[p2p-hackers] Pirate Pay

James A. Donald jamesd at echeque.com
Mon May 14 15:48:16 PDT 2012

On 2012-05-14 6:01 PM, Daniel Reusche wrote:
> This is why we are improving our blacklists and trust models. I think
> BitTorrent is an ideal testing field for a karma based economy.

Bittorrent's notorious problem is that it does not remember anything from 
one torrent to the next, and does not share graph or karma data from on 
peer to the next, because managing shared graph data is tricky, and 
managing shared karma data is a great deal trickier.

This results in lack of incentive to seed, with the result that the vast  
majority of torrents are unseeded.  Torrents die.

To fix this problem, people tend to form associations based on a  
particular web site.  The association rewards and penalizes people  
according to their upload download ratio, which is the wrong metric. The 
important metric is keeping approved torrents alive, the important metric 
is storage availability rather than bandwidth, though bandwidth matters 

The association has a central point of failure, its website and its  
operators, who come under pressure.  One needs a distributed system that  
gives people incentives to seed - that rewards people for providing other 
people storage and availability.

Some design characteristics:

*.  Peers are identified by a durable public key.

*.  Peers interact with keys they do not trust, but expect protocol  
conformance and prosocial behavior only from keys they trust. Peers limit 
their exposure to non trusted keys so that they can suffer only limited 
damage from non trusted keys deviating from protocol or otherwise 

*.  Peers may not only trust Bob, but transitively everyone Bob trusts,  
and everyone that those peers trust ...  If this works, they increase  
their transitive trust in Bob, if it fails they decrease their transitive 

*.  Prosocial behavior consists of conforming to protocol, storage  
availability, with valuable, or at least demanded, stuff in storage and  
accessible on demand,  and paying ones bandwidth and storage debts. Since 
networks are unreliable, perfect protocol conformity is never expected or 
demanded, but the burden that one's deviations from protocol place on other 
peers counts against one's karma.

Thus Bob performs the functions of the website in a bittorrent association 
- thus every well behaved peer performs the function of the website in a 
bittorrent association.
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