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Author Topic: Outsourcing vanity address generation  (Read 4613 times)
deepceleron
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January 08, 2012, 07:51:59 PM
 #21

I hate to inject gloom and doom into a fun topic like vanity bitcoin addresses... but y'all should be aware that one of my longer-term goals for the Bitcoin system is to make bitcoin addresses disappear. I hope Bitcoin software 10 years from now tells users "You're about to pay 11 micro-Bitcoins to Amazon.com" and not "2mRwtf8blahblahblah". And I'm not alone, I know Mike Hearn feels strongly about making bitcoin addresses go away for ordinary users.

If you do spent lots of time creating The World's Best system for mining vanity bitcoin addresses, please don't be upset or surprised if you find it is obsolete when "Bitcoin 2017 Turbo++ Enhanced Edition" is released.


The foundations seem napkin-sketched out already from Mike's post; I've started thinking it through, and a self-published alias might be the easiest addition. It would seem best to lift Namecoin's style of address registration with fee. There would certainly be a landrush period, and you would want to discourage squatting, so a significant but diminishing cost would better ensure interested parties might still find their desired alias available (see post #10 above; I paid .55 BTC in fees just for some fun...).

Implementation: You go into your address book, there is an option called "register label on network". You press this, it asks you to create an alias that other clients can see to send money to you. If you are not the first, you get an error that the alias is already taken. The alias is permanently included in the blockchain along with some bitcoins you donate as the fee, and then the address book will list all aliases registered to your address. Other Bitcoin clients would have a searchable database of all these aliases to find you as a recipient.

However, I don't think anything like this should be included in Bitcoin. Although not any more dangerous than "firstbits", it would make it too easy to spoof people into sending money to an "amazon.com" that goes to a malicious squatter instead. It also hinders anonymity and the sender identification that comes with one-time-use addresses.

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The Bitcoin network protocol was designed to be extremely flexible. It can be used to create timed transactions, escrow transactions, multi-signature transactions, etc. The current features of the client only hint at what will be possible in the future.
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The00Dustin
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February 24, 2012, 02:02:48 PM
 #22

However, I don't think anything like this should be included in Bitcoin. Although not any more dangerous than "firstbits", it would make it too easy to spoof people into sending money to an "amazon.com" that goes to a malicious squatter instead. It also hinders anonymity and the sender identification that comes with one-time-use addresses.
I agree with your point about anonymity, and I am sure there are other equally good reasons not to include such a thing in bitcoin (for instance, it would make it that much more complicated to prune the blockchain to keep db size down if that were to be implemented in the future), but for bitcoin to survive and thrive as the main cryptocurrency (should cryptocurrencies actually survive and thrive at all), it would need to do whatever the "customers" demand.  IOW, the reasons all become moot if said thing is in demand and you don't want bitcoin to fall by the wayside.  Regarding the "amazon.com" example, that can happen as it stands now, with a website hack, DNS and SSL hacks, or spoofing, and it can cost a user who didn't pay with credit card dearly.  In the future, someone might insure bitcoin transactions the way credit card transactions are insured, so between all of these points, I'm not sure it holds much water.
Red Emerald
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March 02, 2012, 06:37:02 AM
 #23

Well reading this thread makes me realize we probably won't need vanity addresses or firstbits in the future. But they work for now.


http://ecdsa.org/bitcoin-alias/

Keeping aliases in the namecoin chain does sound a lot simpler and more functional since an alias can be much longer.

deepceleron
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March 02, 2012, 07:22:35 AM
 #24

Well reading this thread makes me realize we probably won't need vanity addresses or firstbits in the future. But they work for now.


http://ecdsa.org/bitcoin-alias/

Keeping aliases in the namecoin chain does sound a lot simpler and more functional since an alias can be much longer.

I was going to make your site display some javascript, but I guess it's not live, as the other "alias" using that format is not showing up:
"a/electrum","19mP9FKrXqL46Si58pHdhGKow88SUPy1V8","7df83bc14a9ed53073b499d6de29a48db1fadf1013ff23cec44eb634a934e9d8","MzC2Yf33WoPrk4bvVtNcXSpWMfAHKQrJEc",34251


ThePiachu
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June 01, 2012, 12:33:01 PM
 #25

There is a working implementation of ECDSA key merging and vanity key outsourcing discussed here:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=84569

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