Tauchain and the privacy question (benefits of secret contracts and private knowledge)

in tauchain •  3 months ago

As we can see from the current trend in crypto there is now a move toward privacy. Most people underestimate in my opinion the utility of these cryptographic advances. In this blogpost I will highlight a particular advance enabled by these new cryptographic (and hardware techniques such as trusted execution environment) which can be of massive benefit to the long term believers in Tauchain.

The problem: Anyone can copy the code Ohad writes if it's open source

So we have a problem with Tauchain where all of the code Ohad is writing with regard to TML is open source and on Github. This allows a competitor to simply steal his best ideas and in a sense rob the token holders who actually funded the development of the code. This happens very often as we see a new innovation in the crypto space and soon later we see a new ICO or a new group come out of no where acting as if they originated the technology. In some cases the new group may even be much more centralized, more secretive, and very well funded.

The solution: Secret contracts (private source code and execution)

The trusted execution environment allows for the protection of intellectual property rights on the hardware level. While sMPC (secure multiparty computation) can also achieve similar ends on the software level. The idea being that this provides a solution to idea theft where a community can keep certain critical pieces of code, data, algorithms, or other unique features secret. This creates an entirely new way to monetize knowledge, code, and ideas, which Agoras will be uniquely positioned to leverage.

Guy Zyskind of the Enigma Project provides the definition for what secret contracts are and how they work. The Enigma Project deserves credit for introducing this technology and for identifying a major problem in the cryptospace. Traditionally on Ethereum or all other current platforms when you release a DApp your code has to be open source. It is not possible to create a closed or private source decentralized app. In addition the app has to be executed in the open so all data running through it is public.

Strategic implementation of private knowledge and source code can allow Tauchain to maintain a dominant position

In most cases the world benefits if knowledge is shared. In fact I'm in favor most of the time of sharing as much knowledge as is safe. The problem with algorithms, source code, and certain kinds of knowledge is that by sharing that knowledge it provides a competitive advantage to people who have more financial resources. These individuals can simply see Github and copy. They can hire programmers to compete with Tauchain and Agoras developers and as long as the code is open there will be no real reason to buy the Agoras token long term.

What if the Tauchain development team and Agoras developers decide to implement private knowledge bases? What if it becomes possible to run code in a trusted execution environment so that other developers around the world cannot see the code or the algorithms? This would allow Tauchain to build Agoras in such a way that no other project will be capable of duplicating it. This would lock in the value backed by the community brainpower into the Agoras token making it a true knowledge token which cannot simply by copied with ease by another project.

In fact this is a strategy that developers making apps using Enigma's Secret Contracts are looking into as we speak. This competitive advantage of secrecy will change the landscape of the cryptospace. What does this enable for Agoras? Imagine an encrypted Github which developers can contribute to but only the developers can see the code? Imagine after the code is written that no one else can see the code if the code is set to run privately? This would allow developers to code in secret and have the code run on computers without anyone knowing what the code is.

This can open up security vulnerabilities but Tauchain can defend against these. In particular it matters what is private and what is public. Critical aspects can be private while security critical areas can always be kept public. There may even be ways to prove that the code doesn't behave in a certain way without actually sharing the code (using advanced cryptography). In fact my favored way of implementing this feature would be to timelock the release of the source code by a number of months of years.

The idea isn't to keep things closed forever or secret forever. Privacy is about access control and about keeping things secret long enough to maintain a competitive advantage. A time delay to unlock the source code for example could work. It is even possible to allow the community to use puzzle based time lock encryption to have to mine to get the source code released early (if there is a serious need or threat). In this way all secret blocks of code could be unlockable but not for free and this would make it less likely that the community will seek to unlock it unless there is a genuine reason (beyond just to steal ideas).

What do you think about these ideas? If you agree with this or disagree then comment below. Strategic IP (intellectual property) is used by major corporations to give themselves a competitive advantage. The crypto community can do the same thing in ways the legal mechanisms can't do. In fact it can be done in a more fair and better way because often the people or companies awarded IP rights aren't the actual inventors. A knowledge economy is fantastic but if the knowledge is just harvested by big corporations monitoring the wide open network then it's going to be hard to bring value to a knowledge token.

UPDATE: Many people ask where to buy Agoras. The problem is it's not widely available on centralized exchanges. The only exchange I know that has it is Bitshares. So if anyone really wants to buy Agoras (AGRS) which is the token of discussion in this post feel free to buy it at: https://openledger.io/market/AGRS_BTC

42 million intermediate tokens total. Current price is: 0.00010700 BTC which is around 70 cents. This is the cheapest price I've seen it in a while because for a long time it was $1.50-$1.30 range. This is a very speculative token at this time so buy at your own risk as I'm not providing any financial advice. I'm a holder of this token of course and have been for years.

References

  1. https://forum.enigma.co/t/commit-reveal-design-vs-secret-contract-design/19
  2. https://www.gwern.net/Self-decrypting-files
  3. https://eprint.iacr.org/2015/478.pdf
  4. https://forum.enigma.co/t/commit-reveal-design-vs-secret-contract-design/19
  5. https://forum.enigma.co/t/desire-to-keep-algorithm-private/237
  6. https://blog.quarkslab.com/introduction-to-trusted-execution-environment-arms-trustzone.html
  7. Note: Read this from Ohad http://www.idni.org/blog/from-agoras-to-tml.html

Bitansky, N., Goldwasser, S., Jain, A., Paneth, O., Vaikuntanathan, V., & Waters, B. (2016, January). Time-lock puzzles from randomized encodings. In Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science (pp. 345-356). ACM.

Puddu, I., Dmitrienko, A., & Capkun, S. (2017). μchain: How to Forget without Hard Forks. IACR Cryptology ePrint Archive, 2017, 106.

Kaptchuk, G., Miers, I., & Green, M. (2017). Managing Secrets with Consensus Networks: Fairness, Ransomware and Access Control. IACR Cryptology ePrint Archive, 2017, 201.

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This is an extremely eye-opening post for me. I know nothing of Tau Chain, Enigma, or Agoras and I'm having trouble understanding what the three have to do with one another. Any relation to Lamden (TAU as listen on coinmarketcap?)

In regards to this broad query regarding secrecy/privacy, it's not an easily solvable dilemma. Ideally, radical transparency should work the best since it's closest to how nature operates. In reality, the need to mitigate the damage done by devious actors is a constant spectre hanging over the development and successful deployment of any new technology.

That being said, the potential damage done by secrecy (which is not so different from the damage done by directly lying) in my view outweighs any of the potential benefits. The idea of time-locked algorithms is ingenious, though wasteful. I think it would work relatively well at maintaining the farce that is copyright/"intellectual property."

I'm torn, because what you present seems like it would work well for the time being and near future, but wouldn't be a true solution. Secrecy tends to promote corruption, elitism, and centralization, so I view it as the enemy of any truly advanced blockchain.

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. Ideally, radical transparency should work the best since it's closest to how nature operates. In reality, the need to mitigate the damage done by devious actors is a constant spectre hanging over the development and successful deployment of any new technology.

The opposite. Nature is all about privacy. Predators use camouflage to help them get closer to prey so the exact location of an animal is private. Prey uses all kinds of evolved mechanisms from hard shells to other mechanisms to protect themselves from predators. Humans evolved different languages so as to protect our minds from being invaded by foreign enemies.

The idea that nature is transparent is interesting because I see in history only greater and greater levels of privacy. Even the concept of God (omnipotent) whether you believe was invented or is real is really the only being which is supposed to know what everyone is doing and thinking.

So radical transparency to me never existed in nature from what I can see. The state of nature from what I can see is a state of war and in war privacy saves lives while transparency only makes it easier for predators, parasites, etc. Now you can make a case that predators rely on privacy (camouflage) and that parasites rely on privacy (being really small so harder to detect) and so on and this is all true but you also can say humans speaking different languages and having brains which can think privately have always relied on privacy as well.

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signalling_theory
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camouflage
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Thanks for the reply. I think your reading of the term 'nature' is different than mine. I did a perhaps poor job of conveying it, and it's a less common use of the term (in English.) One way of thinking of it is the entire universe as an intelligent organism, or perhaps a monolithic brain.

I suppose the most similar idea in contemporary western intellectual consciousness would be pantheistic ways of conceiving of reality.

Even the concept of God (omnipotent) whether you believe was invented or is real

All concepts are invented. Yet, what allows them to exist is real in the truest sense.

The idea that nature is transparent is interesting because I see in history only greater and greater levels of privacy.

In humans, perhaps. Again I think we have diverging definitions of the term privacy. I see it as a somewhat spurious construct invented by the mind that is a byproduct of the emergence of sentience. It is useful for survival but a hindrance to knowledge.

Prey uses all kinds of evolved mechanisms from hard shells to other mechanisms to protect themselves from predators. Humans evolved different languages so as to protect our minds from being invaded by foreign enemies.

That's a different angle than I've considered being an aspect of 'privacy-as-I-know-it.' Thank you for it. I tend to think the root of many disagreements is caused by discrepancies in definition of terms. Here, and below, you stripped some of the negative associations of the term I held.

So radical transparency to me never existed in nature from what I can see. The state of nature from what I can see is a state of war and in war privacy saves lives while transparency only makes it easier for predators, parasites, etc. Now you can make a case that predators rely on privacy (camouflage) and that parasites rely on privacy (being really small so harder to detect) and so on and this is all true but you also can say humans speaking different languages and having brains which can think privately have always relied on privacy as well.

For now, to this I'll just say I really appreciate your point of view and it has enlightened me/expanded my understanding of the idea of "privacy" in its most quintessential form :-)

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Thanks for the reply. I think your reading of the term 'nature' is different than mine. I did a perhaps poor job of conveying it, and it's a less common use of the term (in English.) One way of thinking of it is the entire universe as an intelligent organism, or perhaps a monolithic brain.

I suppose the most similar idea in contemporary western intellectual consciousness would be pantheistic ways of conceiving of reality.

I am familiar with the concepts like panspermia for example but from what I know about physics all things are temporary. The privacy that existed for life in the past was based on the fact that a lifeform would eventually die and deteriorate to dust. The entropy is what I'm referring to in physics.

Written language changed this particularly for the human species. Very few species or perhaps we are the only species really which can record our history in stone so future generations can inherit our knowledge. Privacy in the sense that I think about it is that you can encode your knowledge in such a way that it lasts as long as you want it to last and is released when you want it to be released. In other words it is access control.

For sake of humanity I think most or perhaps even all knowledge should be released at some point. But some knowledge is better released after a person is dead which is why I state access control is really what privacy is about. If you're not alive to see it released then it will not matter for you and has no impact on your security. If you are alive then it could impact your security.

An example could be that you don't want your net worth to be known to the public until after you die. This is a matter of access control.

In humans, perhaps. Again I think we have diverging definitions of the term privacy. I see it as a somewhat spurious construct invented by the mind that is a byproduct of the emergence of sentience. It is useful for survival but a hindrance to knowledge.

My argument is it doesn't have to be. The world can get the release of all knowledge at some date in the future. The competitive advantage that comes from keeping knowledge private does not last forever and can be set to expire. So I agree if it's locked up forever it does society no good because we can't learn from it but then if it's not locked up for some period of time then it presents a different problem.

This is why I favor expiration dates. In fact, classified information typically has expiration dates. It's classified for some period of years and then it's declassified.

In physics I don't know what consciousness is. I don't know what sentience is or whether it's real because physics can't answer these questions. Science cannot answer these questions. So the natural debate if we go by physics and science, can't include consciousness or sentience. We can speak of computation but this isn't restricted to living beings. The universe computes.

  1. http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658855.001.0001/acprof-9780199658855-chapter-5
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BTW Tauchain isn't Lamden (TAU) on Coinmarketcap. Tauchain is AGRS (Agoras) on Bitshares. Enigma is ENG on Coinmarketcap. What they all have to do with each other is they all are important projects in my opinion and I hold.

  1. This post is great but the discussion below it is gold 🏅
  2. I have BIG existential issues when it comes to restricting knowledge. Probably one might argue that the rapid development of Blockchain is due to the lack of those restrictions and that putting the walls up will just make this "alternative solution" a mirror to the capitalist corporate driven economy of now.
    Designing it in a way where the benefits of innovations are not distributed evenly among everyone (due to privacy/restrictions whatever) but yet still ARE distributed is probably the ideal solution to a lot of problems were dealing woth, however the big question is if a balance like this is achievable and will not be another whale birthing factory
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however the big question is if a balance like this is achievable and will not be another whale birthing factory

Technical problems are easier to solve than social problems. The technical problem is whether or not by cryptographic means can we protect data ownership rights.

If you own a piece of data then you can set the access restrictions? This is a problem cryptography can solve to a point. It becomes a matter of using technology to guarantee certain rights.

What about the benefits and risks? The potential for abuse? This all depends on how you choose to implement privacy and not whether you have privacy at all. Implement privacy in the pro-social way and you get the benefits. The benefits are known based on whether people are happy or unhappy while also being kept safe.

So in an ideal world you can share it all and get only the benefits. In the current world if you share it all you'll get risks which may far exceed the benefits. The technical solutions should be about controlling the risks associated with sharing and magnifying the benefits. The risk for example if you share how much is in your bank account is you can become a victim and blockchain only helps increase that risk. On the other hand if you develop a private wallet now you help reduce that risk but then it creates some additional risks unless you have it implemented in such a way that you can reduce those risks using technical means.

In other words you can keep your transactions shielded while also proving for example to the IRS or whomever that your transactions are clean without having to reveal to any human the transactions. In other words using cryptography to prove clean money is technically possible to do. I promote that we give privacy where it is necessary and transparency where it is legally required but in a way which doesn't violate personal privacy.

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So a way to think about society is a network of stakeholders with different interests. You the individual have your own interests. The IRS has it's interests. The competitor has their interests. Your data sharing policy should be set up to protect your interests but this does not mean you must protect your interests at the expense of for example the IRS or some legal regulatory agency.

Your interests could be that you want to reduce your own regulatory risk, your financial risks, your legal risks, etc. The IRS or whomever has their own mission. The rational solution would be to set your data sharing policy in such a way to reduce your risks (including your risk of being a focus of IRS). The easiest way to do this is to simply develop a technical means where you can prove to the IRS that you've paid your fair share of taxes on your transactions (even if you keep your transactions shielded).

How is this possible? Well that is one of the promises of advanced cryptography such as homomorphic encryption. The idea that we can keep our data encrypted and still compute it. The IRS example is probably a bad one because the tax code is so hellishly complex that implementing something like that would be difficult but for many examples such as reputation scores and peer matching algorithms you can get major benefits keeping all the data encrypted.

A peer matching algorithm for example could bring people together who don't know anything about each other but whom the machines know intimately. This would actually solve a real social problem using the privacy preserving technology which can't be solved with more transparency. Transparency can't make people trust each other or bring people together. Transparency also doesn't detect lies from truth. Big data can be analyzed to get to know a billion people and then a matching algorithm can connect the right people to each other.

this is my biggest fear. if i were ohad i will try my hardest to keep things private. sometimes i feel like these very smart devs can act very naive at times. look at bitcoin governance problem for example, they refuse to have some type of structure and this could be bcash biggest advantage, their willingness to have some type of governance. may be we should all vote on this and make the code private somehow.

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My intention with this post was to put these ideas into the public conscience for discussion. Now it's up to you and others to discuss these ideas. As the token holders of Agoras you get to decide how best to grow and maintain the value of the token. My idea is simply that if you have private knowledge you increase the value of the network (backed by brain power). Public knowledge may be better long term for the world but we do need a period of time where our best ideas are kept private so that we who create ideas can benefit from it monetarily. If the creators don't get benefit or credit they'll just go to the networks which do allow them to get that (whether it be Enigma or something else).

Private knowledge base is really the ultimate feature which Agoras can allow. That is your ability to share and use knowledge without revealing it. This is possible due to a hardware technology called trusted execution environment which was designed primarily for intellectual property protection but which can be used just as easily by crypto projects to protect smart contracts or any other data.

I think data scarcification, i.e. any errrmmm ... message to be usable ONLY by the addressee and ONLY the way authorized, without any possibility to resend, amend, store, copy ... etc. is unavoidable consequence of Tau, and doable under Tau's own cryptographic means. I said many times what I think on 'privacy' - it is only and always about effective OWNERSHIP of information. Nowadays ownership is enforceable the fiat, external, coercion way. Blockchain is not trustless it is self-enforcing. Those who put info ownership under blockchain way of self-enforcement ... well ... ( Hardware is copiable too). https://people.cs.umass.edu/~immerman/pub/uniform.pdf

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Faced with a sort of arms race type scenario (once people figure out how valuable the ideas behind Tauchain really are) then we will potentially greatly benefit if as you say the creator maintains cryptographic ownership rights. The law is flawed as there is corruption, decisions from humans can be purchased a lot cheaper than the cost of mining or of trying to corrupt a decentralized network. So in a way this could allow for the data scarcification as you say or as I like to say it allows for the creators to maintain digital rights through cryptographic leverage.

Leveraging the law works only sometimes. Leveraging money works if you have a lot of it. Leveraging cryptography can work for anybody. Suddenly you do not have to be rich to receive the same ownership benefits as you could get with a legally enforced contract. In fact you could get better benefits because it's cryptographically self enforced in such a way that a promise can't be broken.

Isn't the keeping of promises the whole basis behind all contracts? So cryptography allows the creator to promise to deliver and allows the creator to set terms written in "stone" or in cryptography which is as hard as stone, and to provide permissions, access controls, access limits, but also to accept limits on their control such as time limits, or a limit measured in the computation it takes to break a certain puzzle (computational limits) so that if someone really wants to open source or unlock certain data then they'll direct mining toward it (if the data is worth enough to spend the resources).

The ideal to me is not to make it impossible to unlock data because we might someday be faced with a situation where it's in the best interest of the world to do so. The ideal is to make it sufficiently expensive that only the most important situations would be able to amass the resources to break the puzzle. Puzzle cryptography has great use here I think.

There are many ways to lock something up via a puzzle. A puzzle which can only be unlocked by "mining" which is to dedicate computation resources to produce enough tokens to pay the fee to unlock the cryptography. This token could be held by the programmer who wrote the code which would make sure the programmer will get paid if the community decides to unlock his source code.

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The ideal or what I call the ideal is with time lock and puzzle mining if you, me, with a team of others have a discussion on Tauchain which solves a problem in the world but we want our solution to remain private along with our knowledge bases for only a fixed period of time (say the time we expect to live (+60 years) then time lock encryption would allow us to make the promise in the smart contract form that all of our private knowledge base will be released after +60 years time no matter what.

This would allow the community to trust us because future generations would benefit not just from our solution but the knowledge we arrived at would not be at risk of being lost. The library of Alexandria problem is averted.

Mine to unlock would be to have a time lock puzzle which with ordinary hardware would for example take +60 years to unlock but with specialized hardware which would be some kind of ASIC then this could perhaps be reduced to 10 years, or 6 years, or 10 months, depending on how much computation resources society chooses to throw at it. In this way we can have a means in an emergency to release knowledge from a time lock but at a predictably high cost. The cost could be predicted for example as the amount of memory required or some other resource which in theory could be paid for perhaps using Agoras itself to rent these resources.

Mine to unlock is speculative because I don't see anyone actually having done it. But I don't see anything theoretically which would make it impossible to do either. So I think that is something which will happen sooner or later.

Intellectual property should be as protected as any patent. As an Agoras holder, I agree in keeping the value added the technology brings safe, until it's considered necessary.

How would the secret contract work? because the article refers to the code on github, and for what I understood Enigma will use a contract encryption that will require a centralized party to take care of the decoding.

Tauchain is one of those projects that truly makes me think, that's probably why I love reading anything about it; most of the time I need to open a few extra tabs to dissect what the community is saying. ☺

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Enigma works without any centralized party. It works in one of two ways: 1) TEE which is trusted execution environment. They have a partnership with Intel to implement that and this will allow nodes in the Enigma network to execute encrypted software or work with encrypted data. 2) sMPC is the secure multiparty computation software route of achieving the same outcome. The sMPC route is as decentralized as the hardware route but you have to trust the programmers while with the hardware you have to trust the hardware manufacturers.

There can be hidden bugs in hardware and in software so no method is 100% safe. It is the combination of multiple methods where by a market can form and give different options where we can achieve higher security by diversify of options.

Agoras is the intelligent marketplace to be built using TML(Tauchain). The idea here is Tauchain and in specific Agoras can make use of the trusted execution environment (TEE) in the same way iExec and Enigma plan to do. Simple to implement, and immediately Tauchain will have the same ability to do the secret contracts (private knowledgebases) as Enigma/iExec.

So in Tauchain it's about private knowledge bases. In Enigma it's about secret contracts. In iExec it's about private computation. None of these options rely on a centralized third party to do "decoding" because the decoding takes place in TEE but I can see your point with Enigma. In the initial implementation the centralization could be down to a node or machine somewhere executing the code in the TEE. The thing is none of us will know which computer that is because even the node running the code will not know what it's running or what the data is. So if you have enough nodes it will be unlikely anyone can figure out which piece of code is sent to which node and even if you could it would still be in the TEE so you would have to try to hack the hardware encryption.

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I went back and reread the article, I got confused when they explained the hybrid Dapp. I was definitely not thinking in the encryption of Tauchain knowledge.

I think you are suggesting that contributions towards a topic develpment in Tauchain (as well as the Tauchain source code), will be keep secure using TEE (or a mix of TEE and sMPC) I can definitely see the value in such combination, and I hope the parties involved in the project are looking out for the intellectual property of the developers/contributors.

Thank you.

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The distinction is between an open knowledge network, a private knowledge network, and a mixed open/private knowledge network. I'm promoting the idea of a mixed open/private knowledge network rather than entirely open or entirely private.

So by private I mean access controlled. This would mean algorithms which are run in such a way that no one can reverse engineer or know the algorithm. This would mean code which can run without the users knowing what the source code is (closed and private). There are pros and cons to this though because while the benefits are clear (intellectual property being an example) there are also risks (malicious code). So there has to be a way for the community to balance out the risk vs reward and for each individual to determine the level of risk they are willing to accept.

For more check out the links to the Enigma forums where the philosophical issues are being discussed.

Hi @dana-edwards! We are @steem-ua, a new Steem dApp, computing UserAuthority for all accounts on Steem. We are currently in test modus upvoting quality contributions with a high UA value! Nice work!

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How does UA work?

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UA is iteratively calculated for all accounts based on the follow connections between all accounts. The UA of an account increases when it is followed by other accounts with a high UA. UA is independent from reputation and steem power.

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I don't understand. Is it the amount of followers you have? Is it being followed by popular bloggers? What is the algorithm they use? Do they have a whitepaper?

Sorry if I ask a lot of questions but the whole thing confuses me as it's not explained how it works.

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You can find more information here:
https://steemit.com/steemdev/@cryptoctopus/user-authority-a-better-reputation-system-with-interesting-applications

Sorry, the project is in a very early beta stage :).

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I’m also unsure, though in whatever case, IMO, spamming users about it isn’t the most professional way to go about promoting it...

Great post Dana! It's true that security is non-trivial and I believe Ohad treats this very seriously. However, it's good for him to include this topic in his next blog.

This is the next logical step in Crypto, and i see enermous potential in the Enigma project. Many confuse Enigma with just another private payment crypto, while it is something much bigger than that, private smart contracts will be very attractive for many industries that value the privacy of their data and it seems that their are many other projects that wants to cooperate with ENG. The only thing I wonder is about the token, does holding the token actually do anything, or will it just reflect the value of the project much like normal stocks ? I really like Steem and EOS as you can lock it up to get band width or more influence to further increase your stake, but I haven’t read about ENG and if this token will have some similar function ?

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The whole knowledge economy depends in privacy to some degree. How can you monetize your knowledge if a hacker can reach into your mind and steal it before you can broadcast it? On the other hand if the knowledge is distributed across a network and secured by TEE (trusted execution environment) then it's a situation where only you and the machines know.

So the source code you write could remain protected until you unshield it. The code can even be executed while shielded. You can even puzzle encrypt it in theory so that only by spending lots of computation resources can they "mine to open source". I predict "mine to open source" will become a trend.

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Thanks a lot for your long and detailed reply. I understand how it functions, and much better now with your explanation, but how will this tie into the value of the Token itself ? What i mean is, once you buy Steem tokens you can do something with them, you can put it in Steem power and thus influence and earn more. But how about Enigma, is the token tied to the technology somehow, or does it just reflect the value of the technology based on what speculators think?

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Let's say you and I work together for a month and invent a new compression algorithm. This algorithm is more efficient than any other available. If we release the algorithm everyone can copy it and soon Google(Youtube) and other big companies will simply have a more efficient way of doing things. Worse even still is those big companies may even be able to file a patent before we can.

The value in the community comes from our brain power. The algorithms and everything else comes from what our brains produce. When we look at a token like Steem which has no privacy we also see the token can't hold any value. The brain power is what produces the knowledge in a knowledge economy primarily.

So let's go back to our algorithm example? If we had a way to let the world get the value (benefits) of using our algorithm without actually revealing our algorithm them we could in a sense license the usage of our algorithm. We could for example create a token and only by using this token can the smart contracts (which is encrypted and secretly run in a TEE network) implement our secret algorithm.

This means IP can be protected using TEE/secret contracts. The algorithm remains the shared secret between you and I. Our private keys would protect this shared secret until we decide to reveal it. For even more security and trust we could set it to automatically reveal under certain conditions (conditional privacy) or to reveal if enough mining power is directed to solve the network puzzle, or reveal after a certain period of time (say 2020).

In this way we get the benefits of open source in that we would be able to promise our algorithm will be given to the world after some period of time but we would also be able to exclusively profit from our algorithm until the timer runs out. The token would in essence represent the value of the algorithm itself.

All of this would allow for monetization of knowledge. The secret smart contracts and private algorithms directly monetize the ideas.

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Awesome explanation, I understand now how it could be used! May I ask which cryptos you believe the strongest in at the moment, respectively in the forthcoming years ? My biggest investment at the moment is Steem, Bitcoin EOS, bitshares and ENG.

Right now I’m a bit at the crossroads, I believe in Steem, and frankly it’s one of the few projects that is actually materialized and is being used, but with the rise of EOS and rumors of Steemit 2.0, it feels like Steem has lost a bit of its edge, what do you think ?

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My opinion on Steem vs Steem 2.0 is that time is running out for Steem original to maintain dominance. In fact I see certain design decisions which could make it easier for a competitor to compete such as the fact that all the account data is public. Quite easy to snapshot the Steem blockchain and create a Steem 2.0 with all the exact same token distributions. Quite easy even for Tauchain or any other project to snapshot the Steem blockchain and sharedrop a token to compete with Steem. The lack of privacy also provides an opportunity for a competitive advantage for any competitor which adds privacy.

I am not yet convinced of EOS. EOS has to compete with Tezos, Cardano, and others. I do not hold EOS at this point in time.

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Maybe Steem should think of cooperating with Enigma hehe. It does indeed feel like time is running out a bit. I wonder, if SMTwould have been launched by the beginning of the year, how things would look like today. Another thing I wonder is how long the crypto market will move as a whole, as opposed to projects moving based on their progress and adoption. I guess time will tell.

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I suggested that but it was not well received unfortunately. I don't think Steem will ever adopt privacy features due to political objectives of Steemit.inc but I do think witnesses could be convinced someday perhaps.

I more importantly is whether or not Tauchain which seeks to build a decentralized social network makes the decision to have private computations or not. It's a very critical decision which will have to be made for any social network but particularly for Tauchain. I think Steem already made their decision and has to live with the open network and all the problems from that choice.

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Quite easy to snapshot the Steem blockchain and create a Steem 2.0 with all the exact same token distributions. Quite easy even for Tauchain or any other project to snapshot the Steem blockchain and sharedrop a token to compete with Steem.

As someone who’s primary investment in Steem, I think that’d be great.

I’ve had many concerns regarding Steemit’s weaknesses, and accompanying confusion about how I’d prefer to allocate my investment, when the time comes for Steem 2.0 - unsure of whether to move funds over, how much, etc.

That’d be pretty awesome to be airdropped an amount of tokens proportional to my Steem holdings, and thus have a beginning stake in others, should they be the ones to solve the challenges and win out.

Quite a brilliant idea.

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Tauchain and Enigma.

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Thanks for the tip :)

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Many people ask where to buy Agoras. The problem is it's not widely available on centralized exchanges. The only exchange I know that has it is Bitshares. So if anyone really wants to buy Agoras (AGRS) which is the token of discussion in this post feel free to buy it at: https://openledger.io/market/AGRS_BTC

42 million intermediate tokens total. Current price is: 0.00010700 BTC which is around 70 cents. This is the cheapest price I've seen it in a while because for a long time it was $1.50-$1.30 range.

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This theoretical case study / example sums it up rather perfectly.

People already discussing Tauchain like it has taken over completely. Meanwhile my knowledge about it is still very very limited

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Don't worry, you'll hear about it by 2020. Just like you found out about Bitcoin probably after 2008.

"Secrecy tends to promote corruption, elitism, and centralization" - this was my line of thinking to and my first question would be..why not copywrite? Of course I know absolutely nothing about programming.

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In your opinion what does transparency promote?

Copyright only works for the lawyers and those who can afford to file the patent. The blockchain works for everyone. The only thing you'd need is a token and that is likely to be far cheaper than a lawyer.

hello I have upvoted you
can you please Resteem my post, as of my low steem power I can't bring light to it. so its a humble request to you to bring some light on it
https://steemit.com/crypto/@striker91/tron-founder-congratulate-it-s-representative-in-twitter
thank you