Archive for the ‘ecash’ Category

Libra, hot-take

Hot-take on Facebook and friends’ cryptocurrency. Disclaimer: I work at Xapo, and Xapo’s a founding member of the Libra Association; thoughts are my own, and are only based on public information. So, first, the stated goal is “Libra is a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people”. That’s pretty similar to […]

Bitcoin: ASICBoost – Plausible or not?

So the first question: is ASICBoost use plausible in the real world? There are plenty of claims that it’s not: “Much conspiracy around #asicboost today. I don’t believe SegWit non-activation has anything to do with AsicBoost!” – Timo Hanke, one of the patent applicants, on twitter “Sam Cole, Guy Corem and Timo Hanke, ASIC developers […]

Bitcoin: ASICBoost and segwit2x – Background

I’ve been trying to make heads or tails of what the heck is going on in Bitcoin for a while now. I’m not sure I’ve actually made that much progress, but I’ve at least got some thoughts that seem coherent now. First, this post is background for people playing along at home who aren’t familiar […]

Bitcoin Fees vs Supply and Demand

Continuing from my previous post on historical Bitcoin fees… Obviously history is fun and all, but it’s safe to say that working out what’s going on now is usually far more interesting and useful. But what’s going on now is… complicated. First, as was established in the previous post, most transactions are still paying 0.1 […]

Bitcoin Fees in History

Prior to Christmas, Rusty did an interesting post on bitcoin fees which I thought warranted more investigation. My first go involved some python parsing of bitcoin-cli results; which was slow, and as it turned out inaccurate — bitcoin-cli returns figures denominated in bitcoin with 8 digits after the decimal point, and python happily rounds that […]

Lightning network thoughts

I’ve been intrigued by micropayments for, like, ever, so I’ve been following Rusty’s experiments with bitcoin with interest. Bitcoin itself, of course, has a roughly 10 minute delay, and a fee of effectively about 3c per transaction (or $3.50 if you count inflation/mining rewards) so isn’t really suitable for true microtransactions; but pettycoin was going […]


Bitcoincerns — as in Bitcoin concerns! Get it? Hahaha. Despite having an interest in ecash, I haven’t invested in any bitcoins. I haven’t thought about it any depth, but my intuition says I don’t really trust it. I’m not really sure why, so I thought I’d write about it to see if I could come […]

Email Fees and Viruses

One objection to email fees is related to email viruses: if every email you send costs a cent, and you get a virus that sends out 20,000 emails you’ve just lost $200. That sucks. Fortunately, that’s straightforward avoidable by limiting the amount of money your computer can access without your authorisation (by way of password, […]

The Root of all Evil

The Gnu Hunter writes: Yahoo and Microsoft are looking at ways of imposing a postage fee for emails as a way of reducing the ever increasing number of junk emails or spam. No, Yahoo and Microsoft are looking at ways of making more money by charging for something that was previously “free” and are using […]

Open Source Betting Market

Some more thoughts on this topic. Ecash is actually something of a distraction in the description; there’s no particular need for people to be able to do anonymous transactions, or to transact without talking to a central market — so you can do this just as effectively with market accounts. In that case, it makes […]

Open Source versus Capitalism

Martin notes that: One fairly silly argument sometimes advanced against Linux is that by reducing towards zero the cost of getting a good operating system, it is somehow communist or anti-capitalist. He’s right: people do make that argument, and it’s silly. It’s especially silly because people already do it for a profit, and even sillier […]

Spam and Ecash Risks

One risk of solving spam (by doing cool ecash stuff, or by any other means) is that you might be attacked by people who don’t want it solved. I underestimated both the enemy’s level of sophistication, and also the enemy’s level of brute malevolence. I always knew that spammers had no principals and no ethics, […]

Anger Management

The inimitable White Glenn received one of those obnoxious confirmation-bounces anti-spam software occassionally does these days. As a man of good taste and high ideals, he didn’t like it. How to avoid this problem with our hypothetical $MTP protocol? The only possibility I can see is over analysing all our email — if you get […]

Ecash and HTTP

One of the tricks with paying for http requests is that you screw up the protocol. Normal http requests are a simple request/response pair, and that’s it — you ask for a page, and you get given it. Worse, the protocol is optimised for that: if you want to do more than just send a […]

Anonymous Transactions

One of the fashionable things about ecash is (or at least was back in the mid 90’s when ecash was fashionable, and pre-September 11) that it can provide anonymity: neither the bank, or the merchant, or the government can track how you spend your money. Lucre provides anonymity to the degree that you can’t do […]