Anonymous Cryptocurrency Escrows: A case study

Lightningtust.net was a market probe experiment to test the waters of trust in the cryptocurrency world.

Introduction: Cryptocurrency eliminates the need for trust in a middle man, such as banks, and is a tool for global markets to connect through individuals and businesses. However trust is needed in order to conduct a significant number of safe transactions, hence the need for cryptocurrency escrows.

Results: We planned this as a mildly well put together platform to hold anonymous cryptocurrency escrows, only through people’s emails. Of course, people that submitted an escrow would be informed of our project’s status and asked if they wanted to participate in the future once we could find a functional and licensed way to offer such a service. If we would have found enough interest we would have gone ahead with phase 2 of our project, which would have been a multi signature platform in which we would only have to intervene if there was a dispute, not unlike localbitcoins.com, as well as getting the proper licensing and tax registration. However the first pilot study would be our escrow page, before getting involved with any costly paperwork, and our true gauge would be the amount of people willing to open an escrow.

We expected a few hiccups but never the amount of pushback, threats and skepticism we encountered. We received zero escrow requests in 40 days, and the accusations and threats (obviously lacking any basis because we never went forward with any escrows, nor would we have) were staggering. Sadly, people barely trust themselves, let alone an unknown third party.

We are publishing this because we want to encourage any people and businesses that have the funds and time to further develop this concept, in the hopes that they find a licensed way to offer ANONYMOUS crypto escrows. We hope our experience may be of some use to a future anonymous cryptocurrency escrow without breaking any laws.

We probed by posting in social media both mentioning anonymous escrows, as well as only escrows, none had any meaningful reaction.

We believe KYC is holding the widespread use of cryptocurrency back, is an unfair practice and would like to contribute to people’s freedom to buy and sell through cryptocurrency within an internationally legal frame. However we learned that maybe the idea of cryptoescrows might be ahead of its time. As mentioned before, our first step was this pilot study, hence we haven’t reviewed if it’s even possible to offer said service without breaking any laws, but there are non-KYC services out there like Bisq, so there probably is a way to have non-KYC anonymous cryptocurrency escrows, more so being a peer to peer affair. However due to the lack of interest we found in the market, we will not dive any deeper because we see no point.

Use this as a case study if you will and an anecdote if it’s worth anything.