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The best defense is a good offense. Was: Re: Silk Road gossip

 On Sunday, October 14, 2018, 1:08:24 PM PDT, juan <juan.g71 at gmail.com> wrote:
 On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 21:02:50 +0000 (UTC)
jim bell <jdb10987 at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> Fortunately, the advent of the Ethereum/Augur prediction system would likely allow this kind of protection system to be implemented in the relatively near future. 

>> They need to change their policies a bit, allowing the rewarding of very specific 'predictors', and also implement guaranteed crypto-secured anonymity for awards, 

    >It seems to me that anonymous communications is a building block that is still missing. 

Yes, that's right, a very important factor.  There are (at least) two vital issues:
1.   People who run Dark markets will want to donate to what I'd call a "Dark Market Insurance Fund" (DMIF) in an anonymous way, but moreover including the ability to prove to the public that they are paying the "insurance rate" based on their gross transactions.  In my example, say 1%.   People who are considering using a specific Dark market will want to know that it is making such a donation, and its size in comparison with the gross volume of business done.  They will want to be assured that should they, or any of their customers, be prosecuted for crimes related to such use, the DMIF will offer money (AP-style).  With any luck, the deterrent value of this offer will make impossible such prosecutions.

2.  The DMIF will itself want to guarantee anonymity of payment to anyone "predicting" the death of anyone associated with some future prosecution of a Dark-market related case.  And, it will want to be able to show to everyone, including predictors, that payments for correct predictions does occur.  

As I see it, the DMIF  should be independent of most (or any?) Dark markets.  It should persist even if a Dark Market is brought down.   

>    Now, Chaum has a new cryptocoin :

>   https://elixxir.io/ 

Looks quite promising.   Given that it is occurring after nearly 10 years of the experience of Bitcoin and, subsequently, hundreds of other crypto coins, it would have to be much advanced.  No doubt David Chaum wishes he'd managed to bring DigiCash to a world-wide fruition, but he had the big disadvantage that the Internet didn't really exist, to the average person.  Somebody (probably not myself) should talk to Chaum about the use of Elixxir in Dark-market applications.  

>    I don't know how good it is, or if it's even working (seems not), but if you take a look at their 'technical brief' you'll see they use a mixnet. My half educated guess is that only high latency mixnets may provide good enough anonimity.
>   So, I was wondering, maybe it would make sense to get some bitcoin millonaire to fund some sort of mixnet? Such a project seems like a good fit for somebody like Roger Ver? What do you think Jim? Maybe you could sell the idea to him?

Like Zenaan, I don't think this will be very expensive.  It will be intricate, but there will be plenty of money in Dark market insurance payments.  Everybody (except those trying to enforce drug laws, for example) would want to see this occur.  The operators of the Dark markets, as well as the sellers, would love to see some guarantee of non-prosecution,
And, I hesitate to approach anyone on this, 1-to-1.  Can I sell the idea directly to the operators of a Dark market?  Not likely, in large part because nobody knows who they are, and they like it that way.  B^)   Usually, we hear about them only when they get prosecuted.  By that point, it has been thought to be too late.   That's why I think they should be able to "buy in" to this, after it is running, by the simple expedient of receiving publishable "certificates" from the DMIF, attesting to their continuing payments.  Those Dark markets could publish those certificates on their sites, proving that they (and their customers) will be 'covered' against all prosecutions, and the size of that coverage becomes well-known. 
I think there needs to be further discussion, for example on CP, as to this idea.  What additional features?  Would it work?  But we should be cautious, as usual:  Maybe the people doing the discussion should state that we have no intention of actually, personally, implementing this idea.  (The Feds are notorious for wanting to go after people with "bad" ideas, as they did to me.)   What I'm trying to do is to flesh out an idea, a concept:  Somebody else, later, may actually implement it.  I hope I've already convinced people that something like this would be a good solution to a genuine problem.  Even so, there should be further discussion and debate.
I should mention that such a fund should probably cover, with the permission and funding of the new funders, all prior people prosecuted for Dark-market related violations.    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silk_Road_(marketplace)     Also:     https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Onymous ;         They didn't pay into the system, of course, but nevertheless they should be rescued.  One big reason is that the supporters of the DMIF system won't want to wait to see the enforcement aspect of that system until the next Dark market is taken down.  Future prosecutions of people involved in Dark markets will be deterred just as much by punishing past incidents, as future incidents.   I think people will need to be convinced that DMIF actually works, and that if prosecutions occur, those responsible will pay a lethal price for doing that.  Going after the authors of all prior Dark market prosecutions would demonstrate support for this idea.  
But there needs to be more research and discussion.  How many  Dark markets have existed?  How many went down, and why?   How many are currently operating?  What are their approximate gross sales?  Would operators and sellers generally like the kind of system that DMIF could provide? What do they think the cost/coverage should be? 
And, while I don't know how to arrange a survey, how about a 'test-market' for potential predictors, at least the subset that don't expect to survive:  Poll a random selection of people have have been given "medical death sentences", a/k/a victims of terminal illness diagnoses.  Somebody could ask them, purely as a hypothetical question, "What amount of money should be offered to people like you, those with terminal illnesses, to be paid to you or your relatives, if you manage to kill a person who has participated in the prosecution of a Dark market case".  I think we'd all be curious as to what their answers would be.
                    Jim Bell

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