[Cryptography] Accounting Resource Location (was: Questions of taste on UDF presentation)

iang iang at iang.org
Sun Jul 21 07:20:03 EDT 2019

Hey Phillip,

any update?  do you have any other writings on this idea?

On 16/02/2019 20:48, Phillip Hallam-Baker wrote:
> One of the new UDF types is the Encrypted Authenticated Resource 
> Locator. I am looking for backers to see if we could use this to fix 
> filing of expenses, invoices, etc. This is an idea that I proposed 
> over 20 years ago and was told it was stupid because there is no 
> business model.

The deployment is hard because accounting moves slower than glaciers.  
Having looked at this idea for the same era, my conclusion is that there 
is no way to do "just that."  Instead, it has to be piggy-backed onto 
some other application or business process.  In other words, it is not 
so much an invention as a design pattern that should be slipped 
stealth-wise into the business and allowed to spread outwards.  I've 
recently been consulting with someone who is doing just that, it turns 
out to be very valuable when one has the right incentives.

> Well I have yet to see a better way put into practice. I have full 
> prior art disclosures on this going back a decade so nobody even dream 
> of perjuring yourselves to the USPTO like so many other bastards have 
> in the past.

The basic ideas should be hard to patent - it is similar or same or 
related to what Todd Boyle was talking about in the late 1990s on his 
web site now cached here:


His design was called the Shared Transaction Repository, altho being an 
accountant and not a cryptoplumber, he didn't get deep into the magic of 
hashes and exactly how to share the docs.  He coined the term "triple 
entry accounting" which I wrote about later:


Which also was something of an inspiration for Bitcoin in some mythical 
sense.  Having said all that, one can easily convince the patent office 
of some of the detailed implementation issues, and chances are that is 
already happening.  Doesn't make it right, but patents aren't right, 
they are rights.

More recently, R3's Richard Brown has been marketing the notion that "I 
know that what you see is what I see" as an aphorism leading to the 
benefits of known equivalence as well as integrity.  It turns out that 
when done in certain fields such as clearing & settlement, there are 
dramatic short cuts one can take with the old systems if we know that 
there are no reconciliation issues to bite us.  Coincidentally, my 
description of these processes fell out of a design for payments that 
was intended for exactly that - trading in real time gross settlement, 
without the clearance & settlement nightmare.

> So lets imagine we are on a business trip. We stay at a Hilton, we get 
> a drink at Starbucks, etc. and when we get home we have a pile of 
> receipts that we have to remember to turn in.
> What if each of those receipts had a QR code that linked to an 
> encrypted version of the receipt? What if we didn't need any PKI or 
> even public key to decrypt it? What if this could be the first step on 
> the road to finally getting rid of emailed invoices, tax forms, etc. etc.?

Yes it would work.  That challenge is to not to build it, but to 
encourage adoption.  This is chicken & egg.  Someone has to take the 
lead and start posting these.

Then, as soon as you start posting these, the worryworts come out of the 
woodwork.  Privacy, security, compliance, taxman, patriotism, ... 
everyone's got their criticism.  So part of the puzzle is to find a 
space where it can be protected for long enough to keep back the 
no-dooers.  Like mPesa was protected.  Not sure what that is tho.

Business wise, it could be loyalty points - the receipt QR could lead to 
not only the digital receipt but also include the extra points needed to 
get the "free coffee after 6" deal.  Wrap the app around it and start 

> [Yes, can also do it over near field communication and we could 
> integrate the payment mechanism. Got the specs for that as well.]
> So I am going to need some people/governments to invest in this to 
> realize the full potential.

As above, I do not think just investing will work.  What you need is to 
convince someone who is already doing something quite close to get a bit 
closer.  We need to borrow someone else's chicken, make some quick 
evolutionary hacks, and then try for our first new egg.

> [elided]
> So to make this happen in real life, what I plan to do is:
> 1) Finish the revisions to the spec
> 2) Release the reference code (C#) enabling the non QR code version
> 3) Make a You Tube video describing the scheme
> 6) Profit?

Any update?


ps; and did you resolve the 4-4-4 vs 5-3-5 question?

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