Trust is the social glue that binds people, communities, countries together. Trust helps to increase the well-being, success, and stability of societies by reducing friction and making it easier to cooperate. Trust builds social capital, the networks that are built upon solid relationships and which enable smooth societal functioning. According to landmark research by Robert Putnam, the basis for the economic success of cities in Renaissance Italy was the high level of social capital provided via trust (Putnam et al., 1993).

Many of our online routines are built on trust, just like offline. Trust is important in technology, and also in the industry that supplies the services or products. We also need to trust the government that should protect our rights online as does offline. Trust improves predictability in digital developments, and facilitates growth.

Trust in technology, government, and tech companies is built through transparency about digital actors’ roles and responsibilities, inclusion in the development of digital policy, oversight (e.g. over actions that may have implications for rights and freedoms), and confidence-building measures between countries and digital communities. Blockchain is considered one of the technological solutions for increasing trust and confidence in the digital realm.