1. Signatures, Hashing, Hash Chains, e-cash, and Motivation


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MIT courses, visit [email protected] NEHA NARULA: OK, so
let’s get started. OK? So great. We’re here to talk
about cryptocurrency engineering and design. I think the first question that
comes up that’s very obvious is what is a cryptocurrency? So this word was kind of
invented 10 years ago when– I don’t know how many of you
know the origin story of where bitcoin came from, but basically
a pseudonym on the internet dropped a paper and
some open source code in a forum on an email
list, and said, hey, I have this idea for this
thing called bitcoin. It’s kind of like
electronic cash. Here’s how I think
it could work, and here is some code if you
want to run it and become part of this peer-to-peer network. We don’t know who
this person is. This person has basically
virtually disappeared from the internet
and from the world. But it’s created something
that has captured so many people’s imaginations
and has sort of, depending on how you measure
it, created billions and billions of dollars
of economic value and inspired a lot of
people to think about how to use this technology to solve
a myriad of different problems, not just electronic payments. So cryptocurrencies and
the technology behind them are inspiring people to think
about how to bank the unbanked, add more auditability and
traceability to our world, get rid of trusted
intermediaries and institutions in certain situations,
and basically solve every problem, if you read
about what blockchains can do on the internet. Now that’s not exactly
what this class is about. This class is not going
to be about applications. This class is going to be about
technology and infrastructure. You’re going to learn how to
create a cryptocurrency, what goes inside a cryptocurrency,
what’s important, what are the techniques. And what application you choose
to apply that to down the line, that’s kind of up to you. But we’re not going to be doing
digital identity or health care records or something like that. We’re going to be talking
about the technology. So a big question is
how are cryptocurrencies different from
regular currencies? And another thing that I
want to make really clear is that the terms in this
space are still being defined. So you will hear
people throw around all sorts of terms–
cryptocurrency, blockchain, consensus. And these words kind of have
floating, evolving meanings right now. Part of that is because bitcoin,
the first cryptocurrency, didn’t come from academia,
as far as we know. It came from a community of
enthusiasts on the internet. And so it doesn’t necessarily
have the same basis and rigor that we might expect from
most of our academic fields of study. It’s totally OK. We’re figuring it
out as we go along. And academia is really
embracing this topic. So if any of you are
graduate students who are looking for an area
in which to do research, I think basically,
the number of papers published on cryptocurrencies
and blockchain technology in respected academic venues
is doubling every year. So there’s huge
opportunity here. So cryptocurrencies are
not regular currencies. They’re not $1.00 or
a pound or a euro, what we normally
think of as currency. They’re something different. Bitcoin was sort of
created out of nowhere. And what does it mean to
create a cryptocurrency? Who says you can create
a cryptocurrency? What backs a cryptocurrency? Why is it valuable? Well, first, before we
answer that question, I just want to make
it really clear what this course is not about, OK? We are not going
to help you ICO. If you are interested
in ICO’ing, just go. That’s not what this class
is going to be about. We are not going to
offer any trading advice. We have zero opinions on
whether you should buy bitcoin now or sell or
whatever, or zen cash, or whatever all
these things are. So none of that. Don’t even ask us. We’re not interested. And this class is
not really going to be about permissioned
blockchains either. Now you might not know
what this term means yet, and that’s totally
OK, but I just want to make it clear that
what we’re talking about here are cryptocurrencies. They’re open permission with
systems in which there is a token which has some value. So that’s what we’re not
going to do in the class. So going back to– and let me just pause
there for a moment. Let me pause and ask you if
there are any questions so far about what I’ve said. Yeah. AUDIENCE: Do they always
have to have value? NEHA NARULA: No, not at all. And let’s start
to get into that. So the question was do tokens
always have to have value? So I think, really,
to understand what are cryptocurrencies, what
are tokens, what do they mean, we have to talk about money. And we have to talk about what
money is and what it means. So this is going to
be very hand-wavy and I’m sure not very satisfying
to a real monetary economist. But money developed– there
are a few different theories about how money developed. There is this thing called
the coincidence of wants. So maybe I have a sheep
and Tadge has some wheat. I am hungry and would
like to make bread. Tadge would really
like to make a sweater. And so we can
barter, we can trade. I have one set of goods
that is useful to Tadge. Tadge has another set of
goods that are useful to me. We can get together
and make an exchange. So that’s fantastic. Barter is incredibly important. Barter has existed
for a long time. But what if Tadge doesn’t have
wheat, Tadge has vegetables, and I don’t want vegetables. I want wheat. But Tadge still wants
the wool from the sheep. How do we execute this trade? We don’t have a
coincidence of wants. We don’t actually want the exact
same thing from each other. So some theories are that money
evolved out of this problem. And money can be represented
in so many different ways. Money, I think, was first
created around 5000 BC, so it’s really,
really, really old. The things that
represented money usually had certain properties. They were rare. They were not
easily reproducible. People, at times, used things
like shells or beads for money. The first coins– this is
like a really interesting coin that was developed. Precious metals were
often used for money. And then eventually
we sort of evolved into what we think
of as money now, which is paper bills, currency. Another theory of
how money came about is this idea of receipts,
debt and credit. So maybe I have a sheep,
and I shear all of my sheep and collect a lot of wool. What I can do is I can
store that wool somewhere. And I can get a
receipt from someone from having stored that wool,
and that receipt is of value. It entitles the person who holds
the receipt to the good that is being stored. And so another
theory of money is that money evolved
out of these receipts, trading these receipts
back and forth. Instead of taking all
that wool with you, you leave it in one
place in a depository, and the receipt acts
as a bearer instrument. Whoever owns it has access to
the wool in the depository. And so you can kind of
see two different ideas about what money is
develop from this. One is, well, it’s
a bead or a coin, or something that
I hold, something physical that we’ve
decided to assign value to in and of itself. And another idea is I’m going
to use a trusted institution. I’m going to deposit something
with that institution, and they are going to ensure
the validity of that deposit and manage who has
access to that deposit. So this doesn’t really
get at the question that was originally asked, which
is why do tokens have value. But one thing I want
to point out is– well, a question I want
to ask you guys, actually, is why do these
things have value? Does anyone have any ideas? Yes. AUDIENCE: Because everyone
agrees that they do. NEHA NARULA: Because
everyone agrees that they do. Any other thoughts on why
those things have value? Yeah. AUDIENCE: They’re also
backed by institutions like the government. NEHA NARULA: They’re
backed by institutions. Say a little bit
more about that. What does that mean? AUDIENCE: So the
government’s kind of promising you to
respect the value of that. NEHA NARULA: OK. The government’s promising
to respect the value of that. Does anyone want to add to
that or have another reason? Yes. And say your name. I’m sorry, yeah. AUDIENCE: Jared Thompson. In the example of the
dollar, the government is willing to accept it
as payment for taxes. NEHA NARULA: Payment for taxes. OK. So that kind of connects
the government thing. AUDIENCE: Even if it had
no value of any other sort, it has value in that sense. It’s the last thing
that holds up its value. NEHA NARULA: OK, great. Anybody else? Yes. AUDIENCE: I’m Paul. I think those the three on
the front of the dollar, those have inherent
value because they might be more rare. NEHA NARULA: They have
value because they’re rare. OK. Interesting. All right. So those are all really
interesting ideas. I think that those are
all sort of properties of what makes things valuable. There are definitely things that
are rare that are not valuable, right? I can think of some things that
might be extraordinarily rare. There’s only one or two
of them in the universe, and you would have no interest
in owning them whatsoever. You wouldn’t assign
value to them. Certainly it’s really important
that you can pay taxes with this stuff because taxes
is pretty much a requirement of living in any country. There are things that have
value that you don’t necessarily use for taxes. So that’s a little confusing. And then there’s this
idea that it’s backed, that it’s backed by something. And the dollar used to
be backed by something. And actually, if
you look at $1.00, I think it still
says this, right? It’s backed by the full faith
and credit of the United States government. TADGE DRYJA: They
don’t say that anymore. NEHA NARULA: They
don’t say that anymore? They used to say that. But that’s what a lot of
people say about money. It’s backed by the full faith
and credit of the United States government. What does that really mean? I think what it
all goes back to is these things are
valuable because we think they’re valuable. We’ve all decided
they’re valuable. And you know that if you have a
$1.00 bill and you want to buy something from someone,
they’re going to take it, that you can make that exchange. And the reason that
they’re going to take it is because they know
that someone else is going to take it. These things hold value because
we think that they hold value. It’s a collective
story that we all tell. So I think once you
look at money that way, then when you start to look at
tokens, which are essentially digital representations
of these things, things that are rare and a
little bit special, then when you ask, well, why
does this token have value, because we think it has value. So what makes a token
inherently valuable? The fact that we
think it’s valuable. And a lot of different
things can go into that. Maybe we think it’s valuable
because it’s very rare. Or maybe we think it’s
valuable because someone’s promised that you
can use it to pay for storage, like with Dropbox. Or maybe we think it’s valuable
for a completely different reason, because
we like the name, or we like the people who
are running the network. But ultimately
tokens are valuable. These digital
representations are valuable because we
think they’re valuable. Yes. AUDIENCE: And also because
they’re a limited amount. NEHA NARULA: Name. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. Because they’re
a limited amount. NEHA NARULA: Well,
so my argument is that the fact
that they’re limited is something that goes
into our perception that makes it valuable. Great. OK. So now that we’ve learned
a little bit about money, talked a little
bit about money, I want to go into how payments
work because ultimately, we’re going to get to
cryptocurrencies. And cryptocurrencies
are electronic cash. So here’s the way that digital
payments kind of work right now. You have an institution
called a bank. You have Alice and you
have Bob, and Alice and Bob have accounts at this bank. And so the bank is keeping
track of who owns what. And these are these are records. These might be digital records. They might be paper
records, whatever the bank is using
to keep track of who has what in their account. And so the way that I’ve set
up this example right now, Alice and Bob both
have bank accounts. Alice has $10.00 with the bank
and Bob does not have any money with the bank. So let’s say that
Alice wants to pay Bob. Let’s say that Alice and
Bob have gotten together. Maybe they’re in the
same coffee shop. And Alice wants to buy
a sandwich from Bob. And Bob says, OK, you
need to pay me $1.00. If you give me $1.00, then
I’ll give you the sandwich. So how can Alice do this? How can she transfer
$1.00 to Bob? Well, if she had a paper
dollar, she could just do that. But let’s say that she
doesn’t have a paper dollar. So Alice can ask the bank to
make this transfer for her–or $5.00. So Alice sends a
message to the bank and authenticates with
the bank to show the bank that she is, in fact,
Alice, but I’m not going to go into the
details on how that works. And then the bank confirms
that, makes the transfer in its ledger, says Alice now has
$5.00 and Bob now has $5.00. Alice tells Bob,
hey, I did this. I talked to the bank. Go check. You can verify it for yourself. Bob checks with the bank
and sees, yes, in fact, the bank is saying
that he has $5.00 now, whereas before he had zero. And then Bob gives Alice the
sandwich because he believes that he now has $5.00. And the bank sort of
preserved the property that money was not created out
of nowhere, that the balance was ultimately maintained. So the bank is very
important in this scenario. The bank is critical. This is how digital
payments work. Credit cards, Venmo,
banks, kind of all sort of based on the same idea,
that there’s some trusted institution that is
handling that payment for us and that is keeping
track of everything. Now what are the pros and
cons of this scenario? Anyone want to
throw a couple out? Yeah. AUDIENCE: The bank
can get hacked and people could move money
around between the accounts. NEHA NARULA: Right. So we’re putting a lot
of trust in this bank. And maybe should
we trust the bank? Banks fail sometimes. Banks are hacked. Banks have humans
who are running them who occasionally
might want to change those balances in their favor. This has all happened. Anything else? Yeah. And say your name. AUDIENCE: Brittany. If it’s urgent, sometimes
you might run into a delay or it might take time
with the process. NEHA NARULA: Yeah. Alice has to talk to the banks,
and that’s kind of annoying. So there’s that. Anything else? Yeah. AUDIENCE: And if
everyone can actually withdraw at the same time,
then the bank can actually get money into the system. NEHA NARULA: So OK. So this is getting a little
bit more advanced here. What if everyone takes their
balances out at the same time? Well, we need to make sure
that the bank actually has that money, so to speak. We’re not going to be talking
about that problem right now. But very good problem. So to kind of talk
through some of the pros and cons of this situation,
one of the big pros, I think, is, that even if
Alice and Bob are not in the same physical location,
Alice can still pay Bob if they can talk to the bank. So it’s pretty cool,
and that’s something you can’t do with dollar bills
or with coins or with bars of gold. So having this
trusted institution that you can communicate
with electronically means that Alice and
Bob could be halfway around the world from each
other and they can still pay each other. So that’s pretty awesome, and
that is definitely a property that we want to have. In terms of cons, I think we
covered quite a few of them, which is we’re really
putting this bank kind of in the middle
of everything here. And there are a few different
ways that can cause us trouble. So the bank needs to be online
during every transaction. If the bank is offline,
then how does Bob know whether he got paid or not? The bank could fail at
some point in time, which is kind of related to that. The bank could simply
decide that they don’t want to do this anymore
and can block transactions. And then privacy. The bank has kind of
insight into everyone and their payments. And this is incredibly
sensitive information. Payments are quite important. And we’re going to be
talking about privacy a lot in this class, during
the second half of this class. So just an example, a couple
of visual examples of that. The bank could just
totally go away, and then what happens
to that ledger? Who knows, right? I mean, literally, it
could just disappear. Maybe it’s paper
and it gets burnt, or maybe it’s bits on a computer
and it wasn’t replicated. The bank could decide
that they don’t like Alice for some
reason, and that they don’t feel like processing
Alice’s transactions. This happens all the
time in the real world. So there have been designs
for electronic cash that work a little
bit differently. And we’re going
to kind of step up to the design that came
right before bitcoin, and we’re going to
do that iteratively. So let’s talk about e-cash
and how e-cash works. So the way that
e-cash works is Alice tells the bank–
instead of saying, hey, bank, do this
transfer for me, Alice says, hey, I would
like a digital representation of a coin. Can you give me
something that is digital so I don’t have to be in the
same physical place as you, and that I can use in such a
way that I can prove to someone else that I have this thing and
that I haven’t double spent it, because that’s the problem
with digital representations of coins. A fundamental problem is
that bits can be copied. So whatever system you use to
design your electronic cash, you need to make sure
that people can’t just copy coins and give what is the
same coin to multiple people. In the previous
example, the bank was making sure this happened. The bank was
maintaining balances and debiting Alice’s account
and crediting Bob’s account. But if we want to think about
something that doesn’t involve the bank, and we’re
starting to get there, then we need to think about how
to ensure that a coin can’t be what is known as double spent. So Alice asks the bank for coin. And maybe she has an account
with a bank like before. Or maybe she gives the bank
teller actual physical money in order to get
one of these coins. So the bank generates
a unique number– SN stands for serial number– and decides that this is
the digital representation of the coin. The bank then gives that
coin to Alice in a way that it’s clear that
the bank did this. Usually this is done
using a technique called digital signatures. We’re going to get to
that as class progresses, but not right now. Once Alice has this coin,
then she can give it to Bob. And Bob can take a
look at this coin, and hopefully there’s enough
going on with this coin that Bob can be convinced
that this is a real coin. Alice didn’t make it
up out of nowhere. She actually had the funds,
so to speak, to give to Bob, and that it hasn’t
been double spent. And once Bob is
convinced of that, he can give Alice the sandwich. Now in traditional e-cash,
the way that this is done is Bob actually goes
back to the bank and says, here’s this coin. Alice just gave me this coin. Is this an OK coin? But the fact of the matter is
that the bank, in this case, has a serial number
and knows that it gave that unique
serial number to Alice, and then Bob is showing
up with a coin that is that serial number. And what the bank is doing
here, in this example, is the way that the
bank checks to make sure that this coin is correct is
it looks at the serial number, and it makes sure that it
hasn’t been spent before. So the bank can link the
coin between Alice and Bob, which is unfortunate. The also still sort
of has to be online, not to do the actual payment
between Alice and Bob, but in order for Bob
to have confidence that this coin is real. And later on Bob can say, I
would like $1.00 for this coin that I’ve just given you,
or something like that. Or Bob can have an
account with the bank and can maintain
a balance there. So just to go through some
of the pros and cons here, OK, we’ve kind of done
something where the bank’s not in the middle, except the bank
is still really in the middle. We’re getting a step
closer, but we’re not there. Alice can technically give
Bob this electronic thing that represents value,
but Bob still needs to talk to the bank
to make sure it’s real and it hasn’t been double spent. And we still have this problem
where the bank is the one who’s minting these things. The bank can decide
not to give Alice a coin if it feels like it. And we still have
this privacy problem because the secret number,
the serial number that we invent for the coin, can be
linked across these payments. So there’s this
notion of something called Chaumian e-cash. So David Chaumian
is a cryptographer, and he developed
this system which has slightly nicer properties
than previous forms of e-cash. So the idea here,
which is really key, is instead of the bank
choosing the secret number, Alice chooses the secret number. And we have ways of
generating random numbers that we can be fairly
sure are unique. So we can let everybody generate
their own random numbers. So in Chaumian e-cash, Alice
chooses the secret number that represents a coin. And then Alice
blinds her message. So Alice adds some randomness
to the secret number such that the bank doesn’t know
what that number actually is. And we’ll get into more detail
about exactly what that means. It’s all in the paper
that was assigned reading for this
class, so make sure that you take a look at it. So when the bank verifies that
the secret number is a real secret number and
it’s really a coin, and Alice gave the bank
$1.00 or something like that, the bank does so on the
blinded secret number. And Alice actually
has the ability to remove that randomness,
or that blinding, later and end up with a valid
signature on a secret number. So Alice does the same
thing that she did before. She gives Bob a representation
of that electronic coin. And when Bob redeems it,
note that the bank never sees what the number is,
so when Bob redeems it, the bank has no way of linking
the payment between Alice and Bob. So just to get into how
this works visually, Alice will talk to
the bank, and Alice will use a blinding factor
on the secret number. And so when Alice
talked to the bank, the bank doesn’t actually see
what the secret number is. They can’t decode it. Again, Alice gives $1.00 or
something like that to get this coin from the bank. And the bank signs this. Alice can remove the
blinding factor later. And this is what the coin is. The coin is a valid
bank signature on the secret number, and
also the number itself, which Alice can
then send to Bob. Bob can check and make sure
that this is a valid signature from the bank. And if that’s correct, then
Bob can give Alice a sandwich. In order to redeem this, Bob
gives this coin to the bank. The bank says, OK, I’ve never
seen the secret number before, and you have my signature on it. So I’m going to assume that
I went through this process with somebody and
signed something. And now I’m going to
record that secret number. Once that happens,
Bob can be sure that this coin hasn’t
been spent before. The bank keeps a running list
of all the secret numbers it’s seen, and it makes sure
that if it ever sees one again, it can say no, this
is not correct. I should never see a secret
number more than once. Now, OK. But know what about Alice
could give one version of that to Bob. Alice could also give a
version of that to Charlie. And how are Charlie
and Bob supposed to know whose coin is correct? Because remember, we wanted
to try to get the bank out of the way when doing this. And so in Chaumian
e-cash, the way that this works is
the bank actually keeps a bit more information. And the information
that the bank is keeping won’t let the bank link
these transactions together unless Alice happens to
give this to two people. And so if Alice gives the same
coin to two different people, the bank will be
able to detect it and the bank will be able
to know it was Alice. And so this is kind of
a motivator for Alice not to do that. So the idea being here is that
the way that we get around the fact that we don’t know if
a coin has been double spent or not is we add punishment
if the coin is double spent. So Bob doesn’t know for sure
that this coin he receives hasn’t been double spent, but
he does know that if it was, someone’s going to
know it was Alice, and they’re going to punish her. So this is a pretty
clever scheme. And this actually gets us
around a lot of problems. We have digital payments. We can make the actual transfer
without the bank in the middle. We have some privacy now
because the bank can’t link transactions together. And we have this way of
doing double spend detection. We have a way of
motivating people not to double spend their coins,
which means that you probably don’t have to check
at the time you receive a coin whether or
not it’s been double spent. Of course, this still suffers
from a really big problem, which is that a bank can
still decide that they just don’t want to do this with you. They can just decide
that they don’t want to play this game with you. They don’t want to issue coins. Maybe they don’t like
you specifically. Maybe they don’t want to take
your coins and exchange them. So this scheme, Chaumian e-cash,
solves quite a bit of problems when it comes to how do
we have electronic money with some nice features,
but it doesn’t quite get to all of them. And so the real
question in this class is how do we do
electronic money, really, in a peer-to-peer
way, where there’s no institution in the way. There’s no sort of
entity that can say no. TADGE DRYJA: So e-cash, the
math is really interesting. It kept relying on these
banks and so it never quite got off the ground. So I’m willing to talk about
somewhat more abstract and low level primitives. I’m not going to quite get into
cash or tokens or transfers or anything this lecture. But I’m going to talk about
the really basic primitives that you need that we
already sort of mentioned, hash functions and signatures. Signatures, obviously, we
talked about a little bit, what you need to be able
to sign messages in order to send these tokens around. But first I’ll talk about hash
functions, which are basically the most fundamental basic
thing we use in these systems. And I think if you’ve
used computers, or if you’ve
programmed a little, you probably have
some familiarity with hash functions. They’re simple, but they’re
actually extremely powerful. The hash function
is basically you have some data,
a bunch of bytes, a bunch of ones and zeros. You run it through
a hash function and you get an output that’s
also a bunch of ones and zeros. Generally, the input
data can be of any size. You can hash something– put in a megabyte,
put in a gigabyte, or put in a single byte,
and generally the output is of a fixed size. So in the case of
bitcoin, we use Sha-256. The output size is 32 bytes
long, or 256 bits long. And this is used for lots
of things in computers. I guess the reason they call
it a hash is because it’s like when you take the
potatoes and chop them up into little squares and
grill them for breakfast, it’s sort of that idea,
that we’re taking this data. And the data going in gets
chopped up and smushed around and then comes out
into an output. So this is not a sufficient
different definition. But I will say that you
can sort of do everything with hash functions. There’s some fun things
that you can’t do, but you could make a
cryptocurrency only using a single hash function. And I think people have, sort
of for experimental reasons. You limit the fun stuff you can
do, but you can do signatures. You can do encryption. You can do all sorts
of things like that. OK. So this is not a
sufficient definition, that there’s any size
input, a fixed size output, and the output is
random-looking. That’s sort of wishy-washy. But what does
random-looking mean? It’s not actually random. If you put in the
same input, everyone will get the same output. So if you say, OK, well,
what’s the hash of one, you’ll get some output. And if someone else says,
OK, what’s the hash of one, you’ll get the same thing. However, the output,
while it is deterministic, it’s sort of high
entropy in that the output should have about as
many as one bits as zero bits. If you take the
hash of one, it’s just going to look like
a big random number. And the hash of two will look
like a completely unrelated random number. The outputs look like noise. So if you’ve ever
seen hash functions, you can run it on your computer. You say echo. Hello, pipe Sha-256
sum, and you’ll just get some kind of
crazy, random thing. There doesn’t seem to be
any order to the outputs. A little bit more well-defined. We usually talk about
the avalanche effect, in that changing a
single bit in the input should change about half
the bits of the output. So even though you have
extremely similar inputs, they should be completely
dissimilar outputs– well, completely
dissimilar, as in about half the output changed. If every bit
changes, then it just is the inverse of what you had,
and so it’s easily correlated. But the avalanche
effect is sort of how hash functions are constructed,
where generally they’re iterative rounds. And so you say, OK, I’m
going to swap these things and multiply these things and
shift these bits around such that if any change
in the beginning will sort of propagate
an avalanche, too, so that all the output bits
have been affected by it. OK. And a little bit
more well-defined. Generally, the hash
functions are defined by what they should not do. So the three main things
they should have– preimage resistance,
second preimage resistance, which I’ll sort of skip over,
and collision resistance. And we can define
what these things are. So a preimage is the thing
that came before the output. So it’s sort of a math-y term. But the idea is OK, if you know
y, you can’t find any x such that the hash of
x is equal to y. So if I give you a hash output,
and that’s all I give you, you should not be able
to find an input that leads to that output. So if I just say, hey,
here’s a hash output. It’s 35021FF– whatever,
some long string, you won’t be able
to figure out what I used to put in to get that. Of course, you can
find it eventually. For any given y,
there’s probably some x. In fact, there’s probably
a lot of x’s that will lead to that y. Since y is a fixed
length and there’s two to the 256 possible
y’s, but there’s an infinite number of
x’s because x is not bounded in length. You can have a megabyte or a
gigabyte or a terabyte size x. So since there are sort of
infinite numbers of x’s, and a fixed, though very
large number of y’s, as long as it is a random
mapping, there will be lots of different x’s
that can lead to this y. And so you should
be able to find it. It’s just impractical. It’s like, yeah, you
may be able to find it, but it’s going to take
you two to the 256 tries to find any specific y value. And that’s about
10 to the 78, which is a number that’s big enough
that you can sort of round it up to infinity. Well, I mean, not
quite, but big enough that you’re not going
to be able to compute that, the sun’ll burnout
and the universe’ll die and stuff like that. So that’s preimage resistance. You can’t go backwards. Given the hash, you can’t
find what led to that. OK. Any questions about
preimage resistance? Seems reasonable? It’s a little interesting
in that given y is a little tricky, and
that it’s like, OK, well, someone might know x in order
for them to have computed y. Or maybe it’s just
completely random, and no one actually
knows what the x is. So there’s a sort of
loss of information in the idea of a preimage stack. OK. Second preimage resistance. This one’s a little
trickier and can get messy. So I’ll define it, but we
won’t go into it too much. The idea is given x and
y such that the hash of x is equal to y, you can’t find
x prime where x prime is not equal to x. And the hash of x
prime is equal to y. So we’re sort of
giving you a preimage. We’re saying, hey, here’s
this number x and here’s this result y. I bet you can’t find
another x that leads to it. This one is actually poorly
defined in the literature. And so it’s a little
like, well, who made x, and who gets to
choose, and is it any x prime and things like that. So it’s not actually
that useful. So we can just sort of
gloss over that one, just sort of mentioning it. And then the other one that’s
very important is collision resistance, where the idea is
that nobody can find any x,z pair such that x
is not equal to z, but the hash of x is
equal to the hash of z. And this one’s a
lot cleaner in that there’s no lack of information. There’s no secrets or anything. It’s just like, look,
no one can find this. And so it’s really
easy to disprove. You can just say, hey, look,
here’s an x and here’s a z. Try hashing them. Oh, shoot, the hashes are equal. And it doesn’t really
matter how you got these or who’s doing it. So that’s a really nice,
easy, clear property. And again, you can
find this eventually. So if your output
size is 256 bits long, you’ll be able to
find two inputs that map to the same output. In fact, you do not
need to try 256 times. I’m not going to go
into the details, but you actually only
have to try 128 times. Sorry, two to the 128. So you need to take the square
root of the number of attempts in order to find this collision
because the intuitive reason is, well, you just start
trying things and keeping track of all their hashes. And there’s what’s called
the birthday attack, which, as you keep trying them,
there’s more possibilities. The next thing you
try, you can collide with any of these things
you’ve tried before. And so you actually only
have to do the square root. And it’s called
the birthday attack because there’s the birthday
paradox, which is not really a paradox, but the idea
is so in this room, there’s people that
have the same birthday. It’s almost certain,
which seems kind of weird because the intuitive thing is,
like, well, there’s 365 days a year. Maybe once you get 160,
170 people in a room, you’re going to have two
people with the same birthday. But actually, it’s
like 22 or something– anyway, that it becomes
likely that people have the same birthday. So it’s kind of
counterintuitive, and it applies in
this case as well. So to find a collision,
you need the square root of the output space. But a hash function should
not have collisions. If you can find a
collision, if any collision exists for this
hash function, you can consider the
hash function broken. It’s a little bit different
than preimage resistance because it’s hard to
definitively prove that you’ve broken preimages. That’s something of an
interactive process where you say, hey, here’s a y,
and then someone comes back with an x, and
you’re like, oh, OK, you prove to me that
you can find preimages. But that’s hard to tell
to the rest of the world because it was sort
of interactive, whereas collisions are very
clear and non-interactive. You can just say, hey,
here’s an x and here’s a z. Anyone can verify these. Didn’t really matter
how you got it. OK. So some practical, how
do these functions work. Practically speaking,
the collision resistance is a harder property. So there are many functions
where the collision resistance has been broken where the
preimage resistance has not been broken. So examples are Sha-1 and MD5. MD5’s a fairly old one written
by Ron Rivest over at– well, I guess it wasn’t
at the Stata Center because it was in the ’80s. But this was message digest 5. I guess there were
several before that. And that is quite broken. You shouldn’t use it. Its collision resistance
is trivially broken. You can find collisions in under
a second on a modern computer. Sha-1 happened later, in
the late ’90s, I think, and NSA made it. And there have been
collisions found. I think there’s really
only one collision that’s been found, basically,
by a team at Google and some Italian
university last year. And they spent a lot of computer
time to find this collision. But they did find it. And then once you find one,
it’s sort of like, oh, yeah, we really shouldn’t
use this anymore. But in both of these
cases, sha-1 and MD5, there’s no feasible
preimage attack. So given a hash output
for either of these, you can’t find what
the input was, or you can’t find a different input. So generally, it’s a lot
easier to make a function strong against preimages. Collisions is sort of
harder to deal with. Also, practically speaking, how
do these hash functions work? It’s a little bit
of black magic. There’s no proofs that a
hash function can even exist. So if you could prove that
there is a one-way function, you get the Fields Medal, right? It’s like a million
dollar prize. So if you can prove
it there is such a thing as a hash
function, you will be a super famous mathematician. We have no idea that this is
even mathematically possible. Or maybe the universe
doesn’t work this way. It seems to, though. It seems like there
are these things that work like hash functions, that
work like one-way functions, but we have no proof of that. So even the most fundamental
part that everything hinges on, we don’t even know if it exists. And then this is sort
of closely related, if you’re in the
computer science-y stuff, like p and mp– anyway, so we don’t know
that these actually work. And also, in practice,
hash functions are not nice math, cool
things like elliptic curves and RSA, prime numbers
and stuff like that. They’re really, if you look at
the code, it’s sort of like, well, I’m going to
take these bytes and I’m going to swap them. And then I’m going to
add these two numbers, and then I’m going to
rotate the bits over here, and then I’m going to
x over these things. And then I’m going
to do that 50 times. And why 50? Well, it seems like
50 is a good number. It’s not too slow. No, really. It’s sort of black magic,
Sha-256 uses 64 rounds. Nice even number. Different functions like
Blake 2B uses 20 rounds. But then there’s also
a version that uses 12 rounds, which is faster. And people think, well, it’s
still seems quite secure. But if you want to
be really secure, use the 20-round variant. If you want to be
probably secure enough, use the 12-round variant. So there’s no proofs. There’s heuristics and things
like that, and best practices. But this kind of cryptography
is a little bit of black magic. And it’s not based on any cool
mathematical number theory stuff, either, the way
that elliptic curve cryptography or RSA stuff is. So if you break
RSA, you can say, hey, I can now factor
these composite numbers very quickly, that’s,
in and of itself, a cool mathematical discovery. The breaking of Sha-1,
there’s not really any cool math insight. It was just like, yeah, we
found this fairly specific, weird path that we were
able to break Sha-1 after a couple of
years of computer. So it’s cool, and some
people are super into it. But it’s something of a niche to
actually build hash functions. I would recommend not building
your own hash function. Yes. AUDIENCE: I’m Wayne,
and my question is, is breaking a hash function
literally just guess and check, or is there more
of a method to it? TADGE DRYJA: So no. If you say, hey, I
found a collision by doing two to
the 128 attempts. One, nobody’s done two
to the 128 attempts. That’s still seen as like
beyond technology today. But if that’s how you break
the function, that’s not really considered a break because
that’s sort of the definition, is yeah, well, we know
this is 256 bits long. So to find a preimage, if you
do two to the 256 attempts, you’ll find it. So that’s not
considered a break. A break is considered, hey,
I found a preimage in two to the 240 attempts. Or I have a proof
that you will be able to find a preimage in
two to the 240 attempts, and here’s how to do it. And that’s considered a break. It’s still impractical. Two to the 240’s still
impossible in today’s technology. But if you had a paper
and people looked at it, like, oh, yeah, that would work,
you wouldn’t be able to do it. But that’s still
considered broken. And so something like
MD5, MD5 output size was 16 bytes or 128 bits. So collisions, even
if it were strong, it would still be
too short today that collisions would be able
to be found in two to the 64 iterations, which is doable
on today’s computers. If you run a bunch of stuff on
AWS, you can do two to the 64 in a couple of days. But that’s the
different definitions of breaking the function. Sort of fun. Ethan Hellman,
who’s at BU and we work with, he– and we all broke
the IOTA wrote their own hash function, which is like
some cryptocurrency. And we found collisions in it. And it was kind of fun. But yeah, it was weird. It wasn’t like number theory. It was just like, oh, well,
I wrote this Python script and we have this go script,
and we tried this thing and we got a collision. So it was kind of fun. So usages. What do you use
these hashes for? There’s lots of cool things
you can use them for. use them sort of as
names or references, where instead of naming
a file, you can just take the hash of a file. And that is a good, compact
representation so you can point to what you’re talking about . So the hash of a file is
a unique representation. And if you change
any bit in that file, the hash will change. And so you know that, OK, here’s
this way to point to a file. You can also use it as sort
of a reference or pointer in different algorithms. So you can say, anything
you’re using pointers for, linked lists or maps and
stuff like that, you can say, well, I’m going to use
a hash as a pointer and then be able to sort
through it that way. So anytime you think of pointers
and graph theory and stuff like that in computer
science, think, well, could I use a hash function
here instead of just like regular memory pointer? And in many cases, you can. In some cases, you can’t. So you can’t have cycles. So the idea is you
can’t find preimages, you won’t be able to find a– whereas you could make a cycle
of pointers in a computer, where A points to
B, B points to C, C points back to
A. You shouldn’t be able to produce that
with hash functions because having that cycle
means, OK, well, somehow you found this preimage. But in many cases,
you can do this. And another way to look at it
is the hash is a commitment. You can say, well, I’m not
going to tell you what x is, but I’ll tell you what y is,
and I can reveal x later. And then, since
everyone remembers y, they can be sure that yeah,
he’s revealing the right thing. There are no collisions
in this function, so we can be sure,
if we’re presented with x, that this was the x
that was committed to yesterday. So I’ll give a little example
of that, of commit and reveal. So you can commit to some
kind of secret or something you want to reveal later
and reveal the preimage. So here’s my commitment. This is an actual hash, Sha-256. I just made it on my computer. And there is a string. There’s an Ascii string
that maps into this, and it is a prediction
about the weather, but that’s all I’ll say. And given that information
and given this hash, you probably can’t
find my prediction. You can try to try all these
different Ascii strings about the weather today,
but I’ll reveal it. So I think it won’t
snow Wednesday. But I think it
actually– anyway, and then I put this number in. And so if you put this in
your computer in Linux– I think in Mac it’s a
slightly different command. It’s like Sha-2 or something. But in Linux, this will
work, and you can say, I think it won’t snow Wednesday. And then I put some
random numbers here because if I had committed
to just the phrase, I think it won’t
snow Wednesday, you might have been
able to guess that. You could say, well, he said
it was about the weather. I’m going to take
all sorts of millions of different strings
related to days and weather and
common English words, and I’m going to
try hashing them and see if I find a collision. And you might be able to. But I added this four
bytes of randomness at the end to make
that difficult. It doesn’t really
contribute to my commitment. And you know this doesn’t
really mean anything. But it makes it harder to
guess what my input was because I’ve already
revealed that it’s not a fully random input. So you might be able
to guess things. So I could say, hey,
I’m going to make a prediction about the
weather, commit to it, and then reveal my
prediction tomorrow. And we’ll see if I was right. This can be useful
in the case where– not the weather, but
in other things– if knowing my prediction could
influence the actual events, this would be a nice way to
commit to what my prediction is without everyone knowing
what the prediction is and then revealing
it the next day. Yes. AUDIENCE: What are the use
cases for double hashing, like where you would
hash that hash? TADGE DRYJA: Hashing this again? Well, so in bitcoin they
hash everything twice. Generally, you don’t need to. There’s no explanation for
why they do that in bitcoin. You could. But there are things
you can construct where you can, say,
append some extra data and then hash this again. So you can say, here’s my
prediction for next week. And this is the hash,
and then hash it again. So you can make
chains of commitments and then reveal
iterations of it. Actually, I had
some slides where you can sort of hash
something again and again, and start revealing
it incrementally. That might be useful. I actually have stuff
like that in software. I’ve written where you
want to reveal secrets. But let’s say I want
to reveal secrets, but I don’t want everyone to
have to store all of them. So I can make a chain of
hashes, commit to the last one, and then as I reveal
successive preimages, you don’t have to
store all of them. You can just store
the latest preimage, and you can reconstruct
all the hashes from that. Yes. AUDIENCE: But is
it computationally difficult to run double hashes? TADGE DRYJA: So to evaluate– if you want to try this,
it’s imperceptible. To perform one
Sha-256 hash is, I don’t know, a billionth
of a second or something. You can generally do,
like, 100 megabytes to a gigabyte of hash
output on a regular CPU. NEHA NARULA: I
think she’s asking does it make it harder to find
a preimage if you hash twice, and the answer’s no. TADGE DRYJA: The
answer’s sort of no. It might. So I don’t know, chained MD5,
can you still find collisions? I’m not sure. But generally the thinking is,
if the hash function is broken, and you can either find
collisions or preimages, yeah, maybe it gets a little
harder by iterating it. But you should
just stop using it and use something that’s secure. But yeah, it seems
that finding preimages would be harder since it’s
essentially adding more rounds by hashing it twice. And then there are some attacks,
so it’s fairly out there. But it’s called length
extension attacks due to how hash functions
are constructed, where if you do say, OK,
I’m going to take the hash and then take the
hash of that, you do prevent certain types of
attacks that are fairly niche. But a length
extinction attack in a Merkle-Damgard construction
will be prevented by this. So generally, no. Generally, you don’t
need to do this. But there are different
constructions where you’re going to hash a bunch of times. I don’t have the slides
here but, like a Merkle tree is a binary tree of
hashes where you’re taking the hashes
of these things and then hashing
it again and again, and that’s a really
useful data structure. And a blockchain is
essentially a chain of hashes. And that’s what we’ll
talk about next week. But yeah. OK. So I’m going to go
a little faster. So that’s an interesting
use case where you can commit and reveal. And yeah, adding randomness so
you can’t guess the preimage. This is called a hash-based
message authentication code where part of it is
secret and part of it is not. And this is getting towards a
signature, where I’ve committed to something, and
then I reveal it, and everyone knows,
yeah, that must be what he committed to the day before. It’s not quite a signature, but
it’s getting to that direction. And so next I’m going to
talk about signatures. What is a signature? It’s useful, and it’s a
message signed by someone. And so I’ll define
what a signature is through the
functions that it uses. There’s three
functions will allow you to create a
signature scheme, generate keys, sign, and verify. And these different things. Generate keys, you make a
secret key and a public key. And so the idea is there’s
some public key which is your identity , and there’s
some secret key which you only control. And you use that to
prove your identity and prove that these
messages are signed by you. So yeah, you
generate a key pair. The holder of the secret
key can sign a message. And then anyone
possessing a public key can verify a message
signature pair. So I’ll go into detail
on these three functions. And this applies generally. So I’m going to talk about a
hash-based signature in detail, but there are many
different signature schemes. DSA, ElGamal, RSA signatures,
elliptic curve signatures. There’s tons of different
cool math systems that allow these kinds of functions. And I’ll talk
about in some ways, this is one of
the simplest ones. So yeah, there’s
these three functions. The first one is generate keys. And it returns a private
key public key pair. And it generally doesn’t
take any arguments, but it takes in randomness. You need to flip coins. You need to find random
one and zero bits. And it has to be long
enough that no one else can guess what your private key is. So you have a private
key, public key. Public key is public. You tell everyone. Private key is more secret key. Actually, I think in the
code, I always say secret key. It’s usually better to say
secret key because at least it starts with a
letter that’s not p. OK. And then the signing
function, where you take your secret
key and your message, and it signs a message
and returns a signature. All these things are just
strings of ones and zeros. It’s just a bunch of bytes. Public key, a private key,
a signature, a message. These are all just bytes. And then the verify function,
which is the most complex. A verify function takes a
public key that you’ve seen, a message, and a signature. And it returns a Boolean
whether this was valid or not. So it returns a single bit. If it’s zero, it says,
yeah, these two things don’t match up. Maybe the message just
changed, or maybe the signature has changed, or maybe it’s
from a different public key or something. But if all three of
these are correct, and the signing function
was the private key– the secret key associated
with this public key– was signed to this message
and produce this signature, then it will return true. And so you get into
the math properties of what does it mean
to forge a signature, and can they be forgeable
computationally? Eventually a lot of these
things, since it’s bits, you could eventually
guess the forgery. But maybe that takes two to
the 256 attempts or something. OK. So any questions about the
basic structure of what constitutes a signature scheme? Mostly make sense? And you can see
how this is useful. You can publish a public
key and say, hey, I’m Tadge. This is my public key. And in fact, on my business
card, I have a RSA public key. And so if people get my business
card and then I sign a message and email it to them, they
could be sure that, oh, this is probably the same guy. Nobody ever cares. But it’s useful for the
stuff we were talking about before with Chaumian cash, where
Alice needs to authenticate to the bank, and one way to
do it is to sign a message and say, hey, I’m
Alice, give me a coin. And then Alice can sign a
message to Bob and so on. So this is really useful as a
basic building block for all these kinds of messages. So I’ll talk in
the last 14 minutes about signatures from hashes. This is doable. Using just hash functions, you
can construct a signatures key. And in fact, that’s
the first problem set. And you implement a signature
system using only hashes. And the hash function is
already defined for you. It’s in the standard library. It’s just Sha-256, the
same thing bitcoin uses. And this is called
Lamport signatures. Leslie Lamport wrote
about this late ’70s. I forget exactly when
the paper came out. But this was one of the
earliest cryptographic signature schemes. And it’s kind of cool. And another fun thing is
it’s quantum resistant. So if you know about
quantum computers, quantum computers kind
of ruin all the fun in terms of cryptography. All the cool things we can do
with cryptography– not all, but most of them get
ruined by quantum. Computers but hash
functions are quite resistant to quantum
computers because they’re not based on any fun math. They’re based on
this black magic of just XORing and
shifting numbers around. That’s a huge
oversimplification. But yeah, so those
hash functions are generally seen to
be quantum-resistance. So if you have a
signature scheme that only uses hash
functions, well, it still works, even if someone
invents a quantum computer and can break all
these other things, like RSA and elliptic curves. So there’s actually
renewed interest in these kinds of
systems recently. OK. So how do you make a signature
scene with just hash functions? So how do you generate
a key, in this case? So a public key and a private
key you want to generate. So first we generate
our private key. Now these squares
are 32 bytes each, and you generate 256
of them on this row, 256 of them on that row. So you’re generating 256 times
two, or 512 32-byte blocks. And these blocks are each
256 bits or 32 bytes. So in total, that’s what, 8K? Eight kilobytes, I think. Pretty big. But anyway, you’re saying,
OK, here’s my private key. It’s all completely random. I just take slash dev
slash urandom or whatever, just flip coins 8,000 times,
or however many this is total, and generate all
these different blocks and store them on my hard
drive and keep it secret. Then I want to generate
the public key. So for each of these
32-byte blocks, I take the hash of it,
which will also be 32 bytes. So there’s now 512 hashes, 256
on this row, 256 on this row. The green will be my public key. And the gray one
is my secret key. So they all look the same. They all look like just a
bunch of random ones and zeros. The gray ones actually are a
bunch of random ones and zeros. The green ones are
actually hashes, though, of all the gray ones. And I publish the green ones. Just to serialize it,
I just put in a row. I say, OK, here’s this first
32-bit, second, third, fourth, and then go to this row or
whatever scheme you want. So how is this useful? Now everyone knows
a bunch of hashes, and I know a bunch
of the preimages. So now it’s sort of this
commit reveal thing, where if I reveal to you this,
you can verify that, oh, yeah, that mapped to
this one later on. Any questions so far
about this process? Seems sort of useless but
fairly straightforward. OK. Then I want to sign. So first, to sign a
message, I’m going to take the hash of
the message to sign. And this is often done. It’s done in bitcoin. It’s done in most signature
schemes, where I want a fixed length number to sign. It’s annoying to
have to say, well, what if I want to sign
a megabyte long file, or what if I want to sign
of 10-byte long string? You want to standardize it. So whatever I’m signing,
it’s always 256 bits long. So if I want to just sign
the message hi, first I take the hash of the message
hi, which in Sha-256, this is the hash of hi. And so I look at this
as 256 bits, and I say, OK, I’m going to pick the
private key blocks to reveal based on the bits here. So the first bit here is
a one, because it’s an 8. And so I’ll reveal. And I indicated
before that there’s this zero row and this one row. And now what that means
is, well, the first bit of my message to sign is a one. So I’m going to reveal
this gray square. And the next bit, the
next four bits, actually, since it’s an eight,
are going to be zero. So I’ll reveal
this and then I’ll reveal this, this, and this. And I just made it up. But yeah. So for example, if I’m signing,
and it starts with 01101110, I reveal this preimage, this
preimage, this preimage, this preimage, these
three, this one. And so I reveal preimages
based on the bit representation of the message I’m
trying to sign, and then give everyone these. So my signature will
just be this sequence. I can go in row order here. Yeah, it’s probably
a lot easier. So I go in sequence. I say, OK, here’s the first
32 bytes of my signature. Here’s the next, here’s
the next, here’s the next. And so my signature ends
up being 256 blocks long, each of which are 256 bits. So it’s like 8K. The keys are 16K and
this is 8K or something. Fairly big but totally
doable on a computer today. Eight kilobytes is no big deal. OK. Now to verify,
take the signature, hash each block
of the signature, and see that it maps into
that part of the public key. So the people who are
verifying the signature, they have your public key. They have all the green squares. And now they have been
given a signature, which is these gray squares,
and they say, OK, well, let me hash this one. Oh, it maps to that,
so it maps to a zero. Oh, this maps to a one,
this maps to a one, this maps to a zero. And they can go
through and say yeah, this is a signature
on that message. In the case of
Lamport signatures, you can actually determine
what the message is just from the signature
in the public key. If you’re given
this and you’re not told whether it’s a one or
a zero, well, just compare. Hash it and compare to
these two green ones. You’ll be able to see. And that’s a useful
signature because no one can forge that
because no one knows these preimages except
for the person who holds the secret key. So given your public key,
I can’t forge a signature from you. Once the signature is issued,
I also can’t forge a signature. The only bit sequence I know
is the one that you revealed. And so I know part
of your private key. I know half of it. But that half only lets me sign
the message you just signed. So I can’t really do
anything extra with this. So this is a usable
signature scheme. I think I just showed it. But any downsides that you
can think of with this? AUDIENCE: You can only sign one. TADGE DRYJA: Yeah,
you can only sign one. Is that what you were– AUDIENCE: You could also
send the same message on to someone else with
different signatures. TADGE DRYJA: Yeah, but
signatures are sort of public. So yes, you’re
saying that you can sign a message once and give
it to a bunch of people. And that’s sort of a
feature, not a bug, I guess. There are different signature
schemes where you want, I only want this signature
to be valid to this person. There’s different
ways to do that with Diffie-Hellman
key exchange and stuff. But the signature scheme
we’ve talked about here with these three functions, the
public key is really public, and anyone can verify. And that’s something we want. If you don’t want that,
there’s other ways to do it. But yeah, the big one is,
wait, you can only sign once. Once you generate a key
pair, your private key, your public key, and you tell
everyone these green squares, if you’re try to sign again,
you will reveal more pieces of your private key. So if I sign two
different messages, sometimes it’s the same bit. Sometimes it’s different bits. And now I start revealing
more pieces of my private key. And now people can start
to forge signatures because I can say, OK,
well, the first bit, I can sign anything
on the first bit. I’m still constrained
here and here and here. But in several locations, I
can sign whichever bit I want. And so the basic thing is,
if there’s one signature, I can’t forge anything. If you give me two signatures,
since it’s generally random, on average, half of the
bits of the signature will be constrained. So in this case, if it’s 256
bits long and you sign twice, I probably still can’t forge
anything because 128 bits, I have the freedom
to pick either. And the other 128 bits, I’m
stuck with the one or the zero and I don’t get to choose. So that means most
messages I want to sign, I won’t be able to because if I
tried two to the 128 attempts, I’ll be able to find
a forged signature. But that’s a lot. And so maybe you can sign twice. But again, it’s probabilistic. You might get unlucky
and reveal quite a bit more than 128 bits,
where you get both. But on average– and then once
you have three signatures, OK, now I’ve probably revealed
3/4 of the locations you’re going to have both
the one and zero row. And you can start–
and this starts to be practical
because in this case, you’d need a 2 two the 64
attempts to forge a signature. And that’s doable on
today’s computers.

19 thoughts on “1. Signatures, Hashing, Hash Chains, e-cash, and Motivation”

  1. I would debate even calling it a 'currency'. Take BTC for example:
    – If you lose power (like New York yesterday or Puerto Rico for months) you are screwed! However, transactions in paper currency in both scenarios was still viable.
    – The wild price fluctuations make it unsuitable as a currency. A currency that's worth $20,000 one day and $3,000 days later is unsuitable, business can't function this way.
    – No government recognizes it as a currency. Governments see it as a commodity to which you have to pay capital gains tax on. Big banks will thwart any effort to undermine their control.
    – No one other than criminals in the Dark Web are using it as a currency. For example, you can't go down to your local mall and purchase anything with it, see a movie, purchase gas, etc.

  2. Anytime I observe someone speaking about motivation, I always reach out and say hello. How long have you been constructing videos?

  3. How does the bank confirms if anyone has already requested the same secret number when cash was requested by Alice with a 'blind' ?

  4. 34:56. Property 2 and 3 can't coexist. If there exists an X prime(property 2) then property 3 is not being validated.

  5. I love how they emphasize the importance of history in explaining how we got here. During my studies, I had the opportunity to check out some revolutionary war currencies that began circulating right before we announced our independence from the British empire. Very important stuff.

  6. I think that probability and game theory and guessing needs to be integrated into this curriculum because It doesn't account for human decision and human decision is decided by how likely they think they are going to win. So thats probability and game theory.

  7. Could some one explain to me generating the public key? you take each bit from the hash so do you convert each letter and number to bits?

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