[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Distributed data haven monetary supply?
When writing about Eternity services or other distributed data havens,
one has to cover the issue of cost. After all, it takes some expenditure
of resources to store data, which can translate to actual $$ (or riyals
or dinar or kroner or whatever). So far that I've seen, the problem of
delivering that payment has been put down to "e-cash payment"
of some kind (hopefully untraceable), or creative wire transfer. In both
cases, we end up needing to implement e-cash on a wide-scale basis, or
completely reforming the way banks work in most countries. After all that
trouble, then, our value is still stored in terms of a real currency.
What if a node in a data haven could issue its own certificates/money for
goods/services? The idea seems similar to me to the "TrustBucks"
discussed recently on the list. A node's operator issues credits to
others in exchange for money, favors, or space on their own machines.
However, if every node issues its own currency, but only to those it
trusts, we have the same problem as w/PGP...there is no guarantee that
data may flow freely from node to node, which invites weakness. It's also
an open invitation to inflation, as each operator may mint many billions
of $ w/o immediate consequences (perhaps combined w/spam in a misguided
Question : would it be preferable for a group of nodes to issue e-cash?
I'm thinking in terms of a system where the bank's secret key is split
between the participating nodes (or a certain voting subset), with a
certain threshold needed to mint new currency. If there are several such
constallations (and methods of exchanging currency between them), it
multiplies the number of points one must subvert in order to manipulate
the system. Perhaps groupings might agree to share stored data
freely between nodes in the interests of security.
A user then has
several different "economies" to choose from, each of which has different
policies. Once a data haven begins to devrive actual _income_ or benefit
from these transactions, its attitude toward economic policy may affect
its ability to secure and retreive data on command. A rich haven, for
instance, may be able to afford better bandwidth between nodes, or
funding for research into distributed computing. In contrast, a "poor"
haven may suffer from outdated equipment, hardware failures, and possibly
intermittent loss of data.
Of course, such effects will not be
particularly pronounced so long as a data haven is largely a volunteer
effort. If a haven were to evolve into a socially stronger entity, with
clearly defined "rights" and "responsibilities" for nodes, then its
policies would have greater effect. I do not see a guarantee that such a
structure would be anarchic in nature, even though the technology itself
is amenable. Y'know, a group currency could prove to be a
powerful tool to assert dominance/influence over a single node, much as
we may speak about "dollar zones" or "yen blocs" in the real world.
Gridlock might also be a problem...what if the system is set up to demand
unanimous consent, but one of the nodes just died? How does one cast out
a node or add a new one without collecting the bank's key in one place?
What's to stop me from adding myself as a node under 15 assumed names?
My concern is that these fears might engender the kind of 3l33t mindset
sometimes seen on really lame wAR3z BBSs : a small power group, intense
distrust of outsiders, almost cultish fac,ade of devotion to said small
power group, et. al. None of which is helpful.
Comments? Is it a good idea, or will it lead to ever-more confusion?
Sorry if this is a bit long, repetitive of other things previously
discussed to death elsewhere, or rambling. :-)