On Sat, 17 Jan 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto wrote: [[various possible uses of Bitcoin et al]] > Once it gets bootstrapped, there are so many > applications if you could effortlessly pay a few cents to a > website as easily as dropping coins in a vending machine.
In the modern world, no major government wants to allow untracable international financial transactions above some fairly modest size thresholds. (The usual catch-phrases are things like "laundering drug money", "tax evasion", and/or "financing terrorist groups".) To this end, electronic financial transactions are currently monitored by various governments & their agencies, and any but the smallest of transactions now come with various ID requirements for the humans on each end. But if each machine in a million-node botnet sends 10 cents to a randomly chosen machine in another botnet on the other side of the world, you've just moved $100K, in a way that seems very hard to trace. To me, this means that no major government is likely to allow Bitcoin in its present form to operate on a large scale. I also worry about other "domestic" ways nasty people could exploit a widespread Bitcoin deployment: * Spammer botnets could burn through pay-per-send email filters trivially (as usual, the costs would fall on people other than the botnet herders & spammers). * If each machine in a botnet sends 1 cent to a herder, that can add up to a significant amount of money. In other words, Bitcoin would make botnet herding and the assorted malware industry even more profitable than it already is. Is there something obvious I've missed? Is there a clever aspect of the design which prevents botnets from exploiting the system? Is there a way for every major government to monitor all Bitcoin transactions to watch for botnet-to-botnet sending? -- -- From: "Jonathan Thornburg [remove -animal to reply]" <jth...@astro.indiana-zebra.edu> Dept of Astronomy, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA "Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral." -- quote by Freire / poster by Oxfam --------------------------------------------------------------------- The Cryptography Mailing List Unsubscribe by sending "unsubscribe cryptography" to majord...@metzdowd.com