Re: Future currency

From: maru dubshinki (
Date: Mon Jan 08 2007 - 22:11:00 MST

On 1/8/07, Russell Wallace <> wrote:
> On 1/9/07, maru dubshinki <> wrote:
> > I'm not so sure this is true. Public-key cryptography, for example,
> > relies on it being easier to check that two primes multiply to a given
> > number than it is to actually obtain the answer by factoring that
> > given number. Wouldn't zero-knowledge proofs[1] provide a basis for
> > information as currency? It allows people to verify the authenticity
> > of information to a desired degree of certainty, but wouldn't let any
> > of the information leak (which would 'devalue' the possessor's asset).
> Zero-knowledge proofs and similar techniques can verify the truth of things
> like logical statements about the properties of certain integers. They can't
> verify that a statement about the real world, corresponds to a state of
> affairs that actually obtains in the real world.

Forgive me for trying your patience, but according to the en Wikipedia
entry, zero-knowledge proofs can be done for any NP problem. I don't
find it hard to believe that answers to the many NP problems in the
real world could be valuable; and things of value can have very
tenuous ties to the real world - witness intellectual property, and
pirating of "certain integers" (as digitized media like movies, and
software, are) as examples. It might make quite a bit of sense for a
transhuman to value information far above any merely physical object.

On a side note, even if you can't directly check the validity or
desirability of information through cryptographic means, they could
still provide a mechanism for a currency: currencies need to be more
expensive to forge or make than to use, and large enough integers
could be economically infeasible to factor. There are a lot of
proposals for digital cash which are currently just interesting
suggestions (ex. Nick Szabo's bit gold
<>) and nothing
solid, but I don't think that's a sufficient reason to assert
categorically that they cannot be a good future system.


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