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Re: Remailers and ecash

At first I thought some of the stuff Monty Cantsin was discussing was
interesting, but it has gotten out of hand.  I've asked the question
before, Why would remailer operators want to accept Ecash?  After seeing
the conflicting messages coming from Mr. Catsin, I to rephrase it, why does
*Mr Catsin* want remailer operators to use Ecash?

The first answer I got was so that remailer reliability could increase.
The theory as I understood it was that remailers were run like a hobby, not
a business, so the money would be an incentive to bring in professionalism.
 So I proposed, and documented, that the minimum level to achieve this
would be a $50K investment over a year's time.  This is in fact, more or
less what the Cracker remailer takes to run.  Most of the resources are
donated in some way, but this is their equivalent retail value.  Even so,
with Monty's pricing structure and Cracker's current level of traffic it
would be enormously profitable.

Then Mr. Cantsin seemed to go back to the all you need are some spare parts
theory of remailer operation.  Enormous profits of $200 per month, or even
$5,000 per year.  Well, Cracker handles close to 25% of worldwide remailer
traffic of it's kind[1].  And it's not much.  I would say this is due
mainly to the user interface.  Making remailers more difficult to use by
adding Ecash is not going to increase traffic significantly.

  >I recommend that people start pricing at a quarter per message per hop

In my opinion, and I've been known to be wrong, this is a seriously messed
up comment.  A quarter per message is too much, much less a quarter per
hop. A price of 1/100 of a penny per message is closer to a proper
valuation. But the problem here is in the pricing model.  It should not be
transactional unless to encourage the very casual user.  A pricing model
should be flat rate.  One price for a month, or even a year's service.  The
net is based on a peering price structure, not an inter-lata structure.
Trying to compute or add charges at each hop is against the nature of
information flow for the net.

  >We are talking about how to get a working payment system up for
  >remailers which gets us great service and provides privacy and

The point I have never gotten past is how you expect a payment system to
change the level of service?  The next point I'm still shaking my head over
is what about remailer services is not up to your standards?  The only
thing I have heard you mention is latency, which is a feature programmed
into the remailers.  If anything, people would pay to add latency, not to
take latency away.

  >Remailers are used by a small highly
  >specialized market of perhaps a few hundred people.

There is some truth in this statement.  But there are also remailers run by
a variety of companies such as hotmail, juno, and the like.  They encompass
millions of users.  Millions of users who want a remailer, but will not
tolerate the level of entry required for a Type-I or Mixmaster remailer.
Until client software can be improved and made as easy to use as an
integrated spelling checker, the "advanced" remailers will have no true
market share.  (Oh, I forgot.  Most of the world uses email clients without
integrated spell checkers.)

[1] Cracker handles 27% of worldwide traffic based on adding all the stats
found at www.jpunix.com, though I would assume some remailers are not on
this list.

  -- Robert Costner                  Phone: (770) 512-8746
     Electronic Frontiers Georgia    mailto:[email protected]  
     http://www.efga.org/            run PGP 5.0 for my public key