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Re: Magic Money Digicash System



 > Magic Money is a digital cash system designed for use over
 > electronic mail. The system is online and untraceable. Online
 > means that each transaction involves an exchange with a server,
 > to prevent double-spending. Untraceable means that it is
 > impossible for anyone to trace transactions, or to match a
 > withdrawal with a deposit, or to match two coins in any way.

This is the neatest thing I have read in a long time.  Where can I get
one?

 > The client module then generates proto-coins, which are
 > blinded but unsigned. It produces an output file containing
 > Alice's coins, and the new proto-coins.

 > Bob mails this to the server. The server counts up Alice's
 > coins, checks their signatures, and checks for
 > double-spending. It puts the coins on the cancelled list,
 > signs the proto-coins, and mails them back to Bob. Bob runs
 > his client module on the reply message. It unblinds the
 > signed coins and adds them to his coin file. This completes
 > the transfer.

A few questions.  Since the client which generates the proto-coins is
under the control of the consumer, the bank has no way of making sure
that he is not running his own code, or that the RNG he is using is
cryptographically strong, or even that he is not distributing modified
client programs to other users.

How does the bank deal with collisions in the 16 byte values of coins?
What if the user picks the numeric values for the server to sign in a
way which leaks information about the banks private key?  RSA is much
more secure when signing random-esque data, like a message digest,
than it is when signing numbers provided to it by some outside party.

Similarly, how can the consumer trust the bank's representation that
money has already been spent?  Surely the bank should be required to
publish a list of cancelled coins and timestamps with a running MD5
hash periodically for inspection by the unwashed masses.

What do you do about lost messages from the server to the client.
Once coins have been recorded as spent, they cannot be redeemed again.
Yet the mail message containing the new coins may have been lost in
transit.


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Francis Barrett, F.R.C. |  Thou canst not travel on the path  |
The Cybernetics Guild   |  before thou hast become the Path   |
[email protected]       |  itself.                            |
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