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[freehaven-dev] Why trade?

Q. Why do you trade, anyway? Isn't it just added complexity? Wouldn't it
be safer to just trade once, and then you'd know where your share was?
This would increase reliability and accountability, right?

A. There are a number of reasons why we trade:

* Greater anonymity: if trades are common, then there's no reason to assume
that somebody offering a trade is the publisher of a share. Even if the
mixnet protects the identity of a servnet operator, nodes could still start
rejecting trades from other nodes based on "what they've provided in the

* More dynamic: frequent trading makes adding and dropping nodes transparent. If
shares were just traded once, servnet nodes would have to support extra
protocols for dropping out of the network politely (negotiating a new keeper
for the share, informing the publisher of the move, etc).

* Can handle longer expiration dates: long-lasting shares woulud be difficult
to trade away and rely on, if trading them involved finding a server that
promised to be up and available for the next n years.