On Thu, Oct 20, 2005 at 07:34:34PM -0400, R.A. Hettinga wrote:
> At 12:32 AM +0200 10/21/05, Daniel A. Nagy wrote:
> >Could you give us a reference to this one, please?
> Google is your friend, dude.
> Before making unitary global claims like you just did, you might consider
> consulting the literature. It's out there.

With all due respect, this was unnecessarily rude, unfair and unwarranted.
Silvio Micali is a very prolific author and he published more than one paper
on more than one exchange protocol. I am actually familiar with some of his
work on the subject. I was, however, specifically interested in which
particular one did you have in mind. I can think of several exchange
protocols that would do the job, though I don't particularly like them,
because the infrastructure for carrying them out is not in place and they
require more communication than is strictly necessary for obtaining a receipt.

In general, I think that one should be very careful with piling up
cryptographic operations and additional back-and-forth communication steps
in a payment protocol, because it may easily render it unpractical. There
are reasons why there are no cash-like digital payment systems, and it's not
for the lack of trying (you know that better than anybody else in the world,
I guess) or the lack of demand. Making it sufficiently simple is one of the
most difficult challenges.


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