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Author Topic: Anonymity  (Read 2311 times)
pungopete468
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February 19, 2014, 10:03:13 PM
 #21

As far as a transaction goes between two people; anonymous is synonymous pseudonymous.

You really can't have an "anonymous" transaction between 2 parties for as long as more than 1 still lives...

How much further can a currency go before it becomes impossible to identify a payment status of a specific order?

I think Bitcoin is about as "anonymous" as is effectively possible until somebody links your ID with your wallet address...

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practicaldreamer
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February 19, 2014, 10:21:42 PM
 #22

I should be able to pay my plumber "cash in hand" for the pipe he just fixed ? BTC, to succeed, should be able to act as cash - for better or worse ? Is this the general idea ??


   My question is - who will be the main benefactor of this "cash in hand" economy ? The average Jo ? Or Goldmann Sachs ?


Wouldn't BTC have more utility to the greater number if it sacrificed this anonymity (whilst still in any case retaining its fungibility ) ?

[edit: lets not forget that the plus side of traceability is that the transactions of the global multinationals/high net worth individuals would be transparent.]
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February 19, 2014, 10:40:57 PM
 #23

I should be able to pay my plumber "cash in hand" for the pipe he just fixed ? BTC, to succeed, should be able to act as cash - for better or worse ? Is this the general idea ??


   My question is - who will be the main benefactor of this "cash in hand" economy ? The average Jo ? Or Goldmann Sachs ?


Wouldn't BTC have more utility to the greater number if it sacrificed this anonymity (whilst still retaining its fungibility) ?

Bitcoin will never be as simple as cash because the main thing that makes cash easy is the ability not to record a transaction. When you hand somebody a $20 they don't always record that in a ledger as income. If every person who took a cash payment were to record it in a ledger then a Bitcoin transaction would be much easier with fewer steps than a cash transaction...

Bitcoin will never be as easy as cash *can be* and it's not really a disadvantage as long as you can keep your wallet ID dis-associated with your real identity.

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February 19, 2014, 10:44:14 PM
 #24

It's really very simple and can be summed up in one word:

POWER

Put simply, money is power. Those who control the money control the power. It's not that Bitcoin needs to allow anonymity, or that it needs a limit on coins at 21 million, or that it needs transfers without middlemen where accounts can't be frozen.

It's that it makes these options available to those who want it, to use to their ends, even the most common person in the streets. The flip side of that is giving these options not to common people, but only a top class of privleged people (bankers/politicians).

Where would you rather see the power of the world?
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February 19, 2014, 10:45:29 PM
 #25

The idea being that if I (Practical Dreamer) deposit 2 BTC to Wikileaks, and its traceable back to me - then those 2 BTC then become worth a different amount (less) on the open market than they would if they had been 2 BTC transferred from the Queen of England to Barack Obama ??
 How does that work ?
Suppose instead that if you steal 2 BTC from me, that I can report the theft and get those coins black-listed, meaning they cannot be converted into pounds sterling (my jurisdiction): then those coins become worth a bit less. Even more so if Britain shares its blacklist with Europe and America. We can imagine a world in which most miners are required to refuse to accept transactions involving blacklisted coins, and where the "dark" miners that accept them also charge higher transaction fees.

That is the kind of evolution of Bitcoin that some governments seem to think is desirable for purposes of preventing money laundering. That is, to make it harder for wrong-doers to profit from their crimes. They may legislate to that end, and require miners and exchanges within their jurisdiction to conform. It would mean bitcoin would be less fungible.

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February 19, 2014, 10:52:33 PM
 #26

Blacklisting will not happen and will not work and will not be accepted by anyone.

The idea being that if I (Practical Dreamer) deposit 2 BTC to Wikileaks, and its traceable back to me - then those 2 BTC then become worth a different amount (less) on the open market than they would if they had been 2 BTC transferred from the Queen of England to Barack Obama ??
 How does that work ?
Suppose instead that if you steal 2 BTC from me, that I can report the theft and get those coins black-listed, meaning they cannot be converted into pounds sterling (my jurisdiction): then those coins become worth a bit less. Even more so if Britain shares its blacklist with Europe and America. We can imagine a world in which most miners are required to refuse to accept transactions involving blacklisted coins, and where the "dark" miners that accept them also charge higher transaction fees.

That is the kind of evolution of Bitcoin that some governments seem to think is desirable for purposes of preventing money laundering. That is, to make it harder for wrong-doers to profit from their crimes. They may legislate to that end, and require miners and exchanges within their jurisdiction to conform. It would mean bitcoin would be less fungible.
pungopete468
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February 19, 2014, 11:01:43 PM
 #27

The idea being that if I (Practical Dreamer) deposit 2 BTC to Wikileaks, and its traceable back to me - then those 2 BTC then become worth a different amount (less) on the open market than they would if they had been 2 BTC transferred from the Queen of England to Barack Obama ??
 How does that work ?
Suppose instead that if you steal 2 BTC from me, that I can report the theft and get those coins black-listed, meaning they cannot be converted into pounds sterling (my jurisdiction): then those coins become worth a bit less. Even more so if Britain shares its blacklist with Europe and America. We can imagine a world in which most miners are required to refuse to accept transactions involving blacklisted coins, and where the "dark" miners that accept them also charge higher transaction fees.

That is the kind of evolution of Bitcoin that some governments seem to think is desirable for purposes of preventing money laundering. That is, to make it harder for wrong-doers to profit from their crimes. They may legislate to that end, and require miners and exchanges within their jurisdiction to conform. It would mean bitcoin would be less fungible.

Well that would be basically the death of Bitcoin. I'm not really sure how something like that could be implemented considering Bitcoin works with inputs and outputs merely referencing a wallet balance rather than individual coins... Of course that doesn't make it impossible; it just means I don't know how it would be done...

I do know that anything that could be done would use the blockchain and everybody or anybody would have the same information.

Imagine the thief sold those coins on an exchange before you could have them blacklisted and 10 people bought a portion. Those 10 people would take a loss.

I would rather a person with stolen coins track the wallet address as far as possible and then identify the thief by conventional detective work.

If somebody steals from me; I don't expect the community to reimburse me what I lost. It would be between the thief, the law, and me as to what I can recover.

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February 19, 2014, 11:04:38 PM
 #28

Bitcoin is not as anoymous as people think just take a look at the scam accusations and how many people get caight almost 90%.
That 10% are smart and rich.
Anonymity is important for the average joe.

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practicaldreamer
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February 19, 2014, 11:07:00 PM
 #29

Bitcoin will never be as simple as cash because the main thing that makes cash easy is the ability not to record a transaction.

I believe that Dark Wallet - for e.g. - is aiming to make BTc transactions very similar to cash transactions i.e.. although the transaction may be recorded they would not be traceable.
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February 19, 2014, 11:27:45 PM
 #30

Blacklisting will not happen and will not work and will not be accepted by anyone.
I'm not disagreeing. Just elaborating on marcus_of_augustus point about fungibility and traceability.

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practicaldreamer
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February 19, 2014, 11:38:47 PM
 #31

Suppose instead that if you steal 2 BTC from me, that I can report the theft and get those coins black-listed, meaning they cannot be converted into pounds sterling (my jurisdiction): then those coins become worth a bit less. Even more so if Britain shares its blacklist with Europe and America. We can imagine a world in which most miners are required to refuse to accept transactions involving blacklisted coins, and where the "dark" miners that accept them also charge higher transaction fees.

That is the kind of evolution of Bitcoin that some governments seem to think is desirable for purposes of preventing money laundering. That is, to make it harder for wrong-doers to profit from their crimes. They may legislate to that end, and require miners and exchanges within their jurisdiction to conform. It would mean bitcoin would be less fungible.

Well, a lot of interesting points here.

First thing that springs to mind is how would you prove that the BTC have been stolen in the first place ?

Next - the value of the stolen BTC may be worth less in GBP than "legit" BTC - but then again why would they ? They wouldn't be forgeries would they ? And they might hold their value (for e.g.) in dollars/yen/rubles etc - if indeed they were to ever be converted into fiat. Would they really be less fungible on a global network ?


But the main question is - how would anonymity of BTC transactions protect you at all in the event of theft ? Surely it would make it more difficult for you to recover your BTC - just the same as if someone stole used banknotes from under your mattress ?
pungopete468
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February 19, 2014, 11:40:29 PM
 #32

Bitcoin will never be as simple as cash because the main thing that makes cash easy is the ability not to record a transaction.

I believe that Dark Wallet - for e.g. - is aiming to make BTc transactions very similar to cash transactions i.e.. although the transaction may be recorded they would not be traceable.

I'm thinking that Bitcoin will always have extra steps compared to just pulling a bill out of your pocket and handing it to another person.

As it is now You can create a new wallet using a connection through a VPN, or use a non home ISP like a coffee shop; transfer your existing Bitcoin to an exchange; trade all your Bitcoin for Litecoin; transfer all your Litecoin to a different exchange; trade all your Litecoin for Bitcoin; then transfer your Bitcoin to the new wallet address.

Now you've pretty much eliminated any link you once had to those Bitcoins...

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February 20, 2014, 12:00:54 AM
 #33

+1

Might be a naive question for some - but why is anonymity such a priority for BTC ? Why is Amir concentrating on it with Dark Wallet ? How will the anonymity of transactions benefit the average Jo (who probably won't have 2 bits to scratch his arse with anyway) ? I can see how it would be of benefit to the wealthy and their respective tax liabilities  Wink

   Is it a security issue ? Or is it ideological ?

   It just seems to me that the main benefactors of BTC transaction anonymity would be the privileged class/wealthy/elite etc.

   I don't ask the question to make a rhetorical point - I'm guessing the likes of Amir must have a good reason for it - I'm just not sure I understand that reason at this point  Undecided

When there is no anonymity there is regulation. When there is regulation it defeats the purpose of crypto.
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February 20, 2014, 11:29:07 AM
 #34


When there is no anonymity there is regulation. When there is regulation it defeats the purpose of crypto.

I see your point - but it seems to me that in the light of the MT. Gox fiasco that BTC is crying out for some sort of regulation. There is, for me personally, at the moment no safe secure UK based exchange for eg. I have to go to an exchange that is based in Bulgaria/Slovenia etc.
   No offence to these exchanges but the average Brit would be much more likely to develop trust with regard to BTc if there were a UK based trustworthy regulated and accountable exchange. BTC at the minute has too much of the feeling about it of buying something out of the boot of someones car  Wink

   "regulation defeats the purpose of crypto" ?

Which purpose ? And for whom ?
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February 20, 2014, 12:16:53 PM
 #35


This is an important point

Fungibility. Good money needs to be fungible or the whole system of that money is inefficient as a medium of exchange and will inevitably break down.

It is not about anonymity per se but traceability. In the realm of digital money it must be untraceable to be fungible. Any piece of bitcoin must be indistinguishable from any other piece of bitcoin.

Anonymity can be a natural side-effect of untraceable digital money but is not necessarily a goal in itself.


And so is this

As far as a transaction goes between two people; anonymous is synonymous pseudonymous.

You really can't have an "anonymous" transaction between 2 parties for as long as more than 1 still lives...

How much further can a currency go before it becomes impossible to identify a payment status of a specific order?

I think Bitcoin is about as "anonymous" as is effectively possible until somebody links your ID with your wallet address...
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February 20, 2014, 12:17:02 PM
 #36

Important part are not why you buy but what are you buying. Even though anonymity is never perfect, stil it might be less likely to get abused by someone. Our personal data are very important and we should defend them at all cost. Moder companys collect them and use them in various ways, not only targeting, marketing but also enforce they will on our consumer lives. Not to mention that I dont want everyone knows what kind of stocking i am buying and why and for whom. It is my data and i wana do what i want with them and have the most control i can get over them.
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February 20, 2014, 12:31:45 PM
 #37

With the combination of decentralization and anonymity, a true democracy is suddenly within reach.

This.  For there to be decentralised voting that is fair and free from bribery it needs to be anonymous.  If someone bribes you to vote for someone/a policy and you have no way of proving who or what you voted for (short of them physically standing there and watching you vote) then they can't bribe you.  

This set up, for a true direct digital democracy, of course requires an additional system of ensuring 1 person 1 vote, rather than shareholder voting where votes are allowed proportionally to the investment size of the shareholder, but anonymity is a vital part of it.

Darkcoin looks like it's the leader in this field so far.


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February 20, 2014, 12:38:37 PM
 #38

From Unsystem.net :- "We are dedicated to creating popular tools that promote privacy, independence, and integrity in contradistinction to those used for mass surveillance and suppression."

   I understand this - but the other side of the coin is that a public and transparent ledger means that the powers that be suddenly become accountable to us in a way that they haven't been before. Its a two way street this anonymity business. The blockchain isn't just a way by which the masses can have their financial transaction monitored and surveilled. It becomes a means by which the powerful now become accountable for their movements of monetary capital. Its a double edged sword.
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February 20, 2014, 01:39:06 PM
 #39

Bitcoin is not as anoymous as people think just take a look at the scam accusations and how many people get caight almost 90%.

It's NOT anonymous it's more anonymous than Fiat but still not.

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February 20, 2014, 01:50:54 PM
 #40

Bitcoin is not as anoymous as people think just take a look at the scam accusations and how many people get caight almost 90%.

It's NOT anonymous it's more anonymous than Fiat but still not.

Is it?
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