Managing Trust Relationships in Digital Crime

  • Angus BancroftEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Cybercrime and Cybersecurity book series (PSCYBER)


This chapter examines how trust is built between users of illicit spaces and the trust that users put into technology. There has been a significant focus on what is called trustless technology, systems that in theory allow users to make agreements enforceable by software. The blockchain used by the bitcoin cryptocurrency is, or claims itself as, a trustless technology. An core implementation of trustless technology is writing smart contracts with arrangements adjudicated by blockhain software. Venture capitalists have been keen to pour money into this area. This shows a level of faith in computer code to solve problems and allow otherwise distant or uncooperative actors to reach agreement. However, the working of trustless technologies relies on a rich lattice of communicative individuals in order to make it work. Shared culture and meaning are needed, not only for people to comprehend machines, but for machines to talk to each other.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social and Political ScienceUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK

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