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Author Topic: What would Bitcoin for wetware be like?  (Read 1395 times)
TiagoTiago
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March 16, 2011, 05:04:34 AM
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How different would Bitcoin be if it was designed to be handled completly by humans?

Can the proof of work dificulty be tweaked to an extreme such that regular people with spare time could solve blocks with pen and paper? How would the network work with people exchanging and copying sheets of paper? Would it be possible to get reliable confirmation of transfers in less than a day? What would need to be changed and what would work just the way it is?

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March 16, 2011, 05:57:06 AM
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You could just put your transaction in the newspaper to get the ordering guarantees that the block chain provides, though without the crypto. A Bitcoin-like system is probably not possible: A simplified proof-of-work could be done by hand, I suppose, but cryptographic signing is more difficult. The cost of transaction and block verification would be especially limiting.

Time per confirmation is limited by the latency between miners. If all miners are located in a small area and are using couriers, a few confirmations per day could be supported.

Unless the proof-of-work is massively easier for humans than computers, the system could not withstand an attack by computers.

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March 16, 2011, 05:59:56 AM
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This is fun to think about. What would make a good human proof of work?

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March 16, 2011, 06:05:52 AM
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Look to Captchas for inspiration. Basically anything a human can do easily which a computer cannot.
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March 16, 2011, 06:07:56 AM
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Look to Captchas for inspiration. Basically anything a human can do easily which a computer cannot.

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March 16, 2011, 06:17:44 AM
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The proof-of-work needs to be easily verifiable. I don't think anything exists yet.

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March 16, 2011, 06:20:26 AM
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A funny joke.

For linking to the previous joke the last noun in joke n must be the first noun in joke n+1.

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March 16, 2011, 06:38:17 AM
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The question of human-performable cryptographic signing (and while not necessary for bitcoin, encryption) is also an interesting one that I've batted around casually without success.  Making use of an external visual aid seems quite promising but the important thing is coming up with a method not revealed to an adversary who can see where you're looking.  If I ever get the kinks figured out I would seriously consider getting the visual aid as a tattoo.

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TiagoTiago
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March 16, 2011, 06:45:32 AM
 #9

Don' forget we need a system with tweakable difficulty so the distributed system would automaticly adapt itself to adjust for changes in the ammount of miners, new block solving means (depending on how block solving works, someone might figure out some new algorithm to make it more easilly solvable, even for things done by humans) etc

(I dont always get new reply notifications, pls send a pm when you think it has happened)

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March 16, 2011, 07:27:29 AM
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Look to Captchas for inspiration. Basically anything a human can do easily which a computer cannot.

Make love to a Thai ladyboy?

Sounds good. They have those on Newegg, right?
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March 16, 2011, 12:03:51 PM
 #11

The transactions of a block are encoded into a bouldering problem, that can be replicated on standardised indoor climbing walls anywhere in the world.

The first climber to crack the problem in a public competition confirms the block, and gets to keep the transaction fees.


video of a climber "solving" such a problem:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxH3Mc07xcE

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ryepdx
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March 17, 2011, 01:39:32 AM
 #12

The transactions of a block are encoded into a bouldering problem, that can be replicated on standardised indoor climbing walls anywhere in the world.

The first climber to crack the problem in a public competition confirms the block, and gets to keep the transaction fees.


video of a climber "solving" such a problem:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxH3Mc07xcE

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