You only have to see the reaction on the forums about your original blog post. The reaction was: so what? this was alredy known.
Yeah, but that's always easy to say.
So you dish the reaction of the community to your paper
Hey, that's kind of harsh.
I don't believe I 'dish' anyone.
I actually think the reaction to our work has overall been really positive, and I'm really happy with that. I was surprised, and happy, that its gotten some people talking about Bitcoin, and especially privacy in Bitcoin.
Its true that some posters here have been dismissive of the work, and dismissed it as 'that was already known'.
In one sense, I'm happy for these people - they are unlikely to have any privacy problems!
But I stand by the point that while its easy to say 'bitcoin is traceable' - it does bring a lot of clarity, and information, to have a go at tracing it, as an experiment, and see how you get on in practice, and publish your results; which is what we did.
Even if you stood on the more paranoid 'it can all be traced' end of the fence, I think seeing an analysis still adds a lot of value.
I do say that in the rest of the post you took that sentence from, and it is in the context of 'experiments add value' that I wrote 'its easy to say'.
because somehow you dont like to believe it is the reaction of the community to your paper, and preffer to mention as "proof" a website outside the community and a lot of the reports on Bitcoin. Let me tell you that the press on Bitcoin has been highly inncaccurate and not only regarding anonimity. I have not seen something reported with more mistakes than Bitcoin. The community tried to correct them for a while, but ended up giving up.
This is purely a personal 0.02 cents, but I don't think thats a reasonable thing for people that identify as the 'bitcoin community' to do.
Like, if you are going to campaign for the adoption of bitcoin (and there are threads here where people do, and award bounties), then I think you also have to continue to campaign for accuracy in how its portrayed. I dont think its good to just give up on correcting things like the wikileaks donate page - and I presume you'd agree?
Now, I'm not judging anyone. Whatever we agree or disagree with, there's clearly a lot of voluntary, open-source, work going on, and thats really cool, so who is to tell people they should do more - not me - but I respectfully disagree with that idea.
You can see the comments in the press thread.
Look, you and I (and everybody) know what its going on. Your paper is cool and the work is great,
Hey, cheers - thats very positive of you - even your reaction isn't all bad!
but you decided to give it a bit of dramatism accusing the community of things you should not have, to get more recognition and more press.
Em, are you sure about that?
You know, I had a look back at the blog, and paper, to try and find somewhere where we 'accused the community of things we should not have', and I really don't see that at all.
The blog doesn't really have anything on it like you are talking about, and its what most people will read, and probably what any press/bloggers would have picked up on.
Looking at the paper, the sentence I can find thats most like what you are saying, is this one from the paper: "While there is an understanding amongst Bitcoin’s technical users that anonymity is not a prominent design goal of the system, we believe that this awareness is not shared throughout the community. For example, WikiLeaks, an international organization for anonymous whistleblowers, recently advised its Twitter followers that it now accepts anonymous donations via Bitcoin [etc]"
And in our conclusion, we say "Technical members of the Bitcoin community have cautioned that strong anonymity is not a prominent design goal of the Bitcoin system. However, casual users need to be aware of this, especially when sending Bitcoins to users and organizations they would prefer not to be publicly associated with."
Now, look, we make the point twice that most technical users know, and have said, that anonymity isn't a design goal. (I guess you could quibble with the word 'prominent' - but I think its fine in that context of academic language, and in the context of a community implemented system, and doesn't mislead anyone).
We are quite clear that casual users are confused.
And they are, as we have shown many times.
You could always define everyone but those who know the most about anonymity, to not be part of the 'community'; but thats a tautology.
I think what we wrote is clear, and not misleading.
I think it got press, primarily because of the previous unclarity out there, among the people sharing it, of quite how anonymous bitcoin was - not because we 'accused' anyone of anything. (Ok, we say that wikileaks isn't doing a good job of describing the anonymity situation - but thats a fair enough point, right?)
And that is dishonest from your part. For example, even before your paper, the word pseudo-anonymous was removed from the main website to avoid confussion (even when the word pseudo-anonymous is accurate). The community knows how Bitcoin works and your accusations are false and only looking to get press. You should not do that, its dishonest from your part.
Again, I really don't see these false 'accusations' that you say we make.
Like, while its important to listen to your concerns about our work, and while I'm genuinely appreciative of you taking the time to communicate them, your comments about us being dishonest are so wrong, they are hard to engage with.
We tried our very best to present things as accurately as we could. Anonymity in Bitcoin is complicated, and a subtle issue (as the first line of our abstract says: "Anonymity in Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer electronic currency system, is a complicated issue").
Its not easy to try and communicate these subtleties accurately.
We put a lot of effort into making sure it was as accurate as possible, and that people understood what we were, and weren't saying - as you can see from the fact that I'm here, now, trying to clarify this
You can say you believe we were inaccurate - and I've tried to explain how I understand things, and to counter that belief.
But I don't really think you can credibly say there's anything dishonest going on with our work.
I guess we'll probably agree to differ on these issues; but I hope I've clarified a little more the angle we are coming from.