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Author Topic: [Announce] Project Quixote - BitShares, BitNames and 'BitMessage'  (Read 48264 times)
bytemaster (OP)
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August 22, 2013, 11:13:58 PM
Last edit: August 28, 2013, 05:39:37 PM by bytemaster
 #1

CoinDesk has recently published an article on what Charles and I are doing with Invictus Innovations & BitShares.   http://www.coindesk.com/bitshares-p2p-trading-platform-to-offer-dividends-on-bitcoins/

update: http://letstalkbitcoin.com/own-your-identity-with-bitshares/


I wanted to open this thread to discuss the article and to correct some of the things Danny Bradbury got wrong in the article, though overall it was relatively accurate for a journalist covering complex topics.

Mentioned in the article, project Hydra (aka Quixote) aims to combine the best ideas we can find into a single, easy-to-use product.  This product aims to decentralize Identity Management, Communication, and the Financial System.   If you have been following all of my posts you will have seen aspects of this discussed earlier.    So what does this final product look like?

You will be able to 'mine' a human friendly account name of your choice (provided it is globally unique) and then use this name to send secure 'emails', 'text messages', chatrooms, forums and other communications using a system modeled on BitMessage.   Among the messages that will be exchanged are off-chain bids/asks and options negotiations along with invoices and purchase orders.   The article implied you have to pay for this name with BitShares, you do not.  It merely requires about one hour of CPU time per year.

This will all be integrated into the same client with BitShares where you will be able to manage your dividend paying BitAssets.  Unlike Bitcoin, BitShares users will never have to see a 'bitshare address' or deal with such clumsy technical details.  Instead users will simply enter the BitName of the person they want to send money to.    To further enhance security Hierarchical Deterministic Wallets are used to ensure that the same 'address' is never used more than once and that 'addresses' are never linked together via single transaction in the block chain in such a way that would compromise your identity through network analysis.  

We are working to integrate BitNames with a Chrome Extension to allow one click login to compatible websites.     BitDNS will come a later and will offer high-value, paid-for, names at auction using a system designed to prevent squatters.  The combination of BitNames & BitDNS means we can eliminate man-in-the-middle between websites and their users due to compromised Certificate Authorities.    Our aim is to promote the protocol with the W3C web payments group as an alternative to Open-ID and other proposals that ultimately rely on a central authority (your email provider) and have a broken certificate system.

Just to clarify:  Everything will be open source and has been.   There will be no pre-mining.  We are developing this as quickly as possible, and would welcome help/feedback from the community.  As you can probably tell we are still trying to name this thing with something that properly captures things.   Oh, and we are hiring.

https://fractally.com - the next generation of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).
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August 23, 2013, 01:04:05 AM
 #2

This is really crazy stuff. I'll be watching closely for sure.

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August 23, 2013, 03:28:19 AM
 #3

Sounds very interesting. I will be watching closely to see how this develops. Hope they manage to deliver a working system. Can't wait to try it out.
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August 23, 2013, 04:51:04 AM
 #4

Looks interesting. Shame Coindesk couldn't keep their facts straight--I've seen some questionable journalism come from them as of late.

Do you have any sort of timeline for this? Will code be viewable in a github repo before it's complete?
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August 23, 2013, 04:57:59 AM
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Looks interesting. Shame Coindesk couldn't keep their facts straight--I've seen some questionable journalism come from them as of late.

Do you have any sort of timeline for this? Will code be viewable in a github repo before it's complete?

I have to hand it to Danny, he did a fairly good job understanding a lot of information and condensed it down into a manageable length article.  But it is like a game of telephone paired with lossy compression.   I don't blame him.

The code has been open and on github from day 1.  https://github.com/InvictusInnovations/BitShares

Though it is not ready for consumption by anyone other than our dev. team or those looking to be very involved.   We are still filling in the core components, but it is coming together very rapidly. 




 

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August 23, 2013, 05:12:38 AM
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Quote
Do you have any sort of timeline for this? Will code be viewable in a github repo before it's complete?

Yes, we are releasing our first preview in October at C3 as stated in the article. Our beta in November as stated in the article and our global release at a conference in Tokyo in February. I look forward to reading your feedback once it is released.


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August 23, 2013, 05:16:52 AM
 #7

this sounds really interesting! I'll join the beta, if it's open!

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August 23, 2013, 05:18:21 AM
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Quote
Do you have any sort of timeline for this? Will code be viewable in a github repo before it's complete?

Yes, we are releasing our first preview in October at C3 as stated in the article. Our beta in November as stated in the article and our global release at a conference in Tokyo in February. I look forward to reading your feedback once it is released.



Exciting, must have missed that sorry.

You guys should consider a table of contents for the whitepaper when you get a chance. Would be helpful.
bytemaster (OP)
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August 23, 2013, 05:18:54 AM
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Quote
Do you have any sort of timeline for this? Will code be viewable in a github repo before it's complete?

Yes, we are releasing our first preview in October at C3 as stated in the article. Our beta in November as stated in the article and our global release at a conference in Tokyo in February. I look forward to reading your feedback once it is released.



Exciting, must have missed that sorry.

You guys should consider a table of contents for the whitepaper when you get a chance. Would be helpful.

Last page of the white paper!

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August 23, 2013, 05:41:09 AM
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Coming from a mathematical background, the whitepaper reminds me of one of those papers with enormous inspiration, but some clarity issues yielded as a result of not being in the author's minds. We've made a commitment in September to completely rewriting the paper specifically to make it more readable and also to address some of the feedback we get from the community.

I love constructive criticism and critical thinking. It's a wonderful experience to work with so many bright minds in discovering how to take a collection of technologies and turn them into something really magical.

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August 23, 2013, 06:18:02 AM
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Coming from a mathematical background, the whitepaper reminds me of one of those papers with enormous inspiration, but some clarity issues yielded as a result of not being in the author's minds. We've made a commitment in September to completely rewriting the paper specifically to make it more readable and also to address some of the feedback we get from the community.

I love constructive criticism and critical thinking. It's a wonderful experience to work with so many bright minds in discovering how to take a collection of technologies and turn them into something really magical.

I've done a lot of technical writing, wrote a short book on bitcoins, and have contacts at Caltech and MIT who do peer review for tech journals and such.  I'd be open to helping out when it comes time to do the rewrite.  Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can help tease out the stuff that might not be so easy to comprehend.

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August 23, 2013, 06:22:44 AM
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Coming from a mathematical background, the whitepaper reminds me of one of those papers with enormous inspiration, but some clarity issues yielded as a result of not being in the author's minds. We've made a commitment in September to completely rewriting the paper specifically to make it more readable and also to address some of the feedback we get from the community.

I love constructive criticism and critical thinking. It's a wonderful experience to work with so many bright minds in discovering how to take a collection of technologies and turn them into something really magical.

I've done a lot of technical writing, wrote a short book on bitcoins, and have contacts at Caltech and MIT who do peer review for tech journals and such.  I'd be open to helping out when it comes time to do the rewrite.  Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can help tease out the stuff that might not be so easy to comprehend.

That would be an amazing help for the cause!    If we can get a clear, easily understood, explanation of the mechanics of the trading algorithm, collateral, dividends, and margin calls then we would be in a much better position to offer a bounty for anyone who can 'break' the economics of our market-peg system.    If you would like to help out I would suggest taking a stab at explaining it all yourself.   I am available to talk you through anything that isn't 100% clear from the white paper and hopefully you can improve on teaching it!  Send me a PM for skype info.


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August 23, 2013, 11:08:24 AM
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Hi, I am very happy to see your effort. It's great that you want to include an email system. This is a thing that retroshare http://retroshare.sourceforge.net is missing. Please have a look at proof-of-concept implementation linked from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.5.9728&rep=rep1&type=pdf It is written in java. I hope it will be interesting for you.

I've been thinking about this problem for a while, and here are my thoughts, I am cross posting from this post: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4071967&cid=44519965

Lavabit and silent circle inspired me to think about some kind of peer to peer distributed email system.

Although currently everyone can install an email server (e.g. there are several available in debian). It is not what would solve the problem. Not just because it requires technical expertise, but also because it requires too much dedication on your side to maintain your freshly installed server. Also to make sure it has outside access with SMTP port, and so on. Not mentioning that it needs about 100% uptime. Such solution is too much centralized.

I was thinking about p2p email more like this one  http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.5.9728&rep=rep1&type=pdf which I googled right after I had this initial idea. This is a proof of concept so it can work.

Key features would be:
1) uses p2p distributed encrypted file system, like tahoe https://tahoe-lafs.org/~warner/pycon-tahoe.html
2) each p2p node can act as email receiver/sender
3) to send email to someone you use nick@1.2.3.4 where 1.2.3.4 is any IP that is running p2pemail. Simplest would be 127.0.0.1 if you just run a p2pemail node yourself.
4) everyone can have p2pemail account, just connect via https to nearest p2pemail node. It can be running on your computer or anywhere else. Doesn't matter. This just requires setting up an account name on your side, and a lenghty password, which is also used as a sha256 seed for private key for encryption of your emails and also as a PGP signature for you emails.
5) PGP signing emails would be so easy, that it would be a new standard.
6) all encryption and decryption is done locally on your computer either in javascript or in your email client. Just make sure that your browser and computer are not compromised.
7) if any of p2pemail nodes are running compromised code (eg. like compromised tor nodes) they still cannot read your email, because they have no acces to your private key. The only hope they can have is to monitor when you are accessing your data, but only if a request to the compromised node is made.
Cool even if huge NSA datacenter decided to store all p2pemail data, they still cannot read it, and have nobody to file a warrant to.

If we combined that with bitcoins we would get additional (optional) features:
9) buy storage with bitcoins, while buying decide how many copies of your data you want to have (can change this anytime later). Offer any price you want, lower bids might not be taken.
10) provide encrypted storage space and get paid. If you store multiple copies of same data (might be possible before p2pemail gets popular) ensure that at least it is on different physical locations, otherwise you might be compromising security
11) create whitelists with people from whom you want to receive email, add mandatory bitcoin fees if anyone not on the whitelist wants to send you email.
12) You can create various stages if whitelisting, depending on domains you can define different prices to receive email. Or you can say that first email is free for everyone, and each next will be paid or not depending on if you received spam. Or configure spamassasin to decide for you.

PROBLEM: where do my friends send email to?
ANSWER: your_nick@p2pemail.org/net/com/info (we need to register many domains, and use many IPs to resolve those dns-es)

PROBLEM: Will my address still be the same after long time?
ANSWER: your nick in p2pemail will be the same, tell your friends that if they cant send email (eg. govt seized all p2pemail domain names), then they have to find some p2pemail node. Google it, or install one themselves. If they can't do that, you can solve this by installing a node yourself, and making sure it has the same domain name all the time. Services like dyndns can help you with that.

well maybe that's just a pipe dream. But the proof of concept implementation that I linked above gives some hope. What do you think?

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August 23, 2013, 11:19:47 AM
 #14

I have looked at your site http://invictus-innovations.com/ and I am worried about one thing. Maybe you can clear this up.

Do you have 5 directors, 1 administrator and only one developer?

Succesfull opensource projects usually have 5 developers one lead developer and no directors...

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August 23, 2013, 11:57:45 AM
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bytemaster (OP)
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August 23, 2013, 12:45:45 PM
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I have looked at your site http://invictus-innovations.com/ and I am worried about one thing. Maybe you can clear this up.

Do you have 5 directors, 1 administrator and only one developer?

Succesfull opensource projects usually have 5 developers one lead developer and no directors...

We have three developers and are hiring.    It is a real challenge to recruit a team in a 6 weeks even for an established company.  Most of the directors are unpaid or strategic partners and investors.  

I am both the inventor primary developer and director.   This project would be nowhere without the work Charles has done to build partnerships or the funding Li has brought to the table.   Stan and Pam have handled the enormous amount of leg work to setup an maintain the day to day operations of the company.  We have a very well-rounded team.

Note that this is bigger than just an open source project.

https://fractally.com - the next generation of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).
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August 23, 2013, 01:03:03 PM
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Hi, I am very happy to see your effort. It's great that you want to include an email system. ..... What do you think?

I think you are still revealing the meta info in the emails to enable your routing and dependent on Dns.  You still need a decentralized name registration system.

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August 23, 2013, 01:05:43 PM
 #18

What about Mozilla Firefox support ?

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August 23, 2013, 01:18:54 PM
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We have three developers and are hiring.    It is a real challenge to recruit a team in a 6 weeks even for an established company.  Most of the directors are unpaid or strategic partners and investors.  

I am both the inventor primary developer and director.   This project would be nowhere without the work Charles has done to build partnerships or the funding Li has brought to the table.   Stan and Pam have handled the enormous amount of leg work to setup an maintain the day to day operations of the company.  We have a very well-rounded team.

Note that this is bigger than just an open source project.
Great to hear that. I hope that more developers will join your cause. I think that you should update http://invictus-innovations.com/ website adding information who in the team is developer, and who is the lead developer. Not just "director". That will give people more confidence in the project.

What do you think about that p2p email that I decribed in earlier post?

If I understood http://www.coindesk.com/bitshares-p2p-trading-platform-to-offer-dividends-on-bitcoins/ correctly you are seriously looking into a peer to peer, blockchain based email system too. The real challenge will be to make it work with existing email infrastructure, so that a person can send email from yahoo or gmail to BitName of a particuler person. I think it implies that each BitShares node must have open port 25 so that anyone can connect and send an email into the p2p network. Fighting spam in this case is a challenge as usual, since you cannot expect somebody sending from yahoo to do "some CPU work" in order to get his email accepted. I think we could only use whitelisting plus optional small BTC fee in order to get the email into the p2p system.


Hi, I am very happy to see your effort. It's great that you want to include an email system. ..... What do you think?

I think you are still revealing the meta info in the emails to enable your routing and dependent on Dns.  You still need a decentralized name registration system.

Oh yes. A decentralized DNS would be great. But we still need to get BitShares p2p email to work with existing email infrastructure and existing DNS system. So that for example PJ Groklaw will have email in BitShares and anyone on the world will be able to send her an email and be not afraid that it will get into wrong hands, because once it reaches BitShare node through SMTP port 25 it gets encrypted. I hope you understand that working with "legacy" email is the "killer" feature.

If you don't work with legacy email it won't be much different than retroshare, or any other "closed" system, which only geeks join and use only among themselves.

If BitShares email works with legacy email, then geeks join it, but still can talk with non-geeks. And eventually can get them to join BitShares too. That's how getting virally popular works...

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August 23, 2013, 01:38:08 PM
 #20

You're hiring?  What jobs and skills are you looking for?
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