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Author Topic: who is this annoying Adam Back guy?  (Read 6699 times)
adam3us
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June 04, 2013, 07:22:30 PM
 #1

Taking a leaf from Meni Rosenfeld  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=121314 I figured I'd create a thread for people to dis me in.  Go for it Smiley

People seem to think I am trying to claim bitcoin is mostly hashcash with a small change (or it seems that that is what they assume I am saying, its hard to tell other than they find me annoying for some reason).  I'm not saying that.

A number of crypto people have asked me seriously over time if I was Satoshi, and I am not, and dont want to be mistaken to be because he has $100mil bitcoin shaped reasons to guard the physical security of his coins.  (And I dont even have coins which could be mistaken for really well hidden coins).

People also tell me I probably know Satoshi (ie that I know many of the applied & theoretical crypto privacy tech people and cypherpunks who worked on ecash technologies like digicash, brands ecash/credentials, lucre, wagner mac-based coins, b-money, rpow) though I am not so sure myself if Satoshi came from that background; my guesses are evolving based on the types of bitcoin crypto mistakes (the very few that there were).

So my tag line is actually serious.

Also while it is true that I invented hashcash (1997 hashcash.org), I am not claiming bitcoin is some simple extension, bitcoin has actually several key innovations that no one succeeded with before.  And not for lack of trying: there were a number of people on the cypherpunks list who were exceedingly interested in ecash, viewed it as the holy grail, and tried hard for many years (say 1995-2005 range) to figure out how to deploy ecash.  (All the central server ones failed, out of business, failed to reach critical mass).  And so there was interest in distributed ecash.  For example the 1999 Sander & Ta-Shma paper generated a lot of interest (pretty close to zerocoin - the zerocoin references that paper).  As far as that goes the bitcoin paper cites the hashcash paper for the proof-of-work, and uses it with small changes (not all of them positive).

Anyway before you say cypherpunks are grey beards trying to muscle into the bitcoin party, you might want to read some of these 1999 threads on the cypherpunks list. 

The thread actually started here
http://marc.info/?l=cypherpunks&m=95280154629912&w=2 and then continues here
http://marc.info/?l=cypherpunks&m=95280154629900&w=2 because of a subject
line change and then http://marc.info/?l=cypherpunks&m=95280154629916&w=2
and http://marc.info/?l=cypherpunks&m=95280154629948&w=2
more subject line change confusion.

A related thread a few days later also covers Sander & Ta-Shma (which
zerocoin is based on):

http://marc.info/?l=cypherpunks&m=95280154630167&w=2

Eg Wei Dai's B-money and this thread talking about distributed mining.  There was an anonymous poster on there who seemed more convinced the B-money related very bitcoin like idea could work - that could have been a 1999 Satoshi:

Quote from: Satoshi in 1999??
This could be a very robust payment system and is worth pursuing further.

The rest of us got stuck on inflation (moore's law) or deflation (fixed up-front supply of coins) and couldnt see a way to control it, other than human intervention.  You can see in hindsight that proposal in that thread is rather close to bitcoin and yet we stupidly abandoned the concept and spent years more trying to find other ways to get there.

Hashcash did have some concepts of inflation control but they were not implemented the proposal was to have some group of people estimate moore's law against a reference $1000 machine, and set hashcash difficulty so that the $ cost per hashcash stamp was constant.

I also propose an auditable namespace, I forget when probably around 1999 or so, and bitcoin is related to auditable namespaces.  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=220138.msg2317418#msg2317418


Another who is this annoying guy first post:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=15672.msg1873483#msg1873483

Adam

hashcash, committed transactions, homomorphic values, blind kdf; researching decentralization, scalability and fungibility/anonymity
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June 04, 2013, 07:32:43 PM
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Are you related to Black Adam and if so what are your powers?
Melbustus
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June 04, 2013, 09:46:39 PM
 #3

...
Anyway before you say cypherpunks are grey beards trying to muscle into the bitcoin party, you might want to read some of these 1999 threads on the cypherpunks list. 
...


Heh... I say the more people actively working to make crypto-currency better, the merrier... Where's everyone else who worked on this stuff in the 90s?

Bitcoin is the first monetary system to credibly offer perfect information to all economic participants.
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June 04, 2013, 10:00:47 PM
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I welcome your contributions to the forum, but I already let on as much Wink

It's totally understandable you are proud of the related work you had done and feel you played a part in making Bitcoin (or actually cryptocurrency) become a reality. This is actually the truth as this is how research works: people build on each others' finding.

Also good you started a thread explaining how your work is not Bitcoin. Maybe this will deal with the fact some people find you condescending (if I may paraphrase your post). Perhaps it wasn't the best idea to make your first post on the forum outside of the newbie about what you thought was wrong with Bitcoin* Tongue

*Adam made a post in which he tried to convince people to change the hashing algorithm used by Bitcoin to a combination of SCRYPT and double- SHA-256. He didn't manage to convince most people including me, but if he truly believes I think he should start an alt-currency. At least it will be a true experimentation as opposed to the carbon-copies that are popular these days.

Anyway, good luck on the forums and I hope you'll continue to frequent the forum and share you're insight on complicated math problems such as zero-knowledge-proofs Wink
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June 04, 2013, 11:04:06 PM
 #5

Super interesting links you posted there, Adam.  A history that should not be forgotten.

It's great to have smart & experienced people like yourself actively helping the ecash train get to its proper destination.  Thank you for your past, present, and future contributions!
bg002h
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June 04, 2013, 11:13:04 PM
Last edit: June 05, 2013, 01:26:57 AM by bg002h
 #6

Wow...I'm honored to share the forum with you.  I've been looking into the history of digital currency and I have great respect for how clever hashcash is (shouldn't we be using it by now?).  Thank you for providing links to our very poorly understood and under appreciated history.

Brian

PS -- just read your newbie intro post. Too funny. People like you get white listed upon request around here!

Hardforks aren't that hard. It’s getting others to use them that's hard.
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June 04, 2013, 11:42:15 PM
 #7

We're lucky to have a luminary such as Adam Back on this forum. His hashcash innovation is a big part of BTC, and his 'credlib' project will be integrated into OT sometime in the near future. I also had the opportunity to meet with Adam while I was at the Bitcoin Conference 2013, and he mentioned that he's got a solution worked out for homomorphic amounts (ability for a third party to process balances and amounts -- yet without knowing what those amounts actually are, since they are encrypted.) Brilliant!

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June 04, 2013, 11:45:44 PM
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Cool, thanks for the introduction! I bet there are a lot of academics on this forum.
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June 05, 2013, 12:07:20 AM
 #9

Hmm.... not seeing much dissing here... I'll have to fix that:

Adam, you suck.


Seriously though, thanks for rounding up all those early history links! It was really interesting hearing from you at the conference how close people came - good to have it all in one place. Maybe one day someone can write a book about it all when the excitement finally dies down.

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June 05, 2013, 12:24:00 AM
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Damn. Now I gotta go read whatever retro/time travel/old farts threads.
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June 05, 2013, 01:18:33 AM
 #11



http://marc.info/?l=cypherpunks&m=95280154629912&w=2

>I wouldn't say ecash has to use blinding, but I would argue it would
>be a misuse of the word "ecash", if something which was revocable were
>dubbed ecash.
>
>With that definition it is not technically possible to implement
>electronic cash at all without tamper resistant hardware, because
>reliance on a mint, or double spend database means your "cash" can
>become worthless over night if someone (say a government) decides to
>switch off a computer (the one holding the double spending database).

There are soem alternatives which would come closer to this definition.

One possibility is to make the double-spending database public.  Whenever
someone receives a coin they broadcast its value.  The DB operates in
parallel across a large number of servers so it is intractable to shut
it down.

The greater danger is that the mint would be taken over and forced to
behave badly, say by issuing too many coins.  This would degrade the
money and make it worthless.

Another possible form of ecash could be based on Wei Dai's b-money.
This is like hashcash, something which represents a measureable amount of
computational work to produce.  It therefore can't be forged.  This could
be a very robust payment system and is worth pursuing further.

Hardforks aren't that hard. It’s getting others to use them that's hard.
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June 05, 2013, 03:48:46 AM
 #12

There are soem alternatives which would come closer to this definition.

The real Satoshi is far too careful and deliberate for that kind of sloppy typo Wink
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June 05, 2013, 06:31:20 AM
 #13

Oh Adam. Hashing us on as always. You still need to send your Satoshi correspondence to the archive: satoshiarchive@gmail.com. All the cool cryptographers are doing it.

The revolution begins with the mind and ends with the heart. Knowledge for all, accessible to all and shared by all
Bitinvestor
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June 05, 2013, 07:01:56 AM
 #14

Hello Adam, we were recently talking about you in this thread:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=217732.0

Nice to see that you joined the forum! I would be interested to hear your opinion about proof-of-stake as it is implemented by PPCoin and Novacoin.

Those who cause problems for others also cause problems for themselves.
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June 05, 2013, 10:18:14 AM
 #15

you were also introduced to the reddit community back then  Wink

http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1clp0f/adam_back_the_inventor_of_hashcash_and_mining_in/

https://localbitcoins.com/?ch=80k | BTC: 1LJvmd1iLi199eY7EVKtNQRW3LqZi8ZmmB
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June 21, 2013, 11:48:12 AM
 #16

Adam welcome and thanks for the connection to our history.  I am looking forward to delving into its past.

In the meantime I'd love to hear your opinion:

Now that Bitcoin has arrive in the public consciousnesses (or more importantly the regulatory radar) what are your thought on our way forward?

If and until is is no longer necessary to move fiat into an out of the bitcoin system I believe we are going to have to be beholden to the laws of our respective lands.  However, as you can see in other threads here, the debate rages on between the crypto-(fuck the FED)-anarchists and shall we say those bitcoiners taking a more pragmatic approach.  For full disclosure I fall into the latter camp.

I do note endorse regulating the protocol.  It works, is secure and is being developed very well (for the most part) thank you very much.  But the "regulation" every one is talking about, in my opinion, should be focused on each of our respective governments requirement for converting its fiat between bitcoin and back.

I would be delighted to hear you thoughts.
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