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Question: Should Bitcoin, as a protocol, have privacy as default with optional transparency, or transparency as default with optional privacy?
Transparency as default
Privacy as default

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Author Topic: Privacy or transparency as default?  (Read 508 times)
dabura667 (OP)
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June 07, 2014, 02:37:22 PM
Last edit: June 07, 2014, 03:00:08 PM by dabura667
 #1

The question is self-explanatory. I just want to gauge everyone's opinion on here.

Edit: I just clarified a bit in a post below.

Quote
What I mean is that, as Bitcoin is currently being used. The default is transparency.

If I give you an address, even if it's a new one, and I someday use that address in a transaction without a mixer, you can follow the grouped inputs to estimate my bitcoin holdings etc. as bitcoin gets wider uses you can probably with little effort figure out what my spending habits are where I'm spending money etc.

This will probably be fine for Joe Schmoe in middle-class USA or something, but if you are a citizen in a country that "bans bitcoin" with lethal force (who knows, it could happen)... the public will have to either A. just sit there and take it. or B. be a super hacker 1337 programmer who can write their own coinjoin implementation of a stealth address diffie hellman shared secrets while using tor networks and blahblahblah...

So I am not talking about feasibility or any specific changes to the protocol. I am just asking, if you could go back in time and create the perfect Bitcoin network by changing Satoshi's hand at coding, how would you design the protocol in regards to privacy or transparency... I don't want to get into discussion of logistics on how it can be done etc.

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June 07, 2014, 02:47:57 PM
 #2

Well, no.  Actually the question is pretty vague.  Do you class what we have now as transparent, or private?  What would make it more transparent or more private in your opinion?  Are you proposing modifying the core to achieve the extra privacy or transparency?  If so, why?  As the level of transparency will vary depending on whether you need to use a third party to complete your transaction and how much information they collect in the process.

If I buy something online and want it delivered, I have to give them my address to receive the item.  There's nothing you can change in the "defaults", as you put it, that would alter that fact.

Conversely, if I meet up with someone in private and exchange addresses with them, we can make any number of transactions without anyone else knowing who we were or what we were trading for.

It's all relative.

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dabura667 (OP)
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June 07, 2014, 02:57:39 PM
 #3

Well, no.  Actually the question is pretty vague.  Do you class what we have now as transparent, or private?  What would make it more transparent or more private in your opinion?  Are you proposing modifying the core to achieve the extra privacy or transparency?  If so, why?  As the level of transparency will vary depending on whether you need to use a third party to complete your transaction and how much information they collect in the process.

If I buy something online and want it delivered, I have to give them my address to receive the item.  There's nothing you can change in the "defaults", as you put it, that would alter that fact.

What I mean is that, as Bitcoin is currently being used. The default is transparency.

If I give you an address, even if it's a new one, and I someday use that address in a transaction without a mixer, you can follow the grouped inputs to estimate my bitcoin holdings etc. as bitcoin gets wider uses you can probably with little effort figure out what my spending habits are where I'm spending money etc.

This will probably be fine for Joe Schmoe in middle-class USA or something, but if you are a citizen in a country that "bans bitcoin" with lethal force (who knows, it could happen)... the public will have to either A. just sit there and take it. or B. be a super hacker 1337 programmer who can write their own coinjoin implementation of a stealth address diffie hellman shared secrets while using tor networks and blahblahblah...

So I am not talking about feasibility or any specific changes to the protocol. I am just asking, if you could go back in time and create the perfect Bitcoin network by changing Satoshi's hand at coding, how would you design the protocol in regards to privacy or transparency... I don't want to get into discussion of logistics on how it can be done etc.

My Tip Address:
1DXcHTJS2DJ3xDoxw22wCt11FeAsgfzdBU
DooMAD
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June 07, 2014, 03:39:57 PM
 #4


If I give you an address, even if it's a new one, and I someday use that address in a transaction without a mixer, you can follow the grouped inputs to estimate my bitcoin holdings etc. as bitcoin gets wider uses you can probably with little effort figure out what my spending habits are where I'm spending money etc.

People who worry about that can always use addresses as a kind of throw-away payment reference and never use it twice, although it's a little cumbersome to do so.  Change Addresses will become more common as clients develop, so that will help in that regard.  If you're willing to put the effort in, there are certainly ways to make transactions difficult to track.  People are working on things like Darkcoin and Darkwallet, so the fact that it's a priority for some very determined individuals means that any breakthroughs in aid of privacy will find their way into circulation soon enough.

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.UniJoin.io .....  Your CoinJoin Mixer...
|
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dabura667 (OP)
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June 07, 2014, 05:56:00 PM
 #5


If I give you an address, even if it's a new one, and I someday use that address in a transaction without a mixer, you can follow the grouped inputs to estimate my bitcoin holdings etc. as bitcoin gets wider uses you can probably with little effort figure out what my spending habits are where I'm spending money etc.

People who worry about that can always use addresses as a kind of throw-away payment reference and never use it twice, although it's a little cumbersome to do so.  Change Addresses will become more common as clients develop, so that will help in that regard.  If you're willing to put the effort in, there are certainly ways to make transactions difficult to track.  People are working on things like Darkcoin and Darkwallet, so the fact that it's a priority for some very determined individuals means that any breakthroughs in aid of privacy will find their way into circulation soon enough.

Exactly, but to use your example of Dark Wallet.

This shows that we are currently Default transparency, optional privacy.

I personally would like to see mass adoption of features of Dark Wallet at the protocol level of Bitcoin. Optional 100% transparency, but default high privacy.

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June 14, 2014, 04:04:26 AM
 #6


If I give you an address, even if it's a new one, and I someday use that address in a transaction without a mixer, you can follow the grouped inputs to estimate my bitcoin holdings etc. as bitcoin gets wider uses you can probably with little effort figure out what my spending habits are where I'm spending money etc.

People who worry about that can always use addresses as a kind of throw-away payment reference and never use it twice, although it's a little cumbersome to do so.  Change Addresses will become more common as clients develop, so that will help in that regard.  If you're willing to put the effort in, there are certainly ways to make transactions difficult to track.  People are working on things like Darkcoin and Darkwallet, so the fact that it's a priority for some very determined individuals means that any breakthroughs in aid of privacy will find their way into circulation soon enough.

Exactly, but to use your example of Dark Wallet.

This shows that we are currently Default transparency, optional privacy.

I personally would like to see mass adoption of features of Dark Wallet at the protocol level of Bitcoin. Optional 100% transparency, but default high privacy.

Even without darkwallet you can pretty easily hide your identity if you simply never reuse an address and if you receive a 2nd payment to an address to simply use a mixer to mix your coins to your "current" address.
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