[Cryptography] threat models, was quantum computers & crypto

cherry at cpal.pw cherry at cpal.pw
Wed Nov 3 22:14:47 EDT 2021

On 11/3/21 2:27 PM, John Levine wrote:
> Things were different sixty years ago, and it is very hard to make an
> apples to apples comparison.

The value of a wife and kids has not changed over sixty years, and 
considerably fewer men can afford them.

But let us look at more recent data to check if the consumer price index 
is accurate:  Supposedly US prices have risen by only five percent in 
the past year.  Do you think the prices that you wind up actually paying 
have only risen by five percent?

> PS: since this has nothing to do with crypto.

To get back on the topic of crypto in the same way we got off it:  We 
cannot trust the people who issue our money, and the consumer price 
index is one more indicator we cannot trust them.

Immutable append only data structures are needed in a world where elites 
are untrustworthy and untrusting.  Hence, the blockchain.

Fiat money requires a trustworthy authority to issue it, and soft money 
requires a trustworthy authority to sort stuff out retroactively when 
things go wrong, and I personally have encountered a few incidents where 
that authority was not trustworthy, and read of many more over the 
internet .

Your argument was that fiat money is working fine.  I don't think it is. 
  It is getting harder to do international transactions and 
international investments.  At the interface between two authorities, 
things tend to fall over.

If a price is quoted in bitcoin, no one knows what it means because the 
value of bitcoin is so unstable, so people transact in dollars and enter 
the value of the transaction in their books with dollars as the unit of 
value even if the payment is made in bitcoin.

But today, the dollar price is starting to lose its meaning.  You 
frequently cannot get the item at list prices, and the scalper price or 
spot price or ebay price is unstable - we don't have any stable unit of 

Though the dollar is still a lot more stable than bitcoin, dollar 
instability is starting to pose significant inconvenience. Hard to know 
what price you should be paying.  It is not a big problem the way it is 
with bitcoin, but it is becoming a significant problem and, because the 
underlying problem is lack of trust and trustworthiness, likely to 
become a worse problem.

In place of trustworthy elites, we need immutable data.

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