[Cryptography] Standards Trolls: Re: Bitcoin is a disaster.

Ray Dillinger bear at sonic.net
Mon Feb 8 01:08:53 EST 2021

On 2/7/21 9:12 PM, jrzx wrote:
> The crisis that bitcoin was designed to address is Ann wants to pay
> Bob, and wants to be able to prove that she paid Bob.
> But power does not want Ann to pay Bob.  Nor does power want Bob to be
> able to spend any money that he has.  Power wants Bob deplatformed and
> demonetized, and in the process fouls up Ann's life.
> This is the number of the Beast Problem.
So.... I don't understand what problem you have here.  Ann and Bob are
both users of the system, and presumably Bob got his cert before he got
in trouble with Power.

So.  Ann pays Bob.  The transaction record, in encrypted form, is on the
history chain of the tokens she paid him with and appears nowhere else. 
Nobody need ever see or have any record of a token unless someone else
spends that token onward to them.  Power is likely never to see any
record of the transaction before the token is melted.

If someone is a counterparty to a later transaction involving one of
those tokens, then they know the token's denomination.  So they know
that *at least* that amount was transferred in an earlier transaction at
some date.  If someone sees the token but isn't a counterparty (meaning
they don't have a private key to any transaction on the token) then they
can't even tell the denomination.

In neither case will they have any way to tell whether other tokens were
also transferred, or what denomination those other tokens had. Even if
they get one of those other tokens they can't correlate the spends. 
They can't tell that any of those transactions was Ann paying Bob. Power
has no idea what transaction it ought to be objecting to if it doesn't
want Ann to pay Bob. 

So what happens when Power beats down the door of the Trusted Authority?

"Don't Issue a cert to Bob!" They shout.  Trusted Authority checks his
books.  If Bob doesn't have a current cert, he writes Bob's name down on
a list of people not to issue one to.  Score one for Power.

Otherwise the visit is fairly pointless.  If Bob has a cert already, the
answer is  "I wouldn't issue him another one anyway, they're one to a
breathing human being."

"Revoke his cert!" they shout.  "I can't prove he's counterfeited or
made a double spend, unless he counterfeits or makes a double spend,"
replies the Trusted Authority.  "Without a proof I can't create a
revocation certificate."

"Stop publishing his cert!" they shout.  "Um, can't do it," says the
Trusted Authority.  "If I issue a new list that's missing a cert,
without a revocation certificate, the protocol will reject it."

"Show us a record of the transactions he's made!" they shout.  "How?!"
shrugs the Trusted Authority.  "I don't even have an *encrypted* record
of those transactions unless the tokens used in them have all happened
to circulate around to me, and even if I did, I couldn't identify which
of the transactions in those tokens' history were to or from Bob." 

"Can you give us anything at all?" Power asks, now desperate.  "Well,
here's all the ID information we got when he got his cert ten years
ago," says Trusted Authority.  "And here's his public key.  But you
didn't need to break my door for that, I publish that information at
regular intervals."


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