trustless lifephoto


This work is a hybrid board game that allows users to experience the possibilities and issues of a society based around blockchain.

I live in Japan, a super-aging society, more than half of whose voting population is over 50 years old. I feel a sense of powerlessness that those of us who were born in the matured society of the 1990s cannot by our own power change the rules that were decided before we were born. Furthermore, I feel that were are locked in and pressured to conform to the values constructed in the period of high economic growth following the Second World War.

The only hope in such a society is the Internet. Our generation witnessed how greatly the Internet, created before our birth, changed society. By making use of this Internet based on independence, decentralization, and coordination, it may be possible to efficiently and equitably disperse society’s entrenched authority and mechanisms.

Cryptocurrency has had a significant influence on the world economy in recent years; this is one future that the internet made possible. It is said that blockchain, the foundational technology through which cryptocurrency is realized, is a paradigm comparable to that of the internet. It has been observed that there are possibilities for the use of blockchain besides cryptocurrency, but because this is vastly different from our society today, many people cannot concretely imagine what these would be.

This work is a multiplayer board game that allows people to concretely imagine the potential and issues of a possible near future society to which blockchain might lead. In the worldview of this game, a new criterion, a person’s “degree of credibility” is universally used when evaluating potential transactional partners, and this choice is quantified and recorded in accordance with rules decided by the community. The player is an immigrant who has come to this region, and experiences a “Game of Life” within this society. For example, the players’ degree of credibility increases or decreases in large part based on the jobs they perform, if their credibility is high enough then they can borrow a house or use a carsharing service to travel to another district, and many in-game actions become easier. Also, even if players have made a big mistake in the past, if they work diligently to increase their degree or credibility, that failure will not haunt them forever; this will likewise happen if they isolate themselves and simply do their work correctly. In this way, this is a society in which diverse ways of living depending on each person’s goal can naturally be realized by means of the trust guaranteed by blockchains.

TRUSTLESS LIFE : Test play video from Akihiro Kato on Vimeo.


The future, probably Japan. An aging population has led to a shortage of laborers, and social security has become underfunded, so the country has begun to let in immigrants. The government of the time begins a social experiment using blockchain technology in a special economic zone that has no security but allows unrestricted financial transactions. All of the people in the economic zone have their credibility recorded by means of a single block chain. This is the basis of transactions within the society. You have come to this economic zone with the hope of living a free lifestyle.


In this society, all the player’s movements are related to “trust.” People are free to enter and leave the zone, so you never know when you come into contact with a risky person. This gave rise to the idea of managing trust by means of blockchain technology. Conduct like honoring agreements and making achievements makes your degree of credibility increase, while conduct that creates a sense of mistrust like taking on debt or inflicting harm causes your degree to decrease. In other words, in this economic zone is a society in which its citizens evaluate the trustworthiness of their transaction partners, and this is unerringly recorded. These evaluations can be confirmed within the correct sequence, and the agreement is clearly stated. This “agreement” is equivalent to voting, and this “evaluation” is equivalent to law and is considered something that should be updated with changes is era and environment, so the citizens of the zone are always going to have a sharp eye on these evaluations. These evaluations could be called law and government, which have given rise to new professions like evaluation critics and evaluation inspectors.


Blockchain is a technology that accurately describes what occurs and what is decided in this time in digital format, and which guarantees the uniqueness of information. Once this technology is set into motion, it is continuous and uninterrupted, and because only people who want to do so can use it, it cannot be behave in a way beyond what someone has decided.

The Device

The device is similar to today’s smartphone or tablet, but each device continuously records all evaluations. The moment that any citizen evaluates another, that information is sent to all the devices, is verified, and, if found to be legitimate, added. If your partner is a certain transaction does not have a device, you cannot be sure whether or not they can be trusted, or whether or not they will do a good job; so everyone carries the device with them wherever they go.

The Zone

The Zone is a large area made up of 6 districts. The names of the districts are, in order of prosperity, A, B, C, D, E, and F. The size of the districts follows the same order. Each district is fairly large, and it is not a realistic prospect to try and walk between them.


The work performed by the inhabitants of the zone is not especially different from the work of today. Because people know if their fellow inhabitants will pay them or successfully carry out the work they want based on their degree of credibility, whether that be individually or as part of an organization, corporations are not as important, and there is no difference between regular and irregular employees. People who request/ are requested to do a job confirm each other’s degree of credibility, and this functions like a contract.


When, the inhabitants want to go somewhere, they may decide to take other people along. In this case, they can register their destination to blockchain in order to search for people who want to go along with them. Inhabitants who want to go to other places make contracts with listed cars based on this information.


There are many empty houses because of the effects of the aging society, and those who own them equip the houses with solar panels and other improvements in order to rent them out. Borrowers and lenders can easily connect using blockchain. Both parties’ degree of credibility is also important for the borrower / lender relationship; they can confirm one another’s trustworthiness before entering into a contract.

Electrical Energy

In this zone with inadequate social security infrastructure, electricity is especially important. Electricity is generated from sources like the solar panels installed in inhabited houses. The zone has technology for electricity storage that is much more developed than today, so energy produced at a power plant can be preserved for a time without much loss.