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Author Topic: Theoretically a branch of Bitcoin including IP addresses in the blocks  (Read 4782 times)
BenRayfield
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June 21, 2011, 01:45:13 AM
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If someone wanted to create a branch of Bitcoin (new network too) which was less anonymous, by including IP addresses in blocks, and verifying the IP addresses haven't changed the same way Bitcoin verifies money is not counterfeited, what would be the technical issues involved?

It is probable that after Bitcoin becomes popular enough, governments would start a War On Decentralization or a War On Peer-To-Peer (like the War On Drugs and War On Terror) and take aggressive action against people using Bitcoin. On a large scale, anonymous movement of money would fund wars, from the masters (against masters and slaves) and the slaves (mostly against the masters), therefore the masters would preemptively start a war against whichever slaves are moving money anonymously. We should consider avoiding that conflict, and decentralizing society slower (still leading to the masters becoming obsolete), by creating a new version of Bitcoin which includes IP addresses in the blocks, so that the masters can observe the process of the masters becoming obsolete, so the masters would allow that process to continue. After the masters are obsolete, they should become part of our decentralized society, as our equals instead of masters, and we can leave the past in the past, because it is usually the corrupt system - not the cogs in the machine - that causes these problems.

The most important thing is to decentralize the economy. If we can do that without escalating conflicts more than is needed to get the job done, then we should consider doing it that way. After we obsolete the masters, we could of course do things in any combination of anonymous and public that we think is best.

I am not proposing that we shut down Bitcoin as it is, just that it may be important to the future of the Human species that a less anonymous version exist too and that people use it.

Now that Bitcoin has proven that a decentralized economy can work, and that people who get in early make a lot of money, new networks would expand much faster, so this will be easier than the first time. While I think, in the end, decentralization will defeat hierarchies (one world government, countries, etc), why fight a war when we can prove the world can be changed without war? What kind of society do you want to build?

I'm asking about 2 subjects here... The technical issues, and the political issues. For example, could people get around it by using the Tor network?

To understand why this is more likely to work on a global scale, see the strategies of Sun Tzu.

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sakkaku
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June 21, 2011, 08:40:19 AM
 #2

For example, could people get around it by using the Tor network?

Yes.  Tor supports sending most TCP streams but some exit nodes have policies against non http / dns traffic.

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BenRayfield
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June 21, 2011, 10:04:47 AM
 #3

Its going to be open-source, and I'm not putting any centralized encryption keys into it as a back door or anything like that. Within those constraints....

Is there some process or calculation or strategy that this network could do by default (and reject connections by modified versions which don't do it, like Bitcoin rejects blocks that have even 1 unproven bit), which would force each user to reveal their real IP address and include it in all blocks they add to the network (else the blocks are rejected)? A few extra connections or a few times slower or more memory would be ok if got the real IP. What about multiple simultaneous connections to different parts of the network? Could anything be done with their interaction to verify an IP? I know network timing could statistically be used to detect a proxy network like Tor, but not reliably. You have to give your IP to do anything on the internet, so it knows where to send the response, but with Tor that is modified.

What I'm thinking the problem with Tor may be is you would have to know the IP of the Tor endpoint your packets come from, and it may not be fixed or predictable due to its design as an unpredictable network. Your modified Bitcoin software would have to know the Tor endpoint IP address so it could encode that IP into the packet being sent, secure-hash it, and then send it to Tor, which would send it through (I don't know) a random or chaotic or unpredictable path, and the bitcoin-like network recieves a block with a different IP than Tor gave, as verified by requiring that a few packets go back and forth and be consistent.

I don't expect I can prove its really your IP, but I would at least want somebody to have to design a completely new proxy network (a variation of Tor) to get around my IP recording policy.

These are the kind of ideas I'm looking for.

http/dns are not relevant because you could set up an unrelated computer to convert between Tor and whatever protocol my modified Bitcoin network requires. I want something that would preemptively get the authorities off our back, so it would have to be really hard to fake.

The open-source people are a strange group. We're against DRM, software being controlled by authorities, etc, but we make sure you have the right to build variations of our software which have those qualities. We're more skilled at creating freedom and we're more skilled at spying, if we choose to do it.

I'm even willing to consider the chaos-theory of network timing of a grid of modified Bitcoin programs doing artificial intelligence to detect if the statistical imprint of a Tor network is there, like audio processing of the wave-interference of the network timing, if that would work, but probably that couldn't be explained in a Court Of Law when they ask me how they can be sure a million dollars really went from one country to another on a certain day followed by a million dollar drug deal. I need a good legal defense.

First make the alternative Bitcoin accountable, it grows for years, and then we make the Federal Reserve accountable.

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Sukrim
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June 21, 2011, 01:12:54 PM
 #4

Things to consider:

  • IP addresses are regarded private/personal information by many
  • IP addresses can be used by many people at once
  • You can only verify an IP address by "going there yourself", like a real address. Only because it shows up on google mps or whatever doesn't mean it's really MY address

In the end:
No, IP addresses are NOT a good way to fight anonymity in a Bitcoin-style block chain. They cannot be verified after some time, they are not unique and you would see much hatin' (and low adoption) for implementing something like that - and in the end people would just use TOR/VPNs to mine.

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June 21, 2011, 02:01:21 PM
 #5

I don't understand what you mean by verifying the IP address has not changed. Are you suggesting that if my ISP goes out of business, I should lose all my money?

And how will IP addresses be verified? If you say you got something from 1.2.3.4, how do I confirm or deny that? And what happens when two different clients see a site as having a different IP address? Say it uses different IP addresses on different networks. And what of nodes that have no IPv4 connectivity?

Honestly, it seems to cause way more problems than it solves.

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Sukrim
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June 21, 2011, 03:39:40 PM
 #6

By the way:
Many ISPs assign new IP adresses every 24 hours to their users, mobile internet users are often behind an ISP proxy and if someone's IP address is part of transactions or accounts, that would seriously hinder/harm people that have a mobile phone for example...


Sorry, but in the end IP addresses are in no way useful for what you would like to see. (No judgement from me about your motives/ideas)

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BenRayfield
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June 22, 2011, 02:44:41 AM
 #7

Quote
IP addresses are regarded private/personal information by many

Some forums, including Wikipedia, record IP addresses that anyone can look up.

I would not deceive anyone. The main program window would say "All transactions are recorded with your IP address into the peer-to-peer network for all to see, which makes it more likely that businesses will choose to connect their payment systems and makes governments oppose it less. If you want anonymous, use Bitcoin."

Quote
IP addresses can be used by many people at once

I understand the NAT system.

Quote
You can only verify an IP address by "going there yourself", like a real address. Only because it shows up on google mps or whatever doesn't mean it's really MY address

That just means you can't know for sure, but there must be ways to be more sure about it.

Of course someone who wanted to pay a lot of money to fund crimes would do it from a computer far from where she lives, but at least we would know the general area. Governments would see the benefit of usually knowing how money is flowing between countries based on the IPs. How would people feel about recording only the first half of the IP address, or the first 3/4 of it?

Quote
In the end:
No, IP addresses are NOT a good way to fight anonymity in a Bitcoin-style block chain. They cannot be verified after some time, they are not unique and you would see much hatin' (and low adoption) for implementing something like that - and in the end people would just use TOR/VPNs to mine.

I have some more features in mind that will make this system much more attractive than Bitcoin, a tree of Bitcoins as a decentralized stock market and where stock symbols are any string you type, and logic rules for how they can be combined and split and bought/sold, and an associative search engine using the same network shape (based on substrings recursively, weighted intelligently by the free market), so to censor anyone you would have to destroy their money in the whole peer-to-peer network. You know how hard they fought Wikileaks? They don't like free speech. But this speech, they won't be able to censor, since its backed by cryptocurrency proportional to the importance people assign to each text (the amount of stock they buy in that string and substrings/superstrings). While I'm not offering any leaked documents, think of this system like a hybrid of Bitcoin and Wikileaks (a very low storage version, like whole network less than 1 megabyte of text, so it really couldn't do what Wikileaks did on such a large scale), and the recording of IP addresses will work against people putting illegal documents on it, but in the end its free speech, people have the right to free speech, and I'm giving them an important tool. That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.

The reason it would have such low storage ability is many addresses can each own part of each string, and each string must remember which substrings it was created from, and there must be n such substrings for a string length n where the substrings overlap and you save money on the free market by finding longer overlapping substrings each starting at chars 0 to n-1. For each substring, you have a choice of "", "a", "ab", "abx", etc, if that char is "a". For the "b", you could use "", "b", "bx", etc. The longer the substrings you find, the cheaper they will tend to be, and I have some economic logic to make that happen naturally instead of using different calculations for different lengths of strings. The root of the tree, the empty string "", is the same as Bitcoin.

I expect its main function to be a system where people vote on ideas (by investing in related strings they choose from all possible short strings) and how those ideas fit together, without such ideas getting censored. It would allow large groups of people to organize and communicate without the normal 150-person monkeysphere limit (branching factor limiting how many people you can understand), since you would be understanding a continuous flow of ideas instead of individual people. It would be a collective mind, a stock market, an associative search engine, all backed by cryptocurrency in whatever proportion people invest in. Its a democracy algorithm.

Actually it may work better as a statistical distribution of text and money on them with only a very high certainty of not losing money but a certainty of not losing large amounts, because if its proven that nothing will be lost then it has to have a low total storage capacity, while if a little error is allowed then less funded strings would come and go unreliably but still be in there sometimes and in some places, waiting to be funded more.

Does that sound attractive enough for people to get past the IP address recording?

Quote
I don't understand what you mean by verifying the IP address has not changed. Are you suggesting that if my ISP goes out of business, I should lose all my money?

And how will IP addresses be verified? If you say you got something from 1.2.3.4, how do I confirm or deny that? And what happens when two different clients see a site as having a different IP address? Say it uses different IP addresses on different networks. And what of nodes that have no IPv4 connectivity?

Honestly, it seems to cause way more problems than it solves.

You do not lose your money if your IP address goes away. You would have a wallet file like in Bitcoin.

I mean the integrity of the data in the network is not broken. If the IP goes into the network, nobody can modify the network's data later, same as the money amounts can't be modified except by certain rules.

I don't know how to verify the IP addresses. That's why I'm asking.

It could support IP4 and IP6, with some extra testing effort.

Quote
Many ISPs assign new IP adresses every 24 hours to their users, mobile internet users are often behind an ISP proxy and if someone's IP address is part of transactions or accounts, that would seriously hinder/harm people that have a mobile phone for example...

That's ok. The IP addresses won't be used for network routing, just as data to remember. It would still use public keys as addresses like Bitcoin does. You can use a different IP for each transaction if you want.

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June 22, 2011, 02:49:49 AM
 #8

Lots of info exists on this subject:

Open-Transactions
https://github.com/FellowTraveler/Open-Transactions

Theymos/Nanotube:
http://privwiki.dreamhosters.com/wiki/Bitcoin_DNS_System_Proposal

The full speak:
http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1790.0

Satoshi's comments:
http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1790.222

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June 22, 2011, 02:52:37 AM
 #9


Forgot this one about why bitcoin's structure is important:

http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/squarezooko

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June 22, 2011, 03:16:59 AM
 #10

I mean the integrity of the data in the network is not broken. If the IP goes into the network, nobody can modify the network's data later, same as the money amounts can't be modified except by certain rules.

I don't know how to verify the IP addresses. That's why I'm asking.
What would the benefit be? Given things like NAT and dynamic IP addresses, it doesn't seem like there's any point at all. Yes, it could be done. But unless there's at least some benefit, why bother?

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BenRayfield
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June 22, 2011, 04:53:03 AM
 #11

The point of making it less anonymous (if it can be done without using centralized strategies), as quoted from the first post...

Quote
It is probable that after Bitcoin becomes popular enough, governments would start a War On Decentralization or a War On Peer-To-Peer (like the War On Drugs and War On Terror) and take aggressive action against people using Bitcoin. On a large scale, anonymous movement of money would fund wars, from the masters (against masters and slaves) and the slaves (mostly against the masters), therefore the masters would preemptively start a war against whichever slaves are moving money anonymously. We should consider avoiding that conflict, and decentralizing society slower (still leading to the masters becoming obsolete), by creating a new version of Bitcoin which includes IP addresses in the blocks, so that the masters can observe the process of the masters becoming obsolete, so the masters would allow that process to continue. After the masters are obsolete, they should become part of our decentralized society, as our equals instead of masters, and we can leave the past in the past, because it is usually the corrupt system - not the cogs in the machine - that causes these problems.

The most important thing is to decentralize the economy. If we can do that without escalating conflicts more than is needed to get the job done, then we should consider doing it that way. After we obsolete the masters, we could of course do things in any combination of anonymous and public that we think is best.


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JoelKatz
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June 22, 2011, 04:56:37 AM
 #12

The point of making it less anonymous (if it can be done without using centralized strategies), as quoted from the first post...
But it won't actually do that, since IP addresses don't usefully identify people and the people who want anonymity can easily make their requests appear to come from an IP address that has no connection to them (with TOR, for example).

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June 22, 2011, 05:26:13 AM
 #13

JoelKatz if that is true then I'll do it ("I have some more features in mind that will make this system much more attractive than Bitcoin") without storing IP addresses in the blocks (same as normal Bitcoin), but I'm looking for an exploration of all possibilities of how to interact with IP addresses and a proof that no combination of those with any decentralized system would work (make it less anonymous in my new network). This is a search for technical information, not a democracy of counting how many people say it can and can't be done. The world needs this theoretical system (see description above, search for that quote), and if there are no other options, I will risk getting a "War On Peer-To-Peer" started against this software and many others in a gamble to enforce freedom of speech for everyone, freedom to communicate anything, not just what is reasonable, because... That which can be destroyed by the truth should be. If anyone thinks the gamble is not worth the risk, since everyone is involved here, then I would be willing to debate it with people who understand the subject, but where would I find such people?

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June 22, 2011, 05:43:15 AM
 #14

This is a search for technical information, not a democracy of counting how many people say it can and can't be done.
I'm saying it won't do what it claims to do and therefore has no technical merit. I'm not voting against it.

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BenRayfield
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June 22, 2011, 05:49:05 AM
 #15

I know IP addresses don't normally do that, and I can think of no way to change that, but I don't know everything about IP addresses or the systems they are built on.

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June 22, 2011, 06:08:00 AM
 #16

You can embed anything in the block chain. But in this case it does mean that relaying of transactions is disabled, because the miners need to accept the transactions directly from the source to verify the IP for inclusion into the block chain. This burdens the network in non-trivial ways, as every client will need to connect to as many miners as possible.

Also, a rogue miner could decide to include fake IP addresses or not check them at all, and AFAIK there's nothing you can do against it.

Apart from that, hackers have shown to have no problem getting as many IP addresses as needed. Anonymous proxies, shell servers, compromised servers, botnets, etc...

This is a measure that will only burden the honest folks (expose their IP for hacking?), people that want to do bad can easily get around it. A bit like DRM schemes.

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June 22, 2011, 06:25:50 AM
 #17

Bitcoin is DRM. It's just implemented in the blocks instead of the source code. The DRM enforces that nobody can counterfeit or falsify transaction records. Open source isn't about the lack of DRM. Its about the freedom to modify the software to remove the DRM, in this case requiring a new network.

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June 22, 2011, 06:41:59 AM
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I know IP addresses don't normally do that, and I can think of no way to change that, but I don't know everything about IP addresses or the systems they are built on.
If you're looking for ways to make something like BitCoins but less anonymous and have no idea how to do it, ask for suggestions in that direction. But IP addresses won't help you in any way. One idea would be to permit the sender to embed a short comment in the transaction and to allow (or even require) the recipient to formally 'accept' the BitCoins and include a short embedded comment. That way, people who specifically didn't want anonymity would be readily accommodated.

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June 22, 2011, 11:54:17 AM
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You can only verify an IP address by "going there yourself", like a real address. Only because it shows up on google mps or whatever doesn't mean it's really MY address

That just means you can't know for sure, but there must be ways to be more sure about it.

I wrote about the only way, and I meant it.

Sorry, but to make Bitcoin less anonymous, recording IP addresses in Transactions + Blocks are not the way to go.

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June 22, 2011, 01:52:24 PM
 #20

It would work, but it would be pretty useless. Spoofing IPs is an absolute triviality. Nothing on the internet uniquely identifies you if you choose to prevent being uniquely identified.
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