Global Trust Exchange

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What is a Trust Exchange?

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What is a Trust Exchange?

Without trust, life is hard, transactions are expensive, difficult to complete, and, of course, risky.  In some parts of the world, lack of trust makes staying simply alive very iffy. Trust, on the other hand, makes life, and business, much nicer, smoother, and more “human”.  But misplaced trust can be worse than no trust at all. 

Trust is thus very valuable.   Like other things of value – money, sheep, cars, labor, knowledge, IP – trust can be exchanged.  But exchange of all of these other things can be and have been automated – into local, regional and global “exchanges”.  By contrast, automating the exchange of trust has been much more difficult.  Why?  Because trust is essentially personal and difficult to standardize.   

Standardized contracts and the legal systems that make them work can fill the gap when trust is lacking.  But signing an enforceable contract is not really a trust exchange.  As proof, note that crafting and enforcing them is extremely expensive. 

Trust is exchanged when two people – or two organizations, or two ethnic groups, or two nations -- mutually decide to trust each other, and more, to be willing to help each other when needed.

Social networks greatly facilitate the exchange of trust.  By “social network” we mean extended networks where any connection in the network is based on some important degree of personal trust.   By “extended social networks” we mean, social networks that extend beyond first degree connections to include 2+ degree connections, e.g., contacts of contacts, and contacts of those contacts.

Many current “social networks” on the Web today focus primarily on “first-degree” networks, e.g., a network composed of myself and some other people whom I already know.   However, there are some extremely powerful “trust exchange” applications of social networks that primarily focus on extended social networks.  For example, when one person introduces two people he knows, and when both of those people trust the introducer, then it becomes almost effortless for the two previous strangers to exchange trust.   In addition, extended social networks can also help increase the exchange of trust between two people who already know each other.   Reputation systems and user-defined access controls for selective privacy are also applications that can be enhanced by trust exchange applications.

Note also that a “trust exchange network” has essentially the same meaning as a “social capital network”.   This is because having social capital means having personal connections based on trust and reciprocity. 

Facilitating trust exchange applications in extended social networks is the primary focus of the Global Trust Exchange.


 

Home

What is a Trust Exchange?

Social Transformation Network