Comments on 2018-06-29 No Take Back

In court, we will find some people who have embedding a crime in the blockchain, merkletree, or whatever it is. Then what? Eventually the crime will make it worth it for law enforcement to confiscate your equipment and impose daily fines until you’re done for. Until then, it’s legal uncertainty for all. Thus I claim such a system will never work in practice.

People will use it, and problems will occur, I’m sure. But no big player will want to use it. And if your Mastodon instance is full of hentai then many will block you. I think the legal frame of mind is absolutely the way to see these issues. It can be as powerful as code.

@ckeen dug up this paper: A Quantitative Analysis of the Impact of Arbitrary Blockchain Content on Bitcoin, by Roman Matzutt, Jens Hiller, Martin Henze, Jan Henrik Ziegeldorf, Dirk Müllmann, Oliver Hohlfeld, and Klaus Wehrle.

– Alex Schroeder 2018-07-03 07:07 UTC


First of all, I totally agree with your post: having immutable messages is not a great idea.

Scuttlebutt is not an internet protocol. You can basically use it on a mesh topology or in a post-internet world. To me, this is it’s main and most interesting feature.

Because of this property, you cannot rely on a 100% uptime (unlike AP), you won’t get the message directly from the source but from another user (gossip).

This yields a lot of problems regarding delivery reliability and message ordering.

Two Objects

While this is not technically totally accurate, you have two kinds of objects (over-simplification, don’t want to write a book):

As it is today

Each message posted on the feed can be either public (not encrypted, just signed) or private (encrypted with the recipient’s private key).

This yields two problems:

The blobs are currently used to store images and videos. This helps keeping the feeds in a somehow manageable size.

Off the Chain Private Message and Private Groups

The community want to fix these problems.

Instead of inlining the private message in the feed, we may store them in a blob encrypted with a session key[out-chain]. The feed would just contain an encrypted link to the blob.

This is a pretty good idea which would permit us to introduce the idea of a private groups: groups which could share a secret and could discuss outside of the chain[groups].

This comes with some unsolved challenges: you need to agree on a session key asynchronously.

Because of the disconnected nature of the protocol, this is pretty tricky: you regularly end up with a RTT of several days. This excludes out of the box double ratchet and similar protocols we usually use.

I’m not a crypto nerd, I have not idea how they plan to fix this, but I know a lot of people are working on it.

[groups] %gVFvcYy2aknKuYwThI+dD2BKr5LfNN5CA4FglEPqnow=.sha256 , %xAlzJXkpPcZZhRLRFixVjm6HFeJezhDCkeXfY9ddcQU=.sha256

[out-chain] %QJEpN8LN1t3BrIkUQ3WoOMWRsMArbVUZCpTeBYcuqfw=.sha256


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