[ZS] Re: Prestige Bitcoin

Michael Hrenka metahorse at googlemail.com
Wed May 9 15:12:40 PDT 2012

Pasting a private mail exchange between me and Lodewijk "Lewis" Andri
de la Porte:

On Wed, May 9, 2012 at 1:30 AM, lodewijk andri de la porte
<lodewijkadlp at gmail.com> wrote:
Hey Michael,

I figured it'd be more easier (and less taxing for others) if I'd send
you this mail directly. I've send a quite critical e-mail which Eugen
was kind enough to forward, in fact he send your answer back. My mail
must have been a bit harsh to read and I apologize. The intuitive idea
was based upon the mechanic of Bitcoins and a vague feeling about how
a reputation based currency might work.

He included a link to your paper-ish document "Pretige Fluido
Documentation" V0.01. I'm glad it was worked out in more detail than
I'd first expected yet somewhat saddened by the fact that none of the
issues I felt were difficult were solved. I'm also glad I was quite on
point when it came to guessing how it would work, but that's just
personal vanity.

Let me first say that I too think currency the way we use it now is
limiting. Limiting in the sense that it doesn't accurately represent
what it should, value added to the community. It should serve to allow
you to balance that value, letting the community do things for you.

It's obvious from the document you've worked, in the mathematical
sense, hard to produce formula's that describe the mechanic. The
system should in fact work excellently if everyone were benevolent.
Sadly if everyone were benevolent there'd be no need for currency in
the first place. On the other hand if everyone were benevolent the
world would be a boring place.

Currency is essential to motivate useful work. Useful is usually
defined as that which others would work for. Food, tools,  raw
materials, medicine, knowledge but curiously also (imagery of) sex,
music, art and other entertainment. It is not our task to determine
what another thinks is right or wrong, neither what is useful and what
is not. That I consider an axiom of ethics. That it motivates work to
produce such things is also important. Sloth will not get anyone

I seem to have trailed off a bit too far. Bitcoins are the hardest of
hard currencies. That is to say, there is no love. Just math. This is
visible through irrevocable transactions. There's also no mass-market
control mechanism like inflation in it. It is meant to be a digital
perfect gold standard and it practically is that. The reason it can be
that is because it's  supply is limited and there is no notion of a
person. Without persons there is no trust, no organisations, nothing.
There's just hashes in a flow, so to speak.

To combine that with the highly attributed principles of Prestige is
ridiculous. Not only is the Prestige system heavily dependent on a per
person limited amount of DP's. A problem Bitcoin geniously EVADES.
This is actually on of the mentioned problems but I'm afraid it's also
the show stopper. Not even governments can get identity right.
Identities are regularly traded on black market. I have some wild
ideas about how to deal with identification but it's a hard nut to

Skipping all the problems imported from politics and traditional
currencies there is still simple cases of fraud that are effective.
Take for example a DP pool, a group of uses simply agreeing to divide
among each other as thinly as possible as many DP as they have. Join
the pool and everyone becomes richer. In fact this will allow them to
have the maximum amount of balanced income.

Note also that evaporating Fluido (a pretty name) will simply
encourage spending. This in the view of a planet with finite
resources. Any bump in fame will cause a bump in Fluido. Just after
your movie released you're the richest man on the planet. Halfway
through the subsequent 10 year project your funds run low enough to
bother working out fantasies. So what you do is buy a lot of some
other currency. In fact you always do that. Lest materials are
cheaper, in which case you always buy a ton of materials. In the worst
case your a man with truly more than he can spend.

I feel more for a (bit)coin with an evaporation rate. Ideally a fairly
high one. That should make it more of a trade currency and less of a
long term investment.

The distribution ideas you've presented are readily usable in certain
limited environments, like MMORPG's. And they would provide quite
valuable an addition there.

If ever you mange to work out the kinks in the Prestige system I'd
love to help implement it. I currently operate an e-wallet (bitvau.lt)
that is still under heavy development ("public testing" means just
that, don't trust me yet and you don't have to like the homepage's
looks. I've a new one in the pipeline) and I wouldn't mind at some
point adding Prestige/Fluido to the mix. I love the idea of a
continuous currency and currency flows, maybe I'll even emulate them
somehow. And if I ever get around to working on identities properly
I'll make sure you find out, Maybe even steal some ideas from you :).

Feel free to repost (parts of) this message elsewhere, I've send it to
you directly because I think it's too long to bother people without an
interest in currency and I can never tell if my babbling makes enough
sense, not because I don't want anyone to read it.

Best regards,
Lodewijk "Lewis" Andri de la Porte

P.S.: If I could give you some DP, I totally would.

Michael Hrenka (sent by metahorse at googlemail.com)
12:08 AM (0 minutes ago)

to lodewijk
Hi Lewis,

thank you for your direct feedback. We actually seem to think very
much alike. I am very much aware that the fixed quota of DPs is the
most critical issue of the Prestige system, and that it could become a
show stopper. It would work if identity could be verified reliably,
but as you said that's extremely hard to do. At the moment the best
approach to fix that problem is to include a kind of trust rating into
the system. First you need to get some trust to "unlock" your DPs.
Unfortunately I'm still far from having a clear idea how that would
work exactly. This is the part of the project that needs work most

The core of my system is definitely the Prestige system. I guess it
makes more sense to add Fluido as add-on to that core. Also, Bitcoin
integration with Prestige would be made with an add-on, too. It
probably doesn't hurt to have a single reputation index and different
currencies that are attached to that index. Bitcoin is great for
storing value, but Fluido would have the advantage that it's more
abundant and can be spent more freely on promising projects and other
things (evaporation obviously encourages that). Both currencies have
their own justification and purposes. From my point of view a crypto
version of Fluido is essentially a (bit)coin with evaporation. You
probably would be able to mine those "crypto Fluido". The only real
problem with that is that is sounds weird ;)

I am aware that the Prestige system could be applied in many limited
environments. Basically, I want to create a web platform that makes
doing so really easy, but that's a rather long-term project.

Your e-wallet sounds good. I will definitely consider using it. :)

And your "babbling" does make lots of sense. I'll repost it to the
Zero State list. That's the place where most of the discussion is

Michael Hrenka

Want a signature like mine? Click here.

P.S.: Thanks for your potential DPs :) I wonder whether it would make
sense to start with a simple private app that just manages DPs you
want to attribute to others. You'll get at least 1 DP from me for the
inspiration I got from you. ;)

Zero State mailing list:

----- End forwarded message -----
Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820 http://www.ativel.com http://postbiota.org
8B29F6BE: 099D 78BA 2FD3 B014 B08A  7779 75B0 2443 8B29 F6BE

More information about the cypherpunks-legacy mailing list