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Re: ecash lottery (Was: ecash casino)

At 6:22 AM 11/30/95, Bill Frantz wrote:
>At 20:38 11/29/95 -0800, Timothy C. May wrote:
>>Have to be _very_ careful here. A variety of scams can be developed which
>>show lots of "small" winners, but which fail to show any large winners. The
>>lottery operators can make a lot of extra bucks by simply not paying off
>>the large winnings, in various ways.
>With complete anonimity, the scam I would think of first is giving other
>nyms of myself all the big payoffs.

Yes, this is a good example of one of the scams.

If the lottery can't/won't reveal True Names of winners--a basic design
criterion--then clearly people may have doubts.

The whole thing can be cast as follows;

"Send us money and we'll put your name in a hat. We'll let you know if you
win, but we won't tell the public who won." (This problem is quite similar
to voting protocols, so we might look to "fair voting" protocols for

My intuition (hand-waving) is that an anonymous lottery is possible, but I
haven't looked at the details. Certainly multiple trusted holders of keys
(escrow agents) would help make the lottery fair. Maybe bit commitment
would help (each player buys the right to play, then "commits" his number.
A public reading of the winning number occurs, and the winner can reveal
his winning number (anonymously if he wishes, providing he had registered
his hash....).

--Tim May

Views here are not the views of my Internet Service Provider or Government.
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
[email protected]  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
Corralitos, CA              | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^756839      | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders are just speed bumps on the information superhighway."