How Trust Runs the World

Warning: Today’s article is a bit “out there.” I want to discuss trust, institutions, and crypto—three things that, on the surface, seemingly have nothing to do with each other. But hopefully, by the end, you’ll see that they have everything to do with each other. And they're incredibly relevant to the moment we find ourselves in.

Let’s start here: Trust is the base layer of all human relationships. Without trust, there can be no value exchange, no community, no intimacy.

If I don’t trust my wife, then her affection will feel lifeless and empty. If I don’t trust my business partner, then no amount of work will feel useful. If I don’t trust my neighbors or society, then I will see no reason to go out and engage with the world.

Trust is the prerequisite to building anything good and meaningful in this world.

The problem is, humans do a lot of shit that makes them untrustworthy. Our natural disposition is to be short-term, selfish actors. Research shows that most people will lie, cheat, or steal if put in a position where they believe they can get away with it. On top of that, we instinctively fall prey to …

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