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GNU Taler 0.0.0 Released: GNU Tries To Get Into Electronic Payments

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  • GNU Taler 0.0.0 Released: GNU Tries To Get Into Electronic Payments

    Phoronix: GNU Taler 0.0.0 Released: GNU Tries To Get Into Electronic Payments

    GNU Taler "v0.0.0" was announced today as the initial alpha release of this project aiming to be a free software electronic payment system but so far just fits alongside some of the other obscure or early-on GNU projects...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...NU-Taler-0.0.0

  • #2
    Actually, this looks interesting.
    Has anyone played with it yet?

    Comment


    • #3
      I do not get which problem they are trying to solve. It seems bitcoin is better in virtually everything, from privacy to implementation. One could both totally expose their operations in bitcoins. Or totally hide them. At their own discretion. Just like it happens with usual money. Then, there is also no bank and therefore no associated issues in Bitcoin. I.e. nobody could change how money are emitted into system. Distributed system running a priory known algo is in charge instead. Really superb solution, it is crystal-clear and fair and much more resistant to abuse/misuse. Everyone knows how algo would perform and it not going to change in arbitrary ways. Unlike it happens with banks and somesuch, who could abuse their powers to do e.g. uncontrollable emission, crashing value of their currency (and making everyone using this currency more poor). Nobody except known distributed algo controls "emission", hence inflation is under control. Though such system could be susceptible to deflation due to finite amount of money and loss of money on some accounts. We've yet to see how it would perform. But at least it looks like more or less complete solution with reasonable implementation and it has already changed the world. These days even large banks have got idea their systems are like dinosaurs. Blockchain is superior to their ancient techs .

      Comment


      • #4
        To me this seems to be a proof of concept which could be extended to blockchain transactions (eg bitcoin). Will be interesting to see where this project leads.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by SystemCrasher View Post
          One could both totally expose their operations in bitcoins. Or totally hide them.
          What?!
          Totally hiding operation, inside a system whose foundation relies on *broadcasting* every transaction to everyone,
          and every single (full-) node on the networking having their local copy of the transaction ledger (the blockchain) so every node can separately check and confirm balance (so the network as a whole can reach a consensus),...
          that's going to be quite non trivial.
          (Though it's possible to use mecanisms like tumbler to blurry the track)

          Tracking the ever changing Wallet signature isn't something that can be done casually,
          but it's definitely within the reach of big data analysis by state-level entities.


          Originally posted by SystemCrasher View Post
          Unlike it happens with banks and somesuch, who could abuse their powers to do e.g. uncontrollable emission, crashing value of their currency (and making everyone using this currency more poor). Nobody except known distributed algo controls "emission", hence inflation is under control.
          Saddly, with the biggest part of mining hashing power concentrated in a couple of chinese hands, practical independence of bitcoin isn't as good as it could theoretically be...

          Originally posted by SystemCrasher View Post
          But at least it looks like more or less complete solution with reasonable implementation and it has already changed the world.
          It brings the independence and easy to pass around properties of physical cash to internet.

          (Or basically re-invent what SEPA already achieved between european bank. But on an international scale, with end-points not necessarily bank (but also payment processors or exchanges, etc.) and at a faster timescale).

          It also brings an extremely highly volatile currency called BTC which, for some weird reasons, some people want to use as an *actual* currency (like the more stable one) and try to store value with it, instead of simply using it as an exchange medium to perform transaction with the bitcoin protocole...

          Originally posted by SystemCrasher View Post
          These days even large banks have got idea their systems are like dinosaurs. Blockchain is superior to their ancient techs .
          ...and some banks try to play around with block chain technology. E.g.: Ethereum has been experimented by a couple of Swiss Banks.
          They play around to see what they can achieve with the technology.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Malizor View Post
            Actually, this looks interesting.
            Has anyone played with it yet?

            x2, this does look interesting, particularly the part about tying into traditional currencies and banking. Sometimes you just need to move some dollars around or pay electronically, and for whatever reason cryptocurrency isn't appropriate or isn't accepted by the recipient. I'd like to have a viable alternative to the broken and scam riddled Paypal. I know so many people who have been scammed by accepting payment for goods through paypal. Paypal allows buyers to file claims up to *six months* after the transaction has completed, and they immediately debit the seller's account when a claim is made. Guilty until proven innocent. Talk about an open invitation for buyers remorse and fraud. In case you haven't noticed, I f$%king hate paypal!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by torsionbar28 View Post


              x2, this does look interesting, particularly the part about tying into traditional currencies and banking. Sometimes you just need to move some dollars around or pay electronically, and for whatever reason cryptocurrency isn't appropriate or isn't accepted by the recipient. I'd like to have a viable alternative to the broken and scam riddled Paypal. I know so many people who have been scammed by accepting payment for goods through paypal. Paypal allows buyers to file claims up to *six months* after the transaction has completed, and they immediately debit the seller's account when a claim is made. Guilty until proven innocent. Talk about an open invitation for buyers remorse and fraud. In case you haven't noticed, I f$%king hate paypal!
              My paypal account got blocked for some reason. Never got informed why. I just made a new one. I cant login and before i can get service i need to login. Send several emails, nothing.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by DrYak View Post
                What?!
                Totally hiding operation, inside a system whose foundation relies on *broadcasting* every transaction to everyone,
                and every single (full-) node on the networking having their local copy of the transaction ledger (the blockchain) so every node can separately check and confirm balance (so the network as a whole can reach a consensus),...
                that's going to be quite non trivial.
                So in comes down to what you could see in blockchain. Key X has sent to key Y some money. Alright, everyone knows it. But it gives no even slightest idea of identity of key X and Y owners on its own. Or why they did it. Yes, using bitcoin in really anonymous way isn't very easy. But somewhat possible. Sure, if you declare 1HefBsdstoALrbV3a3cLsVv5b5YLPLLvWn == Michael Larabel's wallet, it isn't anonymous anymore. Though even then, one may or may not know why another key has sent money to this key, was it premium request or just tip. Or if Michael has got another wallet. Or even two. So while state could try to use obvious data to sanity-check taxes (say if 1M dollars travels via wallet but owner does not pays anything as taxes, it could be suspicious, though it could still be valid, if these were just donations), so it isn't very reliable source. More advanced forms of tracking could try to do distributed monitoring of the Bitcoin network to get idea which nodes possibly introduced transactions, but it is unreliable and costly and could be thwarted by privacy-minded individuals anyway.

                (Though it's possible to use mecanisms like tumbler to blurry the track)
                All comes down to how you use wallets and what those who pay you know about you, etc.

                Tracking the ever changing Wallet signature isn't something that can be done casually,
                but it's definitely within the reach of big data analysis by state-level entities.
                It going to be unreliable and cause plenty of false alarms, so at very best it could work only partially and so it's most realistic use comes down to tracking few most annoying "pests" and there're really cheaper ways to do it. Ever read story of SilkRoad admin? This nut has been caught due to own stupidity and arrogance, lol. Nobody bothered to hack Tor or Bitcoin, just because kind guy has told enough about himself, including his alma-mater, as well as using same emails in plenty of places. More than enough to narrow down search to very few individuals and get good proofs of guilt. Something this nut has failed to consider. FAIL.

                Conclusion: throwing aggressive direct challenge to state-wide adversaries (this is formal term used in some research papers) isn't exactly brightest idea ever unless you're feeling like really sharp super-human who is ready to get what it takes. Researching bitcoin transactions may or may not be part of this process. Does privacy exists? Yes, but sometimes it could be not the very easy thing to get. Especially if you aggressively annoy some high-profile adversaries XD.

                Saddly, with the biggest part of mining hashing power concentrated in a couple of chinese hands, practical independence of bitcoin isn't as good as it could theoretically be...
                I would agree Bitcoin hashing algo isn't exactly best and ASICs aren't what I would call desirable. So "one vote per cpu" has been replaced by "one vote per asic" which is somewhat similar but implies it does not really enjoys by loads of pre-deployed HW. Which is not a desirable property and something Bitcoin creator(s) have failed to consider.

                It brings the independence and easy to pass around properties of physical cash to internet.

                (Or basically re-invent what SEPA already achieved between european bank. But on an international scale, with end-points not necessarily bank (but also payment processors or exchanges, etc.) and at a faster timescale).
                It also removes troublesome intermediate entities who slowing things down at very best or trying to aggressively dictate how one could use own money, at which point it is a time to raise question: who owns these money? If I can't spend money the way I would like, it is logical to assume I'm not their owner anymore. Or that someone treats me like their private property or minion. Which isn't exactly good thing, right?

                It also brings an extremely highly volatile currency called BTC which, for some weird reasons, some people want to use as an *actual* currency (like the more stable one) and try to store value with it, instead of simply using it as an exchange medium to perform transaction with the bitcoin protocole...
                There is nothing wrong in using BTC as any other kinds of currency. Even gold's price is exagerrated, nobody needs so much gold for purely technical use and jewelry. Paper money? Cool, but paint and paper are, ahem, quite cheap and of no real values for humans on its own. Numbers on bank account are even more virtual. Bitcoin isn't anyhow better or worse than these, except the fact we have a priory knowledge of emission algo so we could be sure nobody could print 3x more money to crash value of currency, forever. Though it could still be vulnerable to other manipulations.

                ...and some banks try to play around with block chain technology. E.g.: Ethereum has been experimented by a couple of Swiss Banks.
                They play around to see what they can achieve with the technology.
                There is little catch: who needs these laggy annoying intermediate entities, blocking accounts at will? I had my bank account blocked just because I've did payment in foreign country without warning bank I'm going to trip. What a bunch of spiggots. I've been left in foreign country without access to my money. FUCK THAT!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Open-source electronic payment. Me likey.

                  Quick addendum on GNU's recent developments. Fucking good on y'all, GNU. You're actually shutting the fuck up about other people's work and are putting some more hours in to compete in the real world, software-wise anyway. Not much complaining (that I know of) since that survey a while ago. I would still abandon Hurd though, but not the time nor place. Either way, I'm liking that you guys are trying to complete the ecosystem at the app level. Hats off.

                  There are a few problems with this. There's a reason no bank in their right minds would run their entire financial systems on OSS tech, and that's to hide security holes. For an END-USER of some software to have a zillion security holes and not know about it isn't acceptable, but finances is just something you don't leave to the public's good will. It's something that must both appear unbreakable and be secure at all times. Deterrence. If there's some CVE's that are publicly-known, the bank so happens to be running an OS with said bug, and a hacker finds out both, then the speed at which a hacker would spam that exploit just might break the space-time continuum.

                  Now, all of that would apply to Taler if the project's own "bank" was used and it was similar to Paypal. However, if it's just going to connect to your bank account or some other locked-down wallet or e-bank (like Paypal, for example) and just be the OSS front-end, then this would be dope and make security even more interesting (the GNU guys better go complete de Raadt up in this bitch). Maybe it could utilize a phone's NFC chip (or an SDR using GNU Radio or something lighter to emit NFC freqs) to do QuickPay on an OSS phone.

                  There's also the problem of development speed and thus security-related code-writing. GNU's been putting their money where their mouths are and writing different apps to actually replace all the closed-source stuff they love to bitch and complain about. I'm still concerned about how much man-power the main devs can spare on all these different projects, and some of these have real promise, Taler being one of them (as an ePayment front-end). While I wouldn't mind seeing them dump some of their other more ambitious, less useful projects like Hurd to focus on more interesting projects, I feel as if that's a slippery slope that wouldn't wind up with the desired outcomes for everyone.

                  And you can't sit there and pretend like hundreds of skilled, freelance programmers are gonna jump out of their Mountain Dew-soaked cardigans and start sending pull requests to GNU for Taler. That doesn't happen much with many other projects, and a helluva lot of OSS projects get paid contribution. Money. Tangible rewards. A vicious cycle GNU unfortunately has to deal with the perpetuation of, but until they find some way to make their own money in a sustainable manner that doesn't involve charity, then I doubt they can rely on the OSS world's good will to write code for GNU.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by torsionbar28 View Post
                    I know so many people who have been scammed by accepting payment for goods through paypal. Paypal allows buyers to file claims up to *six months* after the transaction has completed, and they immediately debit the seller's account when a claim is made. Guilty until proven innocent. Talk about an open invitation for buyers remorse and fraud. In case you haven't noticed, I f$%king hate paypal!
                    Tracked packages usually let you avoid most frauds.

                    Aliexpress system isn't much different either.

                    Comment

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