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Author Topic: The BitcoinCard : Vienna, Austria Workshop  (Read 13091 times)
DublinBrian
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June 11, 2012, 12:58:02 PM
 #41

Anyone in the electronics industry can tell you that the e-ink screen, radio transmitter/receiver and other functions of the device cannot be run by such a small solar panel, in fact, it would need a battery the size of the whole card just to run an hour more than likely.
Im not sure thats true. RFID chips can transmit, without any battery at all, by harvesting power from a coil.This card will have no problem running and transmitting transactions.

The limitation will be range. Users will need to be within a few metres of each other for these cards to make connections.
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June 11, 2012, 01:11:02 PM
 #42


Not sure if you are serious? 

Lets add the caveat of

Quote
Bitcoin apps for existing smartphones can still be used. But this claims to offer bitcoin connectivity without a mobile carrier and without local electricity, but requiring a gateway access that needs local electricity and local internet connectivity, both of which could be considered single points of failure under a repressive regime.

Unless the goal is for people under repressive regimes to cross the closed borders to open regimes and sync their devices with the blockchain via a gateway and then return to the repressive regimes. Smiley


Well, partially serious. It's all relative, I suppose. Imagine a scenario where only a few gateway computers with Internet connectivity do exist inside of the Nation-State but not necessarily available to the masses. A wireless mesh (or ad hoc) network is not new technology and it operates on an unregulated part of the bandwidth spectrum. In this scenario, reliance is not placed on the mobile telecom provider which has been a target previously in the countries that have wanted to quell social networking. Eliminating, or reducing, points of failure should be the goal.

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I also cover the bitcoin economy for Forbes, American Banker, PaymentsSource, and CoinDesk.
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June 11, 2012, 01:20:34 PM
 #43


This issue that needs to be discussed however is that although we would all love such a device (myself included!) it's straight from a fairytale. Anyone in the electronics industry can tell you that the e-ink screen, radio transmitter/receiver and other functions of the device cannot be run by such a small solar panel, in fact, it would need a battery the size of the whole card just to run an hour more than likely.


Come on, Matt; you know that's bullshit.  I have an android phone that has an 800mhz processor and a battery the size of this card, and it can standby for three days.  This card has something on the order of an 8 or 16 mhz processor, I'd wager.  E-ink doesn't take much.  My Kindle 3 has an ARM processor of around 650 Mhz and 256 meg or ram (an order of magnitude greater than this card requires for primary functions) and it makes three weeks on standby.  Six months on a charge is, of course, an unrealistic claim.  But one hour?  Seriously?

Quote
Also, the network they present does in fact require infrastructure that doesn't exist but could also be controlled by a repressive regime (they can detect signals quite easily and locate them wherever they may be if they really wanted to).

This is a fair critique.  However, the creators didn't make any claims that it could be used against repressive regimes.

Quote

I don't think in 2012 the question is "do we want something decentralized?". The answer to that question is an obvious "Yes". The real question is, "Who actually believes this technology actually works and this isn't just a fishing expedition for investors into a technology that doesn't do what it claims to do yet?".

I realize we're waiting on Charlie, Erik and others to return with more information, but any professional in the electronics field will tell you that the technology they claim doesn't exist yet and won't for another 20 years perhaps. If it were so easy, why wouldn't your iphone just have a solar panel on the back of it? Why would anyone be using GSM/CDMA in the first place?

Ask the correct questions people. A few photos of a shell doth a new technology maketh not.

Whether this device actually exists or not, or does what it claims or not, it certainly is presently possible for devices to mesh network quite effectively right now.  The Serval Project attempts to do exactly that with existing wifi hardware on smartphones, although wifi sucks for this purpose.  If smartphones started being made with a 'sensor' style network transceiver, such as Zigbee (good) or Dash7 (better) than we would see all kinds of apps that took advantage of local peerage connections.  An app similar to 'NearMe' would likely become available immediately and p2p texting would become a high-schoolers' main method of communication during school hours.  One reason that manufacturers don't include such network hardware is that carriers see such capabilities as a threat to their business model, particularly their texting and data business model, and rightly so.  There is no way that mesh networking is ever going to be able to handle voice or major data traffic, due to contraints of physics, but small bits of data (such as those apps that are regularly 'checking in' or even a twitter watching app) or apps that trade larger chunks of data but between people in a physical area (like bitcoin) are ideal for sensor networks.  Another reason that cell manufacturers don't make these now is because consumers don't really demand them.  Like yourself, there aren't many that understand their value if one has to have a data plan anyway, which one most certainly would for many years at least.  Not necessarily for bitcoin or local texting, but taken as a whole whatever reductions that moving each of these functions, even completely, off of the dataplan would be a relatively insignificant reduction on the data usage.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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June 11, 2012, 01:26:50 PM
 #44

Whether this device actually exists or not, or does what it claims or not, it certainly is presently possible for devices to mesh network quite effectively right now.  The Serval Project attempts to do exactly that with existing wifi hardware on smartphones, although wifi sucks for this purpose.  If smartphones started being made with a 'sensor' style network transceiver, such as Zigbee (good) or Dash7 (better) than we would see all kinds of apps that took advantage of local peerage connections.  An app similar to 'NearMe' would likely become available immediately and p2p texting would become a high-schoolers' main method of communication during school hours.  One reason that manufacturers don't include such network hardware is that carriers see such capabilities as a threat to their business model, particularly their texting and data business model, and rightly so.  There is no way that mesh networking is ever going to be able to handle voice or major data traffic, due to contraints of physics, but small bits of data (such as those apps that are regularly 'checking in' or even a twitter watching app) or apps that trade larger chunks of data but between people in a physical area (like bitcoin) are ideal for sensor networks.  Another reason that cell manufacturers don't make these now is because consumers don't really demand them.  Like yourself, there aren't many that understand their value if one has to have a data plan anyway, which one most certainly would for many years at least.  Not necessarily for bitcoin or local texting, but taken as a whole whatever reductions that moving each of these functions, even completely, off of the dataplan would be a relatively insignificant reduction on the data usage.

I'm absolutely ecstatic about the possibility of things working off of a close-proximity network. I don't however think that it will work for Bitcoin the way they're intending. Can't wait to see what can be come up with in the future!

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June 11, 2012, 01:30:31 PM
 #45

I'm absolutely ecstatic about the possibility of things working off of a close-proximity network. I don't however think that it will work for Bitcoin the way they're intending. Can't wait to see what can be come up with in the future!
It's good to be skeptical. I hope to be reading about this in your magazine one day when I buy it at the bookstore.

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June 11, 2012, 01:31:06 PM
 #46


Not sure if you are serious? 

Lets add the caveat of

Quote
Bitcoin apps for existing smartphones can still be used. But this claims to offer bitcoin connectivity without a mobile carrier and without local electricity, but requiring a gateway access that needs local electricity and local internet connectivity, both of which could be considered single points of failure under a repressive regime.

Unless the goal is for people under repressive regimes to cross the closed borders to open regimes and sync their devices with the blockchain via a gateway and then return to the repressive regimes. Smiley


Well, partially serious. It's all relative, I suppose. Imagine a scenario where only a few gateway computers with Internet connectivity do exist inside of the Nation-State but not necessarily available to the masses. A wireless mesh (or ad hoc) network is not new technology and it operates on an unregulated part of the bandwidth spectrum. In this scenario, reliance is not placed on the mobile telecom provider which has been a target previously in the countries that have wanted to quell social networking. Eliminating, or reducing, points of failure should be the goal.

Or, in this case; imagine if a repressive regime began hunting for gateway transceivers.  How long would it take before agencies in other nations began setting up high quality, highly directional gear just across their borders to function as a gateway to those who live near the border?  If a few ham radio geeks can get a standard wifi card to connect over 100 miles with an antenna made from a soup can, much more is possible with mesh protocols that are deliberately designed for distance over bandwidth.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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June 11, 2012, 03:20:11 PM
 #47

Or, in this case; imagine if a repressive regime began hunting for gateway transceivers.  How long would it take before agencies in other nations began setting up high quality, highly directional gear just across their borders to function as a gateway to those who live near the border?  If a few ham radio geeks can get a standard wifi card to connect over 100 miles with an antenna made from a soup can, much more is possible with mesh protocols that are deliberately designed for distance over bandwidth.

The essence of this is one of the greatest possibilities of bitcoin tech in general. The value of this type of service to people in a lot of places simply can not be over estimated.

I'm absolutely ecstatic about the possibility of things working off of a close-proximity network. I don't however think that it will work for Bitcoin the way they're intending. Can't wait to see what can be come up with in the future!

How exactly will a physical wallet that transacts over a local network not work for bitcoin? Where's the difference between sticking a wad of bills in your wallet/pocket then going off shopping or loading up your wallet?

The fact that it doesn't work over traditional networking protocols would be much more of a strength than a weakness in terms of security.

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June 11, 2012, 03:26:15 PM
 #48

The fact that it doesn't work over traditional networking protocols would be much more of a strength than a weakness in terms of security.

I can see how you might think a door that has no keyhole can be good for security but you're forgetting about accessibility.

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June 11, 2012, 03:47:40 PM
 #49

The fact that it doesn't work over traditional networking protocols would be much more of a strength than a weakness in terms of security.

I can see how you might think a door that has no keyhole can be good for security but you're forgetting about accessibility.
It has a keyhole, it's just a different one that you aren't used to or comfortable with. "Try it, you might like it"

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June 11, 2012, 04:16:40 PM
 #50

The fact that it doesn't work over traditional networking protocols would be much more of a strength than a weakness in terms of security.

I can see how you might think a door that has no keyhole can be good for security but you're forgetting about accessibility.



As to accessibility I don't see how this is different to handing a guy a wad of cash you took out of your safe at home.

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June 11, 2012, 04:19:48 PM
 #51

The fact that it doesn't work over traditional networking protocols would be much more of a strength than a weakness in terms of security.

I can see how you might think a door that has no keyhole can be good for security but you're forgetting about accessibility.
It has a keyhole, it's just a different one that you aren't used to or comfortable with. "Try it, you might like it"

We've been walking around town testing it and it truly is revolutionary.

Alot of the technical aspects we all had to sign a non-confidentiality however Erik (who is a MUCH better writer than I am has been preparing a blog post)

I can tell you that ALL of your problems have been thought about and addressed. There is alot of money behind this project, in the double digit millions.

Feel free to pick my brain about it, Ill answer what I can

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More about me: http://CharlieShrem.com
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June 11, 2012, 04:28:49 PM
 #52

With that much money behind it I assume it's not meant for Bitcoin use exclusively, or?

My personality type: INTJ - please forgive my weaknesses (Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times, tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, tend to believe I'm always right)

If however you enjoyed my post: 15j781DjuJeVsZgYbDVt2NZsGrWKRWFHpp
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June 11, 2012, 04:31:45 PM
 #53

Is not the Bitcoin card perfect for countries like Africa...

Oh and one critique. The looks dont work for it. It looks a bit too much like a toy with all those colors.  
I know what I´m talking about. Colors are good for useability. But look at the mobilephones.
People can use them anyway. There is no need for all those colors.
 
Dont underestimate the bad impact of boring design and the good impact of good looking design, it is the most common developer misstake. I have worked with some of the worlds top coders and they just dont understand the impact of design.
They make the misstake of thinking, I dont care so I really dont think anyone else cares. But its quite the opposite.
They are in a tiny minority.

People judge things by their appearance.  If it looks good, it must be good and it gives the owner status.
If it looks ugly, you dont want to flash it around.

Make one in Black and gold. People low to flash their gold VISA cards.





 


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June 11, 2012, 04:36:53 PM
 #54

If a vendor/store had a USB gateway wouldnt that be enough to process POS transactions? Wouldnt the mesh network be needed to send coins to someone on the other side of town? And if each of you are next to USB gateways, again would it not matter if there was a mesh network?

Is not the Bitcoin card perfect for countries like Africa...

Oh and one critique. The looks dont work for it. It looks a bit too much like a toy with all those colors.  
I know what I´m talking about. Colors are good for useability. But look at the mobilephones.
People can use them anyway. There is no need for all those colors.
 
Dont underestimate the bad impact of boring design and the good impact of good looking design, it is the most common developer misstake. I have worked with some of the worlds top coders and they just dont understand the impact of design.
They make the misstake of thinking, I dont care so I really dont think anyone else cares. But its quite the opposite.
They are in a tiny minority.

People judge things by their appearance.  If it looks good, it must be good and it gives the owner status.
If it looks ugly, you dont want to flash it around.

Make one in Black and gold. People low to flash their gold VISA cards.

personally I like the design of the card they have been showing but I completely agree people judge things by their appearance black/gold/silver option in the future would be great.
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June 11, 2012, 04:37:19 PM
 #55

Charlie, could you give us some tx IDs of some of your test transactions with them?

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June 11, 2012, 04:41:34 PM
 #56

What happens if gateway (active node) is not available? Can you still make offline TX from card to card in proximity?
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June 11, 2012, 04:44:27 PM
 #57

I bet Gavin got one or two of the prototypes and is digging into it as we speak. I hope we get a status report soon.

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June 11, 2012, 04:46:37 PM
 #58

The looks dont work for it. It looks a bit too much like a toy with all those colors.  
This is just a technological prototype for preview.
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June 11, 2012, 04:56:28 PM
 #59

Alot of the technical aspects we all had to sign a non-confidentiality however Erik (who is a MUCH better writer than I am has been preparing a blog post)

Is that the opposite of a non-disclosure agreement?

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June 11, 2012, 05:07:24 PM
 #60

Alot of the technical aspects we all had to sign a non-confidentiality however Erik (who is a MUCH better writer than I am has been preparing a blog post)

Is that the opposite of a non-disclosure agreement?


Yes, full details to follow soon!
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