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Author Topic: Public keys and accessibility  (Read 699 times)
Leanna
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November 06, 2013, 05:23:40 AM
 #1

Hi!

Please forgive me in advance for posting here, as I am not a programmer, and I'm not that brilliant with math.

I just had a couple if ideas and questions, although I would imagine these have been thought about and addressed in the past somewhere.
However, I am very eager to learn about Bitcoin, and I would love to help if I can.

1.) Wouldn't it make sense to allow people to have public keys that are easier to remember, or chooseable? Would that make it more accessible for everyone to share their address wherever (think of a radio person announcing a BTC address for donations to a Children's Hospital), and by extension, make Bitcoin more mainstream friendly (albeit in a smaller way)?

2.) Make Bitcoin account security easier, especially more understandable. Currently for a layperson, setting up proper security goes over like whooosh. Throw the words "paper wallet", "cold storage", "bits of entropy", or even "correct horse battery staple", and they will run the other direction, straight to the "safe and out of mind banks".

I am hoping that maybe I am not making a fool of myself here Smiley I just want to help.

Thanks!

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blub
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November 06, 2013, 05:40:54 AM
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1) The Problem is you can't choose your public key or your address, otherwise the whole system would be broken.
All you can do is choose a private key and calculate which address it corresponds to. Then if you don't like that address start again.
If you could choose an exact address, what would stop anyone who sees that this address has a balance from choosing the same address and spending your funds?


2) Tell us how and it will be done.

sebastian
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November 06, 2013, 05:47:51 AM
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1: Its not technically possible. Compare to IP adresses, you can't simply choose a IP.
A better idea is to implement a standard (a RFC one) at IETF (maybe bitcoin devs can make Contact with IETF) that would implement a new TXT record type in the same matter as DMARC records, like: "_bitcoin.sebbe.eu IN TXT 1DpfSntUgACocsVaDEpyuEqNfCdXF3qZNx"

Bitcoin devs can then make it possible to send bitcoins straight to a domain. You just type sebbe.eu in the "send Money to" in any bitcoin client or interface and it will automatically look up the _bitcoin.domain record.


2: The good thing with bitcoin is that its up to the end user to select security. Banks currenly force high security down our throats even if we only own 1 cent. And when the end user gets to select the security, I see it as a obligation to get some knowledge of security, and then select a suitable security level depending on how much BTC you own and how the threat level is against your BTCs. (eg the interest in burgulars to steal YOUR btc)

Its the same with rented homes VS owned homes.
If you rent a apartment, the landlord will make sure its a good lock on the door and make sure the apartment stairwell is secured against unauthorized indivuals.

But if you own a house, its your responsibility to get a good lock on the door. Wrong lock will get you vulnerable to burgulars, and that means you as a homeowner needs to read about locks and get more knowledge so you can responsibility select a suitable lock and perhaps a good alarm, for your home. The type of lock is individual for each home, if you have much high-value items, you would want to have a pretty high security lock with a grade 5 door, but if you don't have anything very valuable, you would simply be fit with a standard "crap lock" from a brick and mortar store.


Same with bitcoin. You can have all security all the way from "unprotected" to a high security scheme with offline wallets combined with tamper-resistant enclosures, timers and alarms.

A good thing is also for shops, you don't need to know the private key to be able to see a incoming bitcoin transaction, which means that if you own a shop, with multiple employees, you can set up a software so they can see incoming transactions on their cash registers, but they cannot steal Money, which also means 100 % safe from robberies. Even if your employees have a pistol against their head, they don't know the private key. And your bitcoin private key can be stored encrypted in a safe, with a alarm, so even if they would forcefully open the safe, the key would be useless without the correct password, and the alarm would get the thieves caught pretty fast.
Leanna
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November 06, 2013, 05:59:13 AM
 #4

Oh ok, I didn't know the mechanics behind getting a public address. But of course what you say makes sense. Thanks!

As for better security... People love it when things are presented to them on a silver platter. Now, since I am not a programmer, I have no idea what kind of work goes into securing servers or databases.
But how about something that is similar to bitaddress.org, except explained in layman's terms, so that everyday users can understand what to do. Use different terminology.
Make them understand that since there is no bank, they themselves are the bank, and they need to take care of their funds accordingly.

For example... If I were to go to such a website, I would love to just be able to put in the necessary informations, then receive the security I am after.
Would a password suggester be feasible (generated on the user's end, so no trace on the network), that people can use to generate safe passwords?
Programs that would be similar to 2 factor authentication, that remind them to change the passwords, and also automatically backs up their wallets?
Include a section inside the wallets that people would have to fill out like... 3 spaces with 3 answers (not the usual questions like mother's maiden name), that they will also have to enter in addition to the password?

I don't know... Somehow I feel like I stumbled into a forum subsection where I shouldn't be :/

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sebastian
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November 06, 2013, 06:04:01 AM
 #5

I dont Think a password suggester is a good thing. If you dont know security you can ask someone to set it up, but that would mean you have to trust the person setting it up for you.
Same with homes. If you don't know about locks you can ask a locksmith to recommend and install a suitable lock on your door, but that would mean you have to trust the locksmith not to keep a copy of the key/have a master code programmed in.

If you don't want to trust anything, you MUST do things yourself.
Leanna
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November 06, 2013, 06:22:30 AM
 #6

Yeah, that is why I was thinking of it being on user end only.

But then how about gathering everythingn eeded for people to make sure they have something secure in one place?
One website or one service where they can find all the tools that would be sufficient to help the, attain proper and good security.
It would include a password and passphrase checker, 2 factor authentication, public and private key (like the bitaddress one does), a document that can be printed out for paper/cold wallet, and whatever else one can think of.
All presented in an easy to understand way.

Now, the only reason I'm thinking about all this is because it took me a couple of days to research everything about BTC security to the level that I know I am set up good with regards to my measly little 11 dollars' worth of BTC (hey, I'm very new Smiley ).
But the regular person will not go throug this research, and 1.) Rather not get into Bitcoin, 2.) Their money will be unsecure and their funds stolen (then consequently, damning Bitcoin for their mistake).

Somehow, I think if security was more understandable, user friendly and streamlined, people would feel better about adopting BTC into their lives.

1FszziHmyNTFpaYCLNHdN2EWp6WdVQ1YDK
Check out BITDAZZLE.COM (https://bitdazzle.com/?r=3176Cool for awesome items you can buy with BITCOINS!
My own store will be opening there soon too! :3
sebastian
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November 06, 2013, 08:00:37 AM
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Its because theres no "one size for all". Same with door locks. Theres millions of different door locks, deadbolts, latches, cylinders, Electronic locks, locks with builtin alarms, locks with possibility to block the keyhole from inside, locks with ability to change key, locks with different keys for unlocking and locking etc... All depends on which security level and security goal you have with your setup.

Its nearly impossible to set up a site about security that fits everyone.

You need to research itself, which security level, security goal and what you want to protect against.
Thats why theres so many sites about bitcoins that offer different security advices. You need to learn about most ways to protect your bitcoins and then select a security level that, not only protects the bitcoins sufficently with regard to amount and threat, but also provide enough user friendlyness so you don't avoid the security.

For example - if you install a too secure home alarm thats not necessary, you will get tired of using it and then stop using it making it useless.

So you should select a security level thats not TOO LOW, but not TOO HIGH either.



11 dollars in bitcoins I would say require no protection at all.
Would say 50$ and upwards - wallet password
200$ and upwards - Cold storage and such.
Abdussamad
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November 06, 2013, 12:12:05 PM
 #8

I don't know... Somehow I feel like I stumbled into a forum subsection where I shouldn't be :/

Yeah I get that feeling about you too. Ordinary users don't usually make it into this forum. And by that I mean bitcointalk as a whole.

Let me explain it to you this way. If bitcoin was easy and accessible to ordinary folk it would be worth a lot more than it currently is. Right now what you are seeing is something that is raw and immature. In time all these problems will be solved. But until then you are going to see a lot of pain for those who venture here unprepared.

Leanna
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November 06, 2013, 05:51:40 PM
 #9

Abdussamad: Yes, I am very aware of that. I think I fit in just fine in the "Newbie" section.
However, I thought you guys might not be getting so much input from an ordinary/new/female user, so I ventured in here, risking ridicule.

I see now that it was optimistic of me to think that my perspective can be of any use here at all; the developers are aware of how someone like me thinks.

Like I said, I just wanted to see if I can help. Can I?

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Check out BITDAZZLE.COM (https://bitdazzle.com/?r=3176Cool for awesome items you can buy with BITCOINS!
My own store will be opening there soon too! :3
Kouye
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November 07, 2013, 01:03:01 AM
 #10

1.) Wouldn't it make sense to allow people to have public keys that are easier to remember, or chooseable? Would that make it more accessible for everyone to share their address wherever (think of a radio person announcing a BTC address for donations to a Children's Hospital), and by extension, make Bitcoin more mainstream friendly (albeit in a smaller way)?

There are, or at least have been, address shortener services, that would convert your receiving address to a 5-6 letters "word".
Not sure if any is still up and running, though.

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