The state, like an army around an oil well, or a customs agent extracting bribes at the border, would soon learn to leverage its control of physical space to gain control over our platonic realm.
It would prevent the independence we had dreamed of, and then, squatting on fiber optic lines and around satellite ground stations, it would go on to mass intercept the information flow of our new world – its very essence even as every human, economic, and political relationship embraced it.
We were both far each other when we first started chatting, he was in England and I was working in Saudi Riyadh at that time.
I finished my contract and returned to the Philippines where we both met face to face for the first time and there were sparks!
Chaum’s system never took off, for several reasons, but this centralized point of failure is one.
If we avoid the problems of centralization and resolve on a decentralized system, we face a different but equally severe set of problems: without centralization, in a distributed system in which no party has veto power (and any party can be anonymous or a mask for another party), how and parties at work producing new transactions, and they will independently latch onto one of the two competing transactions produced by an attacker and incorporate it into future transactions; the amount of computing power necessary to out-invest those other parties quickly becomes too enormous for any one entity to invest.
There are 2 Russian competitors, group was a loose affiliation of cryptographic researchers and enthusiasts centered on the eponymous email list in the 1980s and 1990s who developed many novel ideas and approaches to communication, economics, and politics.
Achievements of theirs included developing anonymous email remailers (inspiring the Tor anonymizing network), helping defeat the Clinton-era Clipper chip and setting a key precedent, and helping defeat USA export restrictions on cryptography (key to safe Internet commerce outside the USA; the costs of export restrictions can be seen to this day in South Korea, which locked itself into a Microsoft/Internet Explorer computer monoculture).
Another way is to look in the blockchain for SR-related addresses or transactions; one possible address had a 23 June 2012 balance of ฿450,825 or ,885,280.
Since it is unlikely there are ~m of transactions active or sitting in wallets that day on SR when the largest previous Silk Road scammer (Tony76) - pulling out all the stops - got away with an order of magnitude less money, this is highly likely to represent Silk Road’s profits or profits plus balances & escrows; which at a commission of 5-10% implies a total Silk Road turnover of m.
We are now excited to welcome our 1st baby next month!