BALL

Topic Of Interest

Observe that instruments, notaries and counterparties (may) go by different names for different accounts. Note that there is no central database.

Note that the transfered value itself is completely anonymous. There is a full audit trail for every transfer kept with every account (thus readable only by the notaries) linking receipts to payments. But there is no link between an outgoing unit of payment to the receipt confirming the unit's arrival before.

The tree includes all the code and data required to audit it for consistency, including the source of the accounting code – (beware: the latter is useful only in white space preserving source code view!), necessarily down to a license. (It's just impossible to break the logic. The license is required to establish rules how to use and modify the source code.)

Comparison To Bitcoin's Blockchain

Bitcoin's Blockchain and Askemos's places (be they agents or immutable objects) both form Merkle trees from signatures to prove correctness. At this point one may understand the links going to OID's as browsing the "block chain" in the browser.

The difference is how the systems verify veracity of peers. Bitcoin deploys an "open join", public network. The final decision on the proof is left to 51% of anonymous peers. With Askemos the proof may be broken only if 67% of the commissioned notaries as chosen for the the agent conspire. It's also much faster, since it does not required a proof of work to mitigate Sybil attacks (which may succeed on small Bitcoin style networks).

Another difference is in how payment instruments are issued. With Bitcoin there is a fixed policy: Minting happens in a lottery as a side effect of the Sybil attack mitigation. This demo takes the traditional way of users entering into contracts among each other.

Relationship To Registered e-Mail

There are services like "De-Mail" providing registered e-Mail. These services accept a signed message, decrypt, time stamp and virus check the message. Then it's kept for the receiver to retrieve. The demo does similar, except instead of virus checking it checks correct accounting. Safeguarding that no value is double-spend.

The difference lies in trustworthiness: those services usually rely on a provider users must trust. A rough provider can suppress messages or create fakes. Here we use group of independent notaries instead. This results in a) more independent assertions b) each less likely under surveillance or coerced into cheating. See below on "how to break it".

If secrecy wrt. the transfered message is required, there would have to be a encryption on top. But note: the accounting info can never be encrypted, since it must be available to the notaries for fact checking.

Similarly also: It's not reasonable to assume everyone to check some rarely used mailbox. Therefore one would phone the receiver to make sure the registered messages arrives.

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