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Author Topic: Donning tin foil hat concerning multisig transactions  (Read 3133 times)
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January 31, 2012, 06:05:46 AM
 #41

Quote from: John Kirk link=topic=61836.msg723593#msg723593
1) You pay your taxes in bitcoin to whatever government you are a citizen.  The bitcoins you use to pay your taxes may be single signature or multisig, it doesn't matter.  They will accept any kind of bitcoins whatsoever.  In fact, they would prefer you sent them bitcoins that weren't multisig so that they could then "brand" them with their own signature, thereby increasing their influence over the system.


Coins aren't branded with signatures in some permanent way. There is no difference between sending coins by signing with one sig or with two. If you get sent coins that used to be encumbered by A or (B or C or D) or (D and E) it makes no difference, whatever the inputs were have no bearing on what the outputs can be.

In general though if the government passes a law requiring us to wear shoes on our heads it isn't safe to assume people will actually wear shoes on their heads.

You need something more convincing than "the government will tell us to hand our money over". Getting our gold money took generations, and now we have so many more advantages.

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January 31, 2012, 07:19:49 AM
 #42

Quote from: John Kirk link=topic=61836.msg723593#msg723593
1) You pay your taxes in bitcoin to whatever government you are a citizen.  The bitcoins you use to pay your taxes may be single signature or multisig, it doesn't matter.  They will accept any kind of bitcoins whatsoever.  In fact, they would prefer you sent them bitcoins that weren't multisig so that they could then "brand" them with their own signature, thereby increasing their influence over the system.


Coins aren't branded with signatures in some permanent way. There is no difference between sending coins by signing with one sig or with two. If you get sent coins that used to be encumbered by A or (B or C or D) or (D and E) it makes no difference, whatever the inputs were have no bearing on what the outputs can be.

In general though if the government passes a law requiring us to wear shoes on our heads it isn't safe to assume people will actually wear shoes on their heads.

You need something more convincing than "the government will tell us to hand our money over". Getting our gold money took generations, and now we have so many more advantages.

The cost to the govt of checking that all citizens are wearing shoes on their heads at all times is prohibitive.  The cost to the govt of checking that one of their keys is present in every Bitcoin transaction is not.

Very unlikely they would ever care about taxing alpaca socks, but if this hypothetical did happen the barrier to entry is probably just the Treasury Dept. asking AT&T to kindly let them borrow the fiberoptic line they installed for the NSA, then send out requests to ISPs for the identity behind every IP address that originates a transaction without a govt key.
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January 31, 2012, 07:45:38 AM
 #43

Coins aren't branded with signatures in some permanent way. There is no difference between sending coins by signing with one sig or with two. If you get sent coins that used to be encumbered by A or (B or C or D) or (D and E) it makes no difference, whatever the inputs were have no bearing on what the outputs can be.

I see the confusion.  I apparently used a poor choice of words to express myself before. 

I understand that there is not really a permanent "brand" on the bitcoin transactions.  I was using the term "brand" to signify a chain of government signatures, and didn't explain myself well enough.  Let me drop the term "brand", and make another stab at explaining what I was driving at.

Suppose we have a transaction that requires two signatures, A and B, where each signature is held by different individuals: person(A) and person(B).  Each of those individuals has veto-power over spending the bitcoins represented by the transaction.  Because of that, either individual can impose whatever restrictions he wants before agreeing to sign.  One possible draconian restriction that person(A) could insist on is the requirement that the coins be sent only to transactions that person(A) can sign.  If person(B) doesn't like that, tough.  Person(A) doesn't have to sign if his conditions aren't met.  Of course, if person(A) doesn't have sufficient protection, person(B) can just beat the hell out of person(A) to force him to sign.

Because of this, an entity that has signed a multisig transaction can potentially leverage his veto-power to gain leverage on subsequent transactions.  In the hands of a government, that leverage can be very strong.  That is all I'm saying.

In any case, I believe that Gavin answered my basic question about this, when he said that multisig transactions do actually allow for the possibility of this happening, even though he thinks it to be unlikely to ever happen.  I am satisfied with that and don't need to belabor the point any further.
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January 31, 2012, 12:15:49 PM
 #44

There is another danger though even if bitcoin rejects the idea of multisig all together.

Govt can always come up with their own network built with multisig in mind where one key always belongs to them.
Make this network hash-compatible with bitcoin and start merge-mining it. Of course people won't know anything about it.
Once govt network gains a lot of power, they can suppress any activity on bitcoin network via merged mining
exactly how Luke-Jr did it with CoiledCoin.

So the the only way we can fight it is not by suppressing multisig because it's irrelevant, but gain more support from the masses before govt does.
This year they will be busy with elections, so we have to hurry up and propel bitcoin to the Moon Smiley
I think Bitcoin magazine would do a great job here.
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January 31, 2012, 03:37:25 PM
 #45

There is another danger though even if bitcoin rejects the idea of multisig all together.

Govt can always come up with their own network built with multisig in mind where one key always belongs to them.
Make this network hash-compatible with bitcoin and start merge-mining it. Of course people won't know anything about it.
Once govt network gains a lot of power, they can suppress any activity on bitcoin network via merged mining
exactly how Luke-Jr did it with CoiledCoin.

So the the only way we can fight it is not by suppressing multisig because it's irrelevant, but gain more support from the masses before govt does.
This year they will be busy with elections, so we have to hurry up and propel bitcoin to the Moon Smiley
I think Bitcoin magazine would do a great job here.

Good points all around.

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