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Question: Which coin's code should Flexcoin use as a starting point?
Worldcoin - 1 (2.9%)
Digitalcoin - 5 (14.3%)
Stablecoin - 1 (2.9%)
Litecoin - 9 (25.7%)
Primecoin - 8 (22.9%)
Novacoin - 6 (17.1%)
PPCoin - 5 (14.3%)
Yacoin - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 35

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Author Topic: [ANN][FLX] Flexcoin - Easing wallet security to promote crypto mass adoption  (Read 1761 times)
neuromancer56 (OP)
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July 21, 2013, 10:09:26 PM
Last edit: July 22, 2013, 12:09:04 PM by neuromancer56
 #1

Crypto currency is the coolest innovation ever.  But why aren't crypto currencies being adopted by everyone?  The reason is that security is really difficult for the users.  The best security we have right now are paper wallets, and they are really clunky to use.   We need to make the process of securing coins completely painless for the end user.  To do that we need to introduce a few new concepts.  

Vaults:  The first new concept is a vault.   All this is is a device that is always disconnected from the internet so that it can't be hacked.   This is where the private keys and all the coins are stored.   This device can either be a Raspberry Pi, or a computer.   The Vault device needs to be NFC (near field communications) enabled.   This allows the user to take thier cell phone, and touch it to the Vault to top off thier Wallet.  This is called doing a Sync.

But what is to prevent the Wallet from getting hacked so that it tricks the Vault into releasing all of it's coins to the Wallet?  We need another new concept to handle this.

Denominated Addresses: These are addresses which are capable of only holding a fixed amount of Flexcoins.  For example, a 100 Flexcoin address can only hold 100 Flexcoins, or 0 Flexcoins once they have been spent.  There are still regular addresses that can hold any amount of coins but those are for Wallets, not Vaults.

The user logs on to the Vault to set the maximum number of coins that can be releasd in a single Sync.  

Sync:  There are a number of things that need to happen during a Sync. The first thing is to top off a wallet that has a low balance.  The user tells the wallet what balance it should maintain.    Say 200 Flexcoins.  Suppose the wallet is empty.  When the user touches their cell phone to the Vault, the Wallet asks for two 100 coin private keys.  Since this is under the maximim, the Vault sends two 100 FlexCoin private keys.  But we also need the ability to fill the Vault up with coins.   To do this, the Vault has to be capable of generating Public Address/private key pairs.  And it will send out Public Addresses to the Wallet as needed.  

Easy Backups:  The other thing we do is make Vault backups super easy.   Just plug one or a few thumb drives into your Raspberry Pi or Vault computer.  The Vault app will do backups on a regular basis.  The app will be smart enough to automatically keep enough backups over time to ensure full coverage.  Deleting redundant backups.

So that's pretty much it.  A very simple design that is super easy for the end users.  Just touch your cell phone to the Vault device to top off your wallet while the rest of your coins remain completely safe.  Sure you could lose your cellphone or it's coins could be stolen, but someone could steal your non digital wallet too.   The point is that the amount they can steal is small.

We are looking for developers and other contributors to get in on the ground floor and help make FlexCoin a resounding success.  Reply to this thread if you are interested in joining the team.  There is only one requirement to joining the team, that you treat everyone involved with the FlexCoin team and the broader FlexCoin community with civility and respect, whether they deserve it or not.  The team will decide things like if there should be a premine or not, and how any rewards should be divvied up.

SourceControl: https://github.com/Neuromancer56/Flexcoin
Development Thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=260510.0
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neuromancer56 (OP)
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July 21, 2013, 10:20:37 PM
 #2

Reserved for project planning. Q&A, etc.
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July 21, 2013, 10:26:43 PM
 #3

Nice idea.
The Vault device needs to be NFC (near field communications) enabled.  
I think this will be a deal breaker. How many people have one of these at home? I don't see any in the consumer market at the moment.



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July 21, 2013, 10:28:38 PM
 #4

I really like the features you described.  Additionally I agree that security is the largest barrier to wide-scale adoption.  I've got some free time over the next month to help with my dusty C++ skills and would be interested in helping.

NFCs will soon be in every phone and consumer products are already becoming available (although still a bit expensive)

http://nfctags.tagstand.com/products/usb-nfc-reader-writer-acr122u
neuromancer56 (OP)
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July 21, 2013, 10:29:16 PM
 #5

Nice idea.
The Vault device needs to be NFC (near field communications) enabled.  
I think this will be a deal breaker. How many people have one of these at home? I don't see any in the consumer market at the moment.



Adding NFC to Raspberry Pi is trivial.  (You can buy a Pi for $25)
http://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-nfc-rfid-on-raspberry-pi/overview
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July 21, 2013, 11:01:24 PM
 #6

Something like this is the future  -

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=252906.0

from above link :


"The first Crypto banks functions will aim to provide seamless centralized security with human face to face interactions - with fees being happily paid by the Crypto community for the benefit.

These mini "Vaults" will be literally onsite at a "Bank" location - users can come to the bank and go though the ID verification process and Transfer currency savings from the "Vault" to the "Wallet".

the ID verification process has a minimum Verification with other optional extras that the Crypto user can add on possibly at extra cost.

The "Wallet" will have all the normal standard security features but in the event that a user:

1. loses their password or
2. forgets their "verification password"
3. becomes the victim of theft.

They can always use the Banks features to pause or stop the existing Wallet and go back to the Central Authority that they originally registered and ID themselves and either reset or reissue a "Wallet".

Of course the transactions of a "Vault" to a "Wallet" are one way essentially.

You may say - "how would you Pause a wallet?" - well a Wallet is a piece of firmware essentially , it doesn't have to have the security of a Vault its a usability/security trade off like old world internet banking right now, so if encrypted communication can be sent to the Wallet from the Vault or Bank on the event of theft, then the transaction can be reversed or paused, just as happens now.


**
save the Anon bullshit - this is how it will work, its a completely opt in user pays system, if you want to try to achieve complete Anon then don't opt in - most people will . seriously save it, i don't care, and neither do 99% of the population, if you are that intent on being Anon then you probably have a pretty high degree of knowledge about how to use the Technology you have , so then you don't need to use this service.

***
I could envision the ID verification process being more and more common sense and Bio-tech based. i.e  - an easy to remember  secret password , a signature and maybe a optional Eye scan, as well as the normal Drivers lic or Passport. as is used in a normal bank.

****
as its all a service and opt in , users will have a completely reverse view of this technology , {before you start to say it} it will be the Technology serving the user , the Banks will be competitive and free market institutions.  this could essentially be happening now.

*****
Of course as these institutions will be free market - quickly the Banks with the most confidence in their security measures will introduce Crypto - insurance for their customers. basically FDIC up to certain amounts. "

- Twitter @Kolin_Quark
neuromancer56 (OP)
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July 21, 2013, 11:20:37 PM
Last edit: July 22, 2013, 01:29:35 AM by neuromancer56
 #7

I really like the features you described.  Additionally I agree that security is the largest barrier to wide-scale adoption.  I've got some free time over the next month to help with my dusty C++ skills and would be interested in helping.

NFCs will soon be in every phone and consumer products are already becoming available (although still a bit expensive)

http://nfctags.tagstand.com/products/usb-nfc-reader-writer-acr122u


Awesome.   I like your USB nfc solution.  Easy for users to install.  My adafruit suggestion could be incorporated in some sort of premanufactured Raspberry Pi Vault device.

The first decision we would need to make is whether to use scrypt or calculate primes like Primecoin.   While I see value in calculating primes, and a good percentage of my holdings are in Primecoin, at the end of the day, I'm not so sure the mass public cares at all about primes vs. scrypt.  (What they want is ease of use).   And using scrypt is proven and it is well understood.   I think the much easier path is to start with Litecoin and move forward from there.  Another decision is how fast the block time should be.   I think that a 20 second blocktime like Digitalcoin is too fast, too many orphans.  But for mass adoption you need near instant confirms for in store purchases.  Worldcoin is trying to solve the orphan problem and it also has fast block times.  I'm thinking the fastest way to go would just be to clone Litecoin on GitHub and go from there.   Unless Worldcoin has the orphan problem somewhat addressed, then either clone that or adapt it's code to the Litecoin clone.  It would be interesting to run a Diff/Beyond Compare between Litecoin and Worldcoin.
neuromancer56 (OP)
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July 21, 2013, 11:23:59 PM
 #8

Something like this is the future  -

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=252906.0

from above link :


"The first Crypto banks functions will aim to provide seamless centralized security with human face to face interactions - with fees being happily paid by the Crypto community for the benefit.

These mini "Vaults" will be literally onsite at a "Bank" location - users can come to the bank and go though the ID verification process and Transfer currency savings from the "Vault" to the "Wallet".
But the point of crypto is to be your own bank.  Buy your own device and be your own vault. 
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July 22, 2013, 02:54:26 AM
 #9

Something like this is the future  -

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=252906.0

from above link :


"The first Crypto banks functions will aim to provide seamless centralized security with human face to face interactions - with fees being happily paid by the Crypto community for the benefit.

These mini "Vaults" will be literally onsite at a "Bank" location - users can come to the bank and go though the ID verification process and Transfer currency savings from the "Vault" to the "Wallet".
But the point of crypto is to be your own bank.  Buy your own device and be your own vault. 

Then you misunderstand , like so many other misunderstood .  I don't think the point of crypto is to be your own bank , the point of Cryptocurrency is that someone else does not have control of something that should be yours , your energy and time .

But again  I guess you misunderstand this . ? It's irrelevant it's the future already , it is as much a reality as the past .

- Twitter @Kolin_Quark
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July 22, 2013, 03:17:12 AM
 #10

Then you misunderstand , like so many other misunderstood .  I don't think the point of crypto is to be your own bank , the point of Cryptocurrency is that someone else does not have control of something that should be yours , your energy and time .

But again  I guess you misunderstand this . ? It's irrelevant it's the future already , it is as much a reality as the past .

I think there is a place for both.   Some people are going to want someone else to be their bank.   Some people will want the ease of touching their cellphone to their Raspberry Pi, and not have to pay fees to keep a crypto bank alive.  I think both ideas have merit.   There is no one size fits all solution.  What I like about Flexcoin is its simplicity.
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July 22, 2013, 05:59:10 AM
 #11

Then you misunderstand , like so many other misunderstood .  I don't think the point of crypto is to be your own bank , the point of Cryptocurrency is that someone else does not have control of something that should be yours , your energy and time .

But again  I guess you misunderstand this . ? It's irrelevant it's the future already , it is as much a reality as the past .

I think there is a place for both.   Some people are going to want someone else to be their bank.   Some people will want the ease of touching their cellphone to their Raspberry Pi, and not have to pay fees to keep a crypto bank alive.  I think both ideas have merit.   There is no one size fits all solution.  What I like about Flexcoin is its simplicity.

Agreed.

 in fact some of your ideas regarding the fixed wallet size could be of use , but you should understand at a point if humans perceptions are that what they hold is of great " value" Then they will want the device more secure , that's just human nature , although  I will say , if the decentralized nature of individualized currencies just achieves the basics of what it should, the
 "wealth equation"  may be very much balanced in which case  we will tend towards a direction of overall less security , and more convenience , so yes of course , both are fine .

In the short future , if take up is large there will be a " bank" type storage facility , then the trend towards just convenience as there should be really less need for " wealth" as humans will regain both time and energy , which will cause an excess of production . And then net " wealth " .

Either could happen .

I guess some would call the later a "utopia" , but actually we are living in a dark ages , so I guess , yes if you are living in a dark ages , basics are "utopian"  penicillin was "utopian" once , also  optical fiber .

- Twitter @Kolin_Quark
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July 22, 2013, 12:08:45 PM
 #12

I have created a development discussion thread here:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=260510.0

If you want to help out with development, please head over there and let us know what you'd like to start working on.
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July 24, 2013, 11:01:32 PM
 #13

I wanted to see if Bitcoin could just bolt on the Flexcoin ideas, so I sent a message asking Gavin about this.  Here's what he said:

>Internally, Bitcoin doesn't have addresses at all, just unspent transaction outputs, so flexcoin will need to have a completely different scheme for >keeping track of coins.

This is both good news and bad news for Flexcoin.  The good news is that these ideas cannot easily be bolted on to another coin, but the bad news is that this means that implementing Flexcoin's ideas involves a fairly substantial project.  I have to be honest to myself and to the team.   I don't have the expertise or the time to lead this project to success in a reasonable amount of time.   I see that I could continue to be a valuable contributor, but for Flexcoin to happen, it will require leaders and skilled developers who have more expertise and time than I do.  So I'm willing to step aside and let others lead this project to completion.   These are great ideas that fill an important need in crypto-currencies.    If you are interested in taking a lead role on implementing these ideas, let us know.  If these ideas were implemented, I see great potential success for this coin.  Much more so that pretty much all the other alt-coins out there.  Primecoin is a nice step in the right direction, but it doesn't address the most important shortcoming of all the coins out there, difficult to use security.  In the end, that's what users care about.
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July 24, 2013, 11:21:55 PM
 #14

I'd personally like to see a coin that actively looks for large prime numbers.  I believe if you can build a crypto currency with demonstrable scientific value then that coin will succeed where nearly all others have failed.
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July 27, 2013, 04:19:04 PM
 #15

I'm leaning toward Novacoin as a starting point for Flexcoin because it is scrypt based and PPcoin isn't.   Yacoin seems interesting because it has fast confirms, script, and Proof of stake.   What is a better foundation to use Novacoin or Yacoin?   Yacoin claimed it would be GPU resistant, but it wasn't long before people were GPU mining Yacoin.   

I'm looking for:
Scrypt
Proof of Stake
Fast Confirms

I'm thinking it wouldn't take much to make Novacoin have fast confirms, so if it is a better design than Yacoin, maybe go with that.
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September 15, 2013, 09:50:57 PM
 #16

"Fast confirms" it's a weakness. Especially for the Proof-of-Stake system.

Darkness isn't born, you know. It's created.
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