So the more I start to forget my old bitcoin lessons, the more certain I get of bitshares' success.
Recently, I've started to think that because of the way everyones economic incentives align when getting paid directly and transparently by stakeholders the blockchain, the old idea of everything having to be "trustless" doesn't really apply anymore. Because we most definitely trust a lot of people, in fact the whole point of DPOS is that we can trust the delegates because they're incentivized to stay honest. The obvious reason is that they are economically incentivized to be honest. Another reason is that they are incentivized to be transparent because netizens are an inquisitive bunch of people who will jab and pry at everything they can, and who automatically shy away from things that are locked down because it appears dishonest. Once there is absolute transparency in the system, it becomes very difficult to collude.
Finally, however, the most important thing is not economic in nature, it is social. At first I expected that delegates would be kinda like miners or mining pools; anonymous individuals who act purely out of greed in competing to extract as much money as possible out of a fixed pie taken each block out of the stakeholders wealth. But once you begin to embrace the company analogy that bitshares really is, you will realize that delegates have very little in common with miners. What they have the most in common with are ordinary employees. They are trusted people who have been hired for a set salary to collaborate for the same goal: to increase the value of the blockchain. Additionally, because of point number 2, the entire organizational structure is and always will be completely transparent. It is a rankless, factionless and frictionless organizations of likeminded workers who all work together on a giant team. And thus, in the long run delegates will not compete, they will collaborate. There might be clashes on salary and other minor frictions, But the blockchain will always hire EVERYONE who is profitable to hire, so once you're on as e.g. a developer, and you're delivering, you can expect to never get fired again unless you really mess up. Stakeholders will vote to increase the amount of delegates rather than firing a valued employee.
This existence of collaboration rather than competition completely changes the framing of what being a delegate means. The lack of "SoTF pressure" will be especially important to the atmosphere of the company. When you work together with other public people in a team, and collaborate over time, you can expect to increasingly become attached and loyal to your team, your coworkers and your company. This positive social atmosphere will do wonders to ensure the security and profitability of the blockchain, and I think going forward some of the most important goals will be to come up with some great frameworks for increasing company culture and social atmosphere.
Having these things in mind you start to realize just how safe it is to trust an individual in this system. You can always see their network of trust, since it is transparent through slates, and so can EVERYONE else on the internet. They are highly paid to do their job, and they are chosen for their specialized and proven skills (ie they are never average people looking to make a quick buck - they are programmers, researchers, professionals). They are a part of a greater whole, of a team that they have worked with for months or years, many of whom they know intimately and personally. It would be absurd to think that 51% of a team like this could EVER, under any concievable conditions, decide to collude to destroy their company. It is simply not a plausible scenario.
And with that in mind, I think we can begin to change the way we see things. It's time to get rid of the bitcoin mindset because bitshares is really a completely different beast.