it’s roots from the core of blockchain technology: decentralization. You see, in conventional economic system, you placed trust in a centralized authority. This is usually RBI in case of India and Federal bank in US parlance. But, in a decentralized system, there is no single authority. So who do you trust with your money? What if someone tries to dupe you? Of course there are miners validating your transactions, but how do you know that they have no intentions to defraud you?
The Kitty Party:
At this point, you might be thinking that I might have lost it. But hold up before you draw any conclusions. Our mothers have been running a system based on distributed trust for years now.
For those of you who don’t know what a kitty party (also called Kameti in some cultures) is, it is a type of common pool of money. All ladies of this fund deposit a fixed amount at a preset interval (usually monthly) and one of them gets to take all that money each month.
As an outcome, after an year (or whatever period this kitty party will run), you are at a no profit, no loss situation, but you get to save/have access to a lumpsum amount from the installments that you had paid.
The winner of the kitty is usually decided by a lucky draw or some other mechanism decided earlier. This is often coupled by a small get together where these ladies can eat, play a game or two of Tambola (Indian Bingo) or may be organize a devotional ceremony.
In a nutshell, it is a great system to socialize and save at the same time.
What does it have to do with Blockchain?
Here’s when things get really interesting. There are a lot of similarities between a kitty party and a system based on distributed trust. In fact these kitties run on a trustless mechanism. Here’s how:
1. State of Network
Just like in a blockchain, where everyone knows the state of the network, it’s nodes and validations done by them, so is the case in a kitty party. Women know where the entire money is at any given point. They have an idea of where is it going to go next and what would be the process of coming to that decision.
2. Cheat Proof:
If a kitty party has 10 ladies and one of them decides to run away with other’s money, she would have to convince most of the other members (if not all) in a such a scheme. Now compare that with the BTC blockchain. It is practically impossible to achieve such a feat. This makes the system much less vulnerable as compared to traditional systems.
3. Decentralized Consensus:
There is an elaborate consensus mechanism behind blockchains. Each node carries the exact same copy of the next block and hence consensus is reached. Any node that is different, is excluded from the system.
Similarly, the process of multiple aspects of a kitty, duration, installment amount, winner choosing is democratized. Everyone agrees to the terms and conditions. If someone is not comfortable with the same, a kitty can be run without him/her.
Indian women inadvertently have proven that decentralized systems work. The concept of distributed trust where no one owns the pool of the money and everyone simply assumes that the next person will keep their funds safe is just amazing.
Do you think this analogy makes sense?
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Until next time..
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