ACE Seminar: Tracing Trustlessness

Speaker: Jaya Klara Brekke

Date/Time: 08-Feb-2018, 16:00 UTC

Venue: Main Quad Pop-Up 102



Observing the Bitcoin network in operation, it is clear that, far from trustless, for most actual interactions with the system, a lot of trust indeed is required. - From key-issuing to wallet development, informational websites, exchanges, graphs even trust between specialised disciplines, the security of the latest hashing algorithm and so on. In this seminar I will trace through two different understandings of trustlessness in relation to the Bitcoin network that I have observed in the community and outline some of the dynamics of these understandings in relation to social and political contexts. Each conceptual apparatus brings with it its own set of dynamics and in this seminar I would like to test observations I have made about the dynamics of “trustlessness” as a concept that has traveled from computer sciences and network security to be employed in social, political and legal systems. This is work in progress as part of the Distributing Chains PhD project (


Jaya Klara Brekke writes, does research and speaks on the political economy of blockchain and consensus protocols, focusing on questions of politics and power in distributed systems. She is the author of the B9Lab ethical training module for blockchain developers, and has been working as a researcher, designer and curator on projects related to the political economies of infrastructures for the past ten years, including Crisis-scape on the impact of the financial crisis on public space in Athens; D-CENT, a European-wide project for the development of open citizen engagement technologies; and Flesh & Concrete in Mexico city. She is Scientific coordinator for the DECODE Advisory Board and is based between London, Vienna (as a collaborator of RIAT - Institute for Future Cryptoeconomics) and Durham University, UK where she is currently writing a PhD with the preliminary title Distributing Chains, three strategies for thinking blockchain politically.

Add to Calendar

This page was last modified on 27 Mar 2014.