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Author Topic: Miners that refuse to include transactions are becoming a problem  (Read 15307 times)
DeathAndTaxes
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March 29, 2012, 01:04:56 PM
 #221

I can see how that might work to undermine blocklists, but selling the private keys works just as well.  Anyway, he might have to wait a long time to mine his one transaction.

There is no need to sell the private key.

transaction fees aren't subject to any taint list so ....

tainted coins in -----> coin melter* ----> untained coins out  Smiley

* coin melter simply makes a tx using tainted coins as the input a new address as the output and send a % to coinbase as a tx fee.

Using enough blocks one could convert all tainted coins into coinbase rewards.  At which point they can be used just like any other coins.
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March 29, 2012, 01:38:44 PM
 #222

I can see how that might work to undermine blocklists, but selling the private keys works just as well.  Anyway, he might have to wait a long time to mine his one transaction.

There is no need to sell the private key.

transaction fees aren't subject to any taint list so ....

tainted coins in -----> coin melter* ----> untained coins out  Smiley

* coin melter simply makes a tx using tainted coins as the input a new address as the output and send a % to coinbase as a tx fee.

Using enough blocks one could convert all tainted coins into coinbase rewards.  At which point they can be used just like any other coins.

That would be a great business(and probably very profitable) for the one who is brave enough to do it Wink

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March 29, 2012, 01:45:55 PM
 #223

If 'tainted coin tracing' is ever implemented, it would be pretty easy to extend the idea to 'tainted mined coins'.

Mine 75 BTC (50 plus 25 in 'melted, tainted coins') and it'd be considered 33% tainted.

How often do you get the chance to work on a potentially world-changing project?
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Gerald Davis


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March 29, 2012, 01:51:21 PM
 #224

If 'tainted coin tracing' is ever implemented, it would be pretty easy to extend the idea to 'tainted mined coins'.

Mine 75 BTC (50 plus 25 in 'melted, tainted coins') and it'd be considered 33% tainted.


Possibly but I would hope the taint idiots would see the catastrophic damage that would cause.

Thieves don't need to get 100% of the take to be profitable (things like a fence are just a cost of doing "business").

Say i steal 100K BTC from the bank of Bitcoin.
I have the coins melted down for a 10% fee by someone with a lot of hashing power and willingness to maximize that return (105% PPS pools anyone).  To camouflage that I create a large number of tx involving both tainted and untained coins with hefty fees which I broadcast to the network.    They get picked up by dozens of pools and the fees dispersed to thousands of miners.  Likely the taint is spread unevenly between miners adding to the confusion and uncertainty. Some of those miners use those tainted inputs in downstream txs.  Sure I didn't clear the 100K but no business is 100% profit (not even theft).  

What is MtGox going to do then?   Freeze accounts of ten thousands miners simultaneously because they have tainted coins from mining?

In most of the discussions of Bitcoin Police & taint databases the consensus seemed to be that taint couldn't follow tx fees due to the massive overhead and false positives that would create.  My interest in coin melting is to simply to show that coin tainting is beyond stupid,  Mt.Gox actions are beyond stupid.

Taint lists and account freezing undermines the fundamental concept that currency is fungible.Taint lists have a real risk of killing Bitcoin.  More than protocol flaws, more than SHA compromise, more that internal disruptions, more than govt prohibition, more than attacks by conventional financial interests.  Currency must be fungible.  Period.  If it isn't fungible it isn't a currency.

I have two $1 bills in my wallet.  Each has a purchasing power of exactly $1.00000000000000.  It doesn't matter which one I spend I get same amount of goods in return. That fungibility is a major element of the intrinsic value of the dollar.   If Bitcoin can't remain fungible IMHO it will die and will be replaced by an alternative which preserves that essential quality of currencies.
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March 29, 2012, 01:52:47 PM
 #225

If 'tainted coin tracing' is ever implemented, it would be pretty easy to extend the idea to 'tainted mined coins'.

Mine 75 BTC (50 plus 25 in 'melted, tainted coins') and it'd be considered 33% tainted.


Another big can of worms.

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March 29, 2012, 01:58:24 PM
 #226

My point was ANY scheme you come up with will eventually come down to "Does this transaction input have a high enough percentage of 'badness' for me to say no, I won't take it."

Whatever percentage you choose, the bad guys will very likely figure out ways to make their transactions just barely pass your purity test.

Which is why I mostly think starting down that road is probably a bad idea.

On the other hand... "security theatre" can be good public relations.  Make the bad guys jump through two hoops and then feel good about how tough you are on crime....

How often do you get the chance to work on a potentially world-changing project?
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Gerald Davis


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March 29, 2012, 02:08:13 PM
 #227

My point was ANY scheme you come up with will eventually come down to "Does this transaction input have a high enough percentage of 'badness' for me to say no, I won't take it."

Whatever percentage you choose, the bad guys will very likely figure out ways to make their transactions just barely pass your purity test.

Which is why I mostly think starting down that road is probably a bad idea.

I misunderstood and then went on a long winded rant.  Need some coffee.   I agree the point of coin melting would be to make that determination too complex and subjective to be of any effective value. I have no interest in running a coin melting service but I think having it out there is useful for changing public opinion.  If it can be done it eventually will be done so might as well show people it can be done.

Mt.Gox will only change their policies when it costs them money.  Tainting thousands of accounts while at the same time ensuring the thief's accounts look no different than the tainted ones will cost Mt.Gox money.  It will also ensure coins will never be returned to the person who claimed to have lost them.  Coins will remain fungible and irreversible.

Quote
On the other hand... "security theatre" can be good public relations.  Make the bad guys jump through two hoops and then feel good about how tough you are on crime....

Well it is good for controlling the masses (Patriot Act, no fly list w/ 1.8 million "terrorists" on it, TSA, etc).  Some people just want power and control even in a decentralized network.  Protocol or no protocol they want to be the one controlling it.  Freedom is scary and they want the comfort of controlling the uncontrollable.
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March 29, 2012, 02:31:32 PM
 #228

[...] "Does this transaction input have a high enough percentage of 'badness' for me to say no, I won't take it."[...]
Is there a transaction-type where I can force the receiver to make a decision on taking or not taking the coins? That way I can imagine this one working.

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March 29, 2012, 10:13:47 PM
 #229

Sorry if this is a re-post:

http://www.rdmag.com/News/Feeds/2012/03/general-sciences-bitcoin-currency-system-offers-negative-incentive/

Apparently this was presented at a convention in Spain back in July.
Is this the same concept as only mining blocks with no transactions?
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March 29, 2012, 11:10:22 PM
 #230

Sorry if this is a re-post:

http://www.rdmag.com/News/Feeds/2012/03/general-sciences-bitcoin-currency-system-offers-negative-incentive/

Apparently this was presented at a convention in Spain back in July.
Is this the same concept as only mining blocks with no transactions?

No.  The article you link is just pointing out that nodes have no incentive to forward transactions.

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March 29, 2012, 11:26:20 PM
 #231

My point was ANY scheme you come up with will eventually come down to "Does this transaction input have a high enough percentage of 'badness' for me to say no, I won't take it."

Whatever percentage you choose, the bad guys will very likely figure out ways to make their transactions just barely pass your purity test.

Which is why I mostly think starting down that road is probably a bad idea.

On the other hand... "security theatre" can be good public relations.  Make the bad guys jump through two hoops and then feel good about how tough you are on crime....

The whole problem with any such approach is that "bad" is not a mathematical calculation.

Bad is a 100% purely subjective opinion - there is no calculation that says something IS bad.
It is simply just an opinion and no more than that.

Worse, what is happening it is actually based on the ideals of religion.
The idea that there is a god that will set everything right in the end.
And worse, people are trying to call MtGox their god in this situation.

The absolutely simplest point to make is - why should MtGox decide what bitcoins are good and what bitcoins are bad?

If someone steals 10 BTC from me, how on earth am I going to be able to get MtGox to ban the perpetrator?
Why would MtGox trust me saying that those coins are "bad"
Who in MtGox is going to be given this god power to decide which transactions in the block-chain are "bad"?

It's actually even worse again - it boils down to a person or a certain small group of people having the power to decide that when someone claims that their bitcoins were stolen, that claim is decided to be true (or false) - and who will this person or small group believe?
Oh hang on - is it only for big transactions? - people with 'more money' that this will work? ....

It will become a situation where certain people will have certain extra power over bitcoins that others do not.
Who in their right mind would be stupid enough to be happy with that?

I'm feeling like I should start an anti-MtGox campaign here on the forum and tell people to NOT use MtGox and try to shut them down.

Of course MtGox will be happy if you give them this power ... that they also seem to want ...

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March 30, 2012, 02:21:44 AM
 #232

Well, I think this has gotten a bit off topic, but I agree. MtGox got what they deserved because they were fucking stupid and let themselves get social engineered and had all their passwords stolen. Not only that, but their recovery of people's legitimate accounts was piss poor, and AFAIK is still leaving some people stranded.

There are plenty of ways to avoid that sort of thing, and plenty more being developed (like BTC address signatures). If you're going to run a bank, exchange, or other business which deals with other people's money, you need to do better than that. If anything, MtGox should go out of business. Sure, the people who robbed them were douches, but it was ultimately MtGox's responsibility to safeguard their clients information, and they failed, and then tried to blame it on someone else.

I don't know that "coin melting" will actually solve that problem to any extent, or make it any harder for them to track "tainted" coins. Not like keeping some kind of coin blacklist is going to do anything anyway. MtGox is never, ever getting those coins back, so trying to put restrictions on them is impeding the currency in general just to make MtGox look less irresponsible than they really are. If you want to police other people's lives, you're in the wrong place; BTC is all about personal responsibility.

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March 30, 2012, 04:37:33 AM
 #233

My point was ANY scheme you come up with will eventually come down to "Does this transaction input have a high enough percentage of 'badness' for me to say no, I won't take it."

Whatever percentage you choose, the bad guys will very likely figure out ways to make their transactions just barely pass your purity test.

Which is why I mostly think starting down that road is probably a bad idea.

On the other hand... "security theatre" can be good public relations.  Make the bad guys jump through two hoops and then feel good about how tough you are on crime....


Mt.Gox will only change their policies when it costs them money.  Tainting thousands of accounts while at the same time ensuring the thief's accounts look no different than the tainted ones will cost Mt.Gox money.  It will also ensure coins will never be returned to the person who claimed to have lost them.  Coins will remain fungible and irreversible.

Your points on fungibility are correct. There are plenty of laundry services to do this. Starting down some road to build laundry ("coin melting") into the protocol sounds like a bad idea, indeed. Investigating bitcoin crime seems like it's super fun for law enforcement if they're trained on how to do it (and taught correctly what "taint" really does not mean). Supporting their training, while the laundry services churn away certainly sounds like two good hoops.

Bitcoin lends itself to a free market - if large bitcoin handlers persist in seizures based on taint, more people with larger holdings will just go to the laundry as a matter of course upon receiving bitcoin.

It's costing MtGox money already. (something is bound to w/ 80% marketshare) - Since they're the most likely first contact for law enforcement they need to send the LEOs wherever they need to go to get trained. Their bottom line will teach them this, but they probably can't teach all the LE community by themselves.

I know I'm new here, but it seems to me that the "trackability" of coins is a prime feature of bitcoin - gives the LEOs something to do, and a way to use it to look at / for crimes. Because there is no such "thing" as a bitcoin, "taint" is just probability, and that's what LEOs are supposed to work with: probable cause. It seems that security theater is exactly what's built into the design. Why change that?

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March 30, 2012, 08:46:57 AM
 #234

I'm feeling like I should start an anti-MtGox campaign here on the forum and tell people to NOT use MtGox and try to shut them down.
Cool, then more people will use our trading platform :)
Decentralization FTW.

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March 30, 2012, 08:54:21 AM
 #235

I'm feeling like I should start an anti-MtGox campaign here on the forum and tell people to NOT use MtGox and try to shut them down.
Cool, then more people will use our trading platform Smiley
Decentralization FTW.

Futures & Options FTW!

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March 30, 2012, 10:54:03 AM
 #236

Why don't we use our resources to educate computer users and help prevent botnets from becoming as large a problem as they are.

Oh, I'm sorry, forgive me. I forgot that this was about money and not people.

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March 30, 2012, 11:21:35 AM
 #237

Why don't we use our resources to educate computer users and help prevent botnets from becoming as large a problem as they are.

Oh, I'm sorry, forgive me. I forgot that this was about money and not people.

Isn't it really about how people relate to each other and money?

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March 30, 2012, 12:04:54 PM
 #238

Why don't we use our resources to educate computer users and help prevent botnets from becoming as large a problem as they are.

Oh, I'm sorry, forgive me. I forgot that this was about money and not people.
Yes it is about money.
That's the reason bitcoin exists ... even the name tells you that.

Preventing botnets is about money.
The botnets exist because they can make money, people want to stop them coz they are using other peoples computers to make money.
http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2012/03/p2p-botnets-the-bigger-they-come-the-faster-they-fall.ars

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March 30, 2012, 03:17:01 PM
 #239

Why don't we use our resources to educate computer users and help prevent botnets from becoming as large a problem as they are.

Oh, I'm sorry, forgive me. I forgot that this was about money and not people.
Yes it is about money.
That's the reason bitcoin exists ... even the name tells you that.

Preventing botnets is about money.
The botnets exist because they can make money, people want to stop them coz they are using other peoples computers to make money.
http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2012/03/p2p-botnets-the-bigger-they-come-the-faster-they-fall.ars

It helps to be clear, it seems you are talking about -involuntary- botnets.  Bitcoin is a giant botnet, a mining rig is also a smaller botnet.  Just to be clear, there is absolutely no a priori reason that the bitcoin network would care who pays for the power. 
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March 30, 2012, 10:03:12 PM
 #240

Why don't we use our resources to educate computer users and help prevent botnets from becoming as large a problem as they are.

Oh, I'm sorry, forgive me. I forgot that this was about money and not people.
Yes it is about money.
That's the reason bitcoin exists ... even the name tells you that.

Preventing botnets is about money.
The botnets exist because they can make money, people want to stop them coz they are using other peoples computers to make money.
http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2012/03/p2p-botnets-the-bigger-they-come-the-faster-they-fall.ars

It helps to be clear, it seems you are talking about -involuntary- botnets.  Bitcoin is a giant botnet, a mining rig is also a smaller botnet.  Just to be clear, there is absolutely no a priori reason that the bitcoin network would care who pays for the power. 
Yes the term botnets has more than one meaning in English.
Great language isn't it Smiley

In reference to bitcoin the term has a specific meaning:
It's a collection of computers infected with a torjan/virus/such that are running software that the computer owners are either unaware of or unable to stop from running.

Of course, "bitcoins" do not care if you hacked into someone's computer and stole them, stole the network to generate them or used your own resources to generate them.

Just the same as your local supermarket doesn't know if the $10 you gave them to buy a packet of cigarettes was obtained by murdering someone down the road and stealing it from the wallet in their lifeless body ... and then when the supermarket gives it to the next person who receives it as change, the shop that they take the $10 change to, to buy their grandmother flowers doesn't know that it is "tainted" money and will happily let you use it to buy the flowers ... then the child of the murdered person may get the $10 back as change when they buy flowers for the funeral of their parent ...

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