“You know I’m good for it” is what a friend says to a friend. They’re the words of a trusted relationship. And what happens when they’re true?
No need for key management. No need for fancy software. No need to broadcast a transaction. No need for cryptographic assurances. All of Bitcoin’s complications replaced by trust. Fungibility, scalability, liquidity, all solved in an instant.
Here’s my hot take:
Bitcoin is how we augment the fact that we’re imperfect, and trust is how we augment the fact that Bitcoin is imperfect.
Imagine how a perfect money would behave:
Perfectly fixed supply, which can be audited in an instant. Instant payments to anyone anywhere, in any size. Perfect fungibility: no coin distinct from another or encumbered by limitations. Perfect privacy: only the two parties to a transaction need to know it happened. And if you pay the wrong amount, or the wrong person? Instant refund. Lose your coins? We know you’re good for it — you worked to earn those coins after all.
If we could trust people perfectly, all of these features would be possible.
We can’t, of course, trust people perfectly. But little slivers of well-placed trust allows us to enjoy little slices of monetary heaven.