I'm certainly not a cryptographer by trade or anything so I'm not sure if this idea holds any water. As I browse the forums I am noticing that perhaps one of the bigger issues when transacting with BC is building reputation between the transacting parties. In particular, the very first transaction seems to be critical.
I'm wondering if a solution, similar to what Professor Markus Jakobsson proposed in his paper could work? See http://romualdogrillo.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=48&Itemid=54
for an overview. In a nutshell, the goal with "coin ripping" is similar to what could be done with traditional paper money.
- If A is going to perform $5 of service for B, they each can take out a $5 bill and rip them in half.
- Now A and B would each have 2 halve's of a $5 bill, but neither would have the correct halves.
- Therefore A is incentivized to actually perform the service for B, since this is the only way for him to receive both the missing half from his original $5bill back and the missing half of B's original $5 bill.
- The result is a transfer of $5 to A from B (as originally planned) in exchange for service.
Of course, if A or B is a scammer, with this scenario both of them would lose. In other words, it wouldn't pay to be a scammer.
I don't know if this is something that would qualify for design consideration, but if all transactions were "ripped" by default, it might set people's minds at ease. Additionally, it could possibly be algorithmically implemented unlike a staffed escrow account.
What do you guys think?