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Author Topic: BitCoins as email attachment?  (Read 1373 times)
chaord
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August 19, 2010, 05:35:41 PM
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I'm wondering if bitcoin's design currently allows for other transport mechanisms?  When I think about taking BitCoin mainstream, I can't help but think about the pervasiveness of email.  Even my grandfather, and some farmers have email addresses and know how to send small attachments.  Can bitcoins safely be sent and received as an attachment in an email?

I know there are some issues with this concept (and of course anonymity would be compromised), but I feel like if we could start sending and receiving BTC through the normal channels that everyday people use, we could really boost their value and presence.

The Open Transactions post http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=847.0 by fellowtraveler got me thinking about it.
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FreeMoney
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August 19, 2010, 07:57:41 PM
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I'm wondering if bitcoin's design currently allows for other transport mechanisms?  When I think about taking BitCoin mainstream, I can't help but think about the pervasiveness of email.  Even my grandfather, and some farmers have email addresses and know how to send small attachments.  Can bitcoins safely be sent and received as an attachment in an email?

I know there are some issues with this concept (and of course anonymity would be compromised), but I feel like if we could start sending and receiving BTC through the normal channels that everyday people use, we could really boost their value and presence.

The Open Transactions post http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=847.0 by fellowtraveler got me thinking about it.


I imagine it's at least theoretically possible to move the data needed through email. Others can better tell you if it's practical. Using services like MyBitCoin and BitMail can help people who aren't savvy enough to download a program.

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Insti
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August 19, 2010, 09:13:17 PM
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It is theoretically possible to run Bitcoin through email.
You probably wouldn't want to run a 'full' client but it should be possible to construct some kind of email gateway that would proxy transactions for you.

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August 19, 2010, 09:33:34 PM
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Why not just a program that escrows the private key of an address, and generates an e-mail, a-la paypal: "You've been sent money!"

"You've got bitcoins! Click here to claim them."

Alternately, you could embed a password-protected private key that the bitcoin client can import -- say a .bitkey attachment: "Attached is a bitkey. Click it to open it in BitCoin and claim your money. (Password sent in a separate e-mail)."

I'm the CEO of CoinLab (www.coinlab.com) and the Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation, I will identify if I'm speaking for myself or one of the organizations when I post from this account.
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August 20, 2010, 10:13:06 AM
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There is already: http://www.bitcoinmail.com/
RHorning
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August 20, 2010, 11:14:41 PM
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Bitcoins as an e-mail attachment was discussed on this thread too:

http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=737.0

There were a number of technical solutions found to the problem, none of them too difficult and certainly it could be done in such a way that would be friendly to somebody new to Bitcoins or even done as a promotion of sorts.

For myself, I prefer something that uses a peer to peer network directly rather than depending on a central 3rd party website, but that is also a solution.

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August 21, 2010, 01:14:13 PM
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One simple solution would be to let the Client generate a new address but tell him not to use it, then transfer the coins to that address, and then send the details (pirvate key, address, ...) to the recipient, using whatever transport you want. The recipient then imports the data into his client and can receive the coins Cheesy

Want to see what developers are chatting about? http://bitcoinstats.com/irc/bitcoin-dev/logs/
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fellowtraveler
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September 04, 2010, 09:36:54 PM
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I'm wondering if bitcoin's design currently allows for other transport mechanisms?  When I think about taking BitCoin mainstream, I can't help but think about the pervasiveness of email.  Even my grandfather, and some farmers have email addresses and know how to send small attachments.  Can bitcoins safely be sent and received as an attachment in an email?

I know there are some issues with this concept (and of course anonymity would be compromised), but I feel like if we could start sending and receiving BTC through the normal channels that everyday people use, we could really boost their value and presence.

The Open Transactions post http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=847.0 by fellowtraveler got me thinking about it.

You could issue a Bitcoin-backed currency on an Open Transactions server. (Actually the same issuer could issue the same bitcoin-backed currency onto multiple Open Transactions servers.)

You would be able to prove at all times whether the issuer actually has the bitcoins to back the issue, since the bitcoin trail is publicly audit-able.

From there, you can write cheques in Bitcoins and email them to people. You can withdraw cash in Bitcoins and email it to people. You could also use Bitcoins to trade on markets for other asset types (I'm coding markets and 2-way trades right now, as well as re-occurring billing.)

You could also do account transfers with Bitcoins, and get Cashier's cheques denominated in Bitcoins.

The whole idea with OT is to allow you to do these things with ANY asset type -- and multiple asset types.  Bitcoins is really only an example. But a very interesting one, since Bitcoins are publicly audit-able.

-Fellow Traveler


co-founder, Monetas
creator, Open-Transactions
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