2011-07-05

Guest host Perry Metzger; Independence Day; nano tech; nano pants; space tech; Google+; inviting people to orgies; the whole reason for the Internet is to perfect sharing of photos of cats; steak bombs; arrested while going hiking; Perry’s anarcho-capitalist trans-humanists story and extropianism; some Nazi talk; criticism of Bitcoin; what public/private key cryptography is.

Music heard: Fear of Dying by Jack Off Jill; Shackler’s Revenge by Guns N’ Roses; Cult by Skinny Puppy; Kooks by David Bowie.

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3 Responses to “2011-07-05”

  1. thinknliberty (Thinking Liberty) Says:

    Thinking Liberty: 2011-07-05 http://tinyurl.com/3mhd3bc

  2. 38278761 Says:

    Perry Metzger said that for true anonymity the Bitcoin users will need to use blind signed Chaumian digital cash backed by bitcoins and requiring a trusted third party to issue it, so why not just use a gold backing.

    GoldMoney is what you end up with if you want a gold backed digital currency. That’s the one the nation states are currently allowing to exist. They killed e-gold because of the privacy it offered. GoldMoney is definitely not a bastion of financial privacy. You can’t have redeemability in meatspace without becoming vulnerable to states, and subject to their surveillance and confiscations.

    Why bitcoin reserves are better than gold reserves:
    1) Anyone can audit bitcoin reserves for free at any time, and not have to trust any auditor. (Linkability is a feature, not a bug, in this regard.)
    2) Bitcoins don’t cost anything to store, thus reducing transaction fees to near zero.
    3) Redemption is electronic, takes only a few minutes for the Bitcoin network to clear, and costs next to nothing.
    4) They aren’t subject to confiscation.

    But most users/transactions probably won’t need the degree of anonymity provided by a bitcoin-backed Chaumian digital cash, so they won’t need to subject themselves to the trust of an issuer. For them, the difficulty of linking a normal Bitcoin transaction (or those over Tor) to a real world identity will be enough of a deterrent to satisfy them.

    I can also imagine clients that give you more control over which addresses you send transactions from and the change addresses associated with these transactions, allowing you to quarantine ones that are more at risk of being associated with your real world identity. Users could then mix these bitcoins in various ways.

    Also, Laurie is obviously correct in saying that a perfectly decentralized system is really hard. But his and Metzger’s criticisms really strike me as examples of “perfect is the enemy of good”.

    The only relevant question here, I think, is “Is Bitcoin – and the varying degrees of anonymity provided by the different ways of using it – better than the current system?” I’d say it’s much better, at least potentially. There’s nothing wrong with iterating our way to that elusive perfection.

  3. 38278761 Says:

    I meant to say, “Users could then mix these bitcoins _with those of other users_ in various ways.”

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