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Author Topic: Big coin deal with Jack and Alice: how does it go down?  (Read 951 times)
hashman
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October 19, 2011, 08:29:17 PM
 #1


Jack Buyer and Alice Seller agreed to use bitcoin on their large deal.  It was rumored to be in the 10-100 kBTC range.  This was well more than an average years salary range in the tropical location they now resided.   

Alice wasn't going make Jack pay upfront before seeing the goods, but to keep things simple they agreed on the price beforehand. 

When Jack arrived Alice had the wares out and safely displayed in a requested location, a location with litttle to no external communications available.   

Jack took a look at the goods, raised his eyebrows, and agreed to pay the price. 

How did the deal go down?
Is there anything Jack and Alice could do to make their deal go down smoothly and with minimal button-pressing or waiting?     


 


Here is one scenario:

Before the deal Jack moves some funds around publicly between wallets to prove he has the cash handy and so she knows the public address of the coins in question.

At the location, Jack hands over the private key to those coins, a QR code he has kept in his wallet or perhaps a base 56 string from memory. 

Alice verifies on the spot that Jack's key matches the public address they agreed to, using an ECDSA sig checker widget on her phone, after cursing at her OCR/VR software a bit.   

At this point Alice trusts Jack, and offers the goods and tells him he is free to go..  however Jack is more suspicious.  He fears Alice's organization and doesn't want to leave them with room to accuse him of anything should the funds move before Alice expects them to. 

So he waits while Alice phones an accomplice, and uploads to her the key.  The accomplice moves the coins to a new address and they wait six blocks while drinking six beers.   








 

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saethan
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October 19, 2011, 08:41:21 PM
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All that is needed to transfer any amount of coins from one wallet to another is some sort of access to the internet.  If Alice has a working smartphone, she has a working source of an internet connection, and does not need an accomplice. 

Unless for some reason she's on Mars and the light-speed delay is longer than the block-generation delay.   Cool
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October 19, 2011, 09:32:43 PM
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What happens if Alice's accomplice transfers the coins to a private address and disappears with the BTC? Surely Alice herself should do the transfer herself while she's with Jack.

Jack doesn't trust Alice's organization, remember. So if Alice's accomplice steals the coins, Alice's organization may accuse the accomplice of being an agent of Jack.
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October 19, 2011, 09:33:02 PM
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I think you can actually do this in such a way that the funds are staged and have 6 confirmations ahead of time and at the actual meet up, you exchange a final signed transaction that delivers the coins.  No waiting around is necessary.  I don't think it's doable right now due to some features of the scripting language being disabled at the moment, but it should eventually be doable (and software would keep the button clicking minimal).

See this thread for the details of how it would work: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=25786.0

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October 19, 2011, 10:16:26 PM
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You may also want to have a look at P2P contracts.

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Contracts

Once Bitcoin is understood, the consequences of a bank-only system are evident: your wallet is your national identity card and all private keys are handed to the government
hashman
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October 20, 2011, 03:30:44 PM
 #6

Thanks for responses. 

Judging by them it looks like the situation currently is:

1) alice and jack need full internet access to do business

2) they also need to wait about an hour for funds to clear

I was hoping somebody would contradict this *shrug*
Horkabork
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October 20, 2011, 04:21:31 PM
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I'll tell you one thing: Alice better watch herself when dealing with Jack Buyer. That dude kicks terrorist ass and can go a full 24 hours without peeing, sleeping, pooping, or eating. Come to think of it, nobody observed him eat a single bite of food for a full 6 years. This leads some to believe that he a cybergenetic human that doesn't need sleep and excretes waste through a simulated sweating process. Also, sometimes he can teleport himself to places so long as nobody is really paying attention. His dad was pretty badass too, having once fought body-snatching aliens. I guess it runs in the family.

Or it could be that he's actually Doctor Who and, in times of trouble, he time-travels and swaps places with his former or future self so that he can take a nap, replenish his ammo, and get a taco to eat. In that case, Alice can just tell him to hop into the TARDIS, go back a few hours and initiate the transfer, and then come back to the present. Then, he can take Alice a day or so into the future, look up the exchange rate on his smartphone, and go back to the present. That way, they won't have issues with a volatile exchange rate.

Heck, he could set up a miner in a bunker somewhere, go forward several decades, put the now-full wallet on a flash drive, and take it back to the present. Sure, this might introduce a block chain paradox, but since when did Doctor Who give two shits about paradoxes?

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