[Cryptography] GNU's "anonymous-but-taxable electronic payments system" Heh.

Phillip Hallam-Baker phill at hallambaker.com
Thu Jun 9 16:36:37 EDT 2016

On Thu, Jun 9, 2016 at 1:34 PM, Ray Dillinger <bear at sonic.net> wrote:

> On 06/07/2016 09:14 AM, Phillip Hallam-Baker wrote:
> >
> > This is something that I see as a trend in modern crypto that is worth
> > reminding people of.
> >
> > Back in the 1980s, we faced some really difficult deployment challenges:
> >
> > 1) Machines were slow. Even RSA1024 was slow enough to have a serious
> > impact on your application.
> >
> > 2) Network connectivity was the exception. Applications had to be written
> > so that someone could dial into their ISP, upload their outgoing mail and
> > download their incoming and disconnect without any user interaction.
> >
> > 3) Some idiots thought that ASN.1 was actually useful.
> >
> > None of these restrictions apply to the vast bulk of machines and network
> > users today. Yes there are parts of rural Montana and remote parts of
> > Nigeria where connectivity is still 'batch mode'. But those folk are not
> > going to be early adopters for anything. Yes there are more 8 bit CPUs
> > being produced this year than at any time in the past. But those devices
> > never supported IP and never will.
> >
> > It is very easy for people to look at the legacy crypto applications and
> > assume that those represent timeless design truths. They don't. Those
> > systems were designed around constraints that no longer exist.
> Honestly, it would be better if software designers hadn't taken that
> "ubiquitous network connectivity" thing to heart.  There is nothing
> better for security and privacy (and in many cases functionality!)
> than avoiding unnecessary connections.

Maybe so.

But preventing double spending pretty much makes some form of network
connectivity a requirement.

The attempt made to allow wallet to wallet transfers in Mondex was
hilariously bad.

Avoiding double spending means that you can be confident that you have
reference to some universal consensus on the state of a ledger.
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