1998-12-06 - Re: (eternity) eternity using politics rather than economics

Header Data

From: Adam Back <aba@dcs.ex.ac.uk>
To: ryan@systemics.ai
Message Hash: 39831a2be56745386c09ca6e8a083ab404e5779b494ab0b04e3692e94cb178f0
Message ID: <199812052327.XAA24671@server.eternity.org>
Reply To: <19981205164842.B25348@arianrhod.@>
UTC Datetime: 1998-12-06 00:00:51 UTC
Raw Date: Sun, 6 Dec 1998 08:00:51 +0800

Raw message

From: Adam Back <aba@dcs.ex.ac.uk>
Date: Sun, 6 Dec 1998 08:00:51 +0800
To: ryan@systemics.ai
Subject: Re: (eternity) eternity using politics rather than economics
In-Reply-To: <19981205164842.B25348@arianrhod.@>
Message-ID: <199812052327.XAA24671@server.eternity.org>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Ryan Lackey writes:
> When I was working on Eternity DDS stuff, I basically came to the same
> conclusion as Adam -- without anonymous bearer cash, you can't do
> a workable eternity implementation.

Well there is always hashcash (http://www.dcs.ex.ac.uk/~aba/hashcash/)
-- a highly distributed protocol, which should be easy to deploy, not
requiring central servers, and also (importantly) not requiring any
cooperation from banks or other parties.

One could use a simulated profit maximisation function based on
hashcash to allocate donated eternity space.

However, one suspects that due to the lack of convertibility, and
transferability of a unit of hashcash, people would start to use other
value metrics.  Perhaps political (servers cheating to help their pet
political cause, as there is no actual real profit motivation to
optimising for hashcash profit), or perhaps real cash leaking in, or
secondary market in hashcash.  The latter two would be a nice outcome

Perhaps this may be an application for Wei Dei's b-money protocol
(more on b-money in another post).

> It's an open question whether you could issue bearer cash backed in
> Eternity-units.  

Nice that.  Did you notice someone (I think on one of Bob Hettinga's
lists) proposing the sale of a percentage of internet bandwidth as a
net resource based unit.  As a proposed way to perhaps get around
hyper inflation, I think, though I am not sure entirely how this could
work either.

If I buy a particular unit of bandwidth I know it's value will fall
fast.  But the value of a _percentage_ of internet bandwidth will
increase.  However the people funding the bandwidth -- why would they
want to consider me a 0.001% stakeholder in their bandwidth?

One would need to buy shares in major bandwidth provision companies
like say cable & wireless.  Buy some shares in that to obtain a
percentage of the ownership of the percentage of total net bandwidth
that C&W owns?  Doesn't help.

Would a company selling bandwidth by the 1000th of a percentage of
global bandwidth profit from this?  It would have to use the money
raised by selling bandwidth percentage at todays prices to fund
increases in bandwidth in line with total bandwidth growth just to
fulfill it's obligations.  Add bearer share certificates for the
1000th percentage of global bandwidth and you have an appreciating
bearer asset based on net resources.  As long as such companies made
enough money to continue to exist.  Anyone have any plausible sounding
business plans for such an endeavour?

> That was my original plan, but it seems you would still want to have
> gold-units to trade for Eternity units.  The problems of
> guaranteeing quality of service in exchange for Eternity units are
> complicated but tractable, but having a separate scheme for auditing
> performance.

> Where I think "political" schemes would be particularly beneficial is 
> in sharing administrative control over a virtual corporation, etc.  

Political schemes such as those proposed by Markus are pretty nice for
collaborative filtering.  Just I would rather schemes be strongly
voluntary, and not have any negative effect on the purchasability of
eternity space by others.