[Cryptography] Securing cryptocurrencies

Peter Todd pete at petertodd.org
Wed Mar 11 01:26:59 EDT 2015

On Tue, Mar 10, 2015 at 09:52:28PM -0700, Ray Dillinger wrote:
> On 03/10/2015 12:52 PM, ianG wrote:
> >  I have suggested that the PoW algorithm
> > should be something that could be more usefully used by the rest of
> > society, like house-heating, but that suggestion seems to be
> > philosophically blocked by a misreading of economics that says that the
> > material used for uniqueness (paper, hashing) should be of NO use to the
> > rest of society otherwise Gresham's law kicks in.
> It is hard to create something that meets the needs of block
> chain security which is also more generally useful. Cooperation


> There is a cryptocurrency secured by an algorithm for finding
> large prime numbers, but large prime numbers (with orders of
> magnitude many times the order of magnitude of primes that are
> beneficial for cryptography today) are only marginally useful.

It's worth considering that Bitcoin's SHA256 proof-of-work *is*
performing some very usful mathematical research with real-world
implications that answers the following question:

    Is SHA256 broken?

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