“To some extent you can consider a decentralized registry as a search problem.”

Right. And, that’s true with identity as well: to some extent, uniquely identifying something is a search problem.

This is a somehwat spacial way of looking at it, e.g., there’s potentially a big space of information, and there’s a question of how one locates information in that space.

There’s also a temporal way of looking at it, which is: how can people get the information they need just in time. (Or, what are the implications / consequences of the time it takes to get needed information.)

There might be a cart before the horse issue with this topic in that it may make more sense to address the temporal aspect before the spacial.

For example, when are the right times for someone to have the opportunity to “pay” for a work of music; or when are the right times for a creator to ask for “payment”? (I put “pay” in quotes, because we might be talking about cash, or we might be talking about some form of trade, reputation, or other non-cash exchange.)

The non-free-market for music online has resulted in a situation where it’s mostly faster to get music files than to get and process information on how to “pay” for the music. iTunes success is partially the result of reversing this situation within it’s own centralized / contained information space.