Suppose someone tells you that there is a brand new way of secure paying via the internet. The new technology is hyped and after slow adoption has now seen quite a media buzz and is being used by a growing number of companies and private people.
Suppose that your conversational partner further tells you that the technology’s inventor, “Mister X” has handed over all development responsibility and project management to the person you’re talking to.
An internet search finds that “Mister X” once published a paper about his new technology and participated in some online communities. But according to your dialogue partner “Mister X” did no longer want to be involved.
Many different researchers and interested parties have tried to find the true identity of “Mister X”. Claims have been made that it must be either a genius or a group of people. The times of his community postings and the style of his language point towards someone of English fluency residing possibly in North America. However, “Mister X” was introduced as Asian.
Sounds like a great novel bordering on espionage and crime? Well, reality tops everything.
This is the story behind the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. The security and cryptography involved with this technology have been deemed okay. What beats me though, is that very few people get a bad feeling about the whole mystery of the originator.
When I started to work in IT security the concept of trust and especially establishing trust between involved parties was the key concept.
Do we really want to base a new currency replacing our current currencies on a technology invented by someone whom nobody knows?