Throw away the Internet and start over?

Jim Whitehead ejw at cse.ucsc.edu
Wed Apr 23 13:05:56 PDT 2003


> For me, at least, proof-of-work schemes represent a form of
> computational barter, involving disparate computation times on
> different machines, and, as we all know, barter evolves into cash
> sooner or later.

Barter evolving into cash in this particular case would be fine -- the
general idea is to increase the cost per email to the point where spam is no
longer economically viable. Since response rates are on the order of
0.0001%, this shouldn't involve a significant increase in cost.

> Besides, the problems of hooking up various bearer-transaction
> protocols to the usual book-entry value storage/transfer systems are
> mostly imaginary anymore. I expect someone, somewhere, to do
> something within the year.

Could be. One of the advantages of the proof of work scheme is that it is
much less fungible than real cash, and as a result, much less interesting to
people wishing to defraud the system. It's my understanding that fraud is
still a big problem for the likes of PayPal.

- Jim



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