Proof of Work -> atmospheric carbon

Zooko O'Whielacronx zookog at
Mon Jan 26 06:41:17 PST 2009

On Jan 26, 2009, at 13:08 PM, John Levine wrote:

> If only.  People have been saying for at least a decade that all we
> have to do to solve the spam problem is to charge a small fee for
> every message sent.

I was one of those people, a decade and a half ago, on the cypherpunks
mailing list.  In fact, as I recall I once discussed with John Gilmore
after a Bay Area Cypherpunks Physical Meeting whether he would pay me to
implement some sort of solution to spam, but we didn't agree on a

> Unfortunately, there's a variety of reasons that's never going to  
> work.

Hey, the future is long.  (We hope.)

> One of the larger reasons is that despite a lot of smart people
> working on micropayments, we have nothing approaching a system that
> will work for billions of tranactions per day, where 90% of the
> purported payments are bogus, along with the lack of any interface to
> the real world financial system that would scale and withstand the
> predictable attacks.

Coincidentally, I just blogged today about how we are much closer to
this now than we were then, even though none of the smart people that
you were probably thinking of are involved in the new deployments:

WoW-gold, for example, appears to have at least millions of transactions
a day.  Does anyone have more detail about the scale and scope of these

> My white paper could use a little updating, but the basic conclusions
> remain sound:

Thanks!  I'll read this.



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