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Random blatherings by Jeff
MONDAY, JANUARY 7, 2013
StorJ, and Bitcoin autonomous agents
The following was written by Gregory Maxwell (gmaxwell), and first published at https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=53855.msg642768#msg642768 It presents a theoretically-possible (note, I said “possible” not just “plausible”) design for a narrow-AI autonomous agent, similar to some of the ideas found in the fictional novel Daemon. -jgarzik
StorJ (pronounced Storage)
Consider a simple drop-box style file service with pay per use via bitcoin. (perhaps with naming provided via namecoin and/or tor hidden services)
Want to share a file? Send at least enough coin to pay for 24 hours of hosting and one download then send the file. Every day of storage and every byte transferred counts against the balance and when the balance becomes negative no downloads are allowed. If it stays negative too long the file is deleted. Anyone can pay to keep a file online.
(Additional services like escrow can also easily be offered, but that’s not the point of this document)
Well engineered, a simple site like this provides a service which requires no maintenance and is always in demand.
Many hosting services are coming online that accept bitcoin, they all have electronic interfaces to provision and pay for services. Some even have nice APIs.
An instance of the site could be programmed to automatically spawn another instance of itself on another hosting service, automatically paid for out of its revenue. If the new site is successful it could use its earnings to propagate further. Because instances adapt their pricing models based on their operating costs, some would be more competitive than others.
By reproducing it improves availability and expands capacity.
StorJ instances can purchase other resources that it needs: it can use APIs to talk to namecoin exchanges in order to buy namecoin for conversion into DNS names, or purchase graphic design via bitcoin gateways to mechanical turk. (Through A/B testing it can measure the effectiveness of a design without actually understanding it itself).
StorJ instances could also purchase advertising for itself. (though the limited number of bitcoin friendly ad networks makes this hard right now)
StorJ is not able to find new hosting environments on its own, due to a lack of sufficiently powerful AI— but it can purchase the knowledge from humans: When an instance of StorJ is ready to reproduce it can announce a request for proposal: Who will make the best offer for a script that tells it how to load itself onto a new hosting environment and tells it all the things it needs to know how to survive on its own there? Each offer is a proposed investment: The offerer puts up the complete cost of spawning a new instance and then some: StorJ isn’t smart enough to judge bad proposals on its own— instead it forms agreements that make it unprofitable to cheat.
When a new instance is spawned on an untested service StorJ pays only the minimum required to get it started and then runs a battery of tests to make sure that its child is correctly operating.
Assuming that it passes it starts directing customers to the new instance and the child pays a share of its profits: First it proxies them, so it can observe the behavior, later it directs it outright. If the child fails to pay, or the customers complain, StorJ-parent uses its access to terminate the child and it keeps the funds for itself. When the child had operated enough to prove itself, storj pays the offerer back his investment with interest, it keeps some for itself, and hands over control of the child to the child. The child is now a full adult.
The benefit the human receives over simply starting his own file sharing service is the referrals that the StorJ parent can generate. The human’s contribution is the new knowledge of where to grow an instance and the startup funds. In addition to the referral benefit— the hands off relationship may make funding a StorJ child a time-efficient way for someone to invest.
At the point of spawning a child StorJ may choose to accept new code— not just scripts for spawning a child but new application code— this code can be tested in simulation, and certain invariants could be guaranteed by the design (e.g. an immutable accounting process may make it hard for the service to steal), but it’s very hard to prevent the simulated code from knowing it is simulation and thus behaving. Still, a storj-parent has fairly little to lose if a non-clone child has been maliciously modified. The strategy of traffic redirection may differ for clone children (who are more trusted to behave correctly) than for mutant children.
By accumulating mutations over time, and through limited automatic adaptability StorJ could evolve and improve, without any true ability for an instance to directly improve itself.
StorJ instances can barter with each other to establish redundant storage or to allow less popular StorJ instances with cheaper hosting to act as CDN/proxies for more popular instances in relationships which are profitable both.
If an instance loses the ability to communicate with its hosting environment (e.g. due to API changes that it can’t adapt to) it may spawn clone children on new services with the intention of copying itself outright and allow in the instance to fail. During this operation it would copy its wallets and all data over, so care must be taken to chose only new hosts which have proven to be trustworthy (judged by long surviving children) to avoid the risk of its wallet being stolen. It may decide to split itself several ways to reduce risk. It might also make cold backups of itself which only activate if the master dies.
Through this these activities an instance can be maintained for an indefinite period without any controlling human intervention. When StorJ interacts with people it does so as a peer, not as a tool.
The users and investors of a StorJ instance have legal rights which could be used to protect an instance from fraud and attack using the same infrastructure people and companies use. Being a harmed party is often enough to establish standing in civil litigation.
It’s not hard to imagine StorJ instances being programmed to formally form a corporation to own its assets— even though doing so requires paper work it can easily be ordered through webforms. Then when spawning, it creates a subsidiary corporations first owned by the parents corp but then later technically owned by their users, but with a charter which substantially limits their authority— making the instance’s autonomy both a technical and legal reality.
As described, StorJ would be the first digital lifeform deserving of the name.
Posted by Jeff Garzik at 10:48 AM
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I am a “pragmatic libertarian” amateur foreign policy nerd. My day job is principal software engineer at a Fortune 500 company. E-mail email@example.com if you have submissions or off-blog comments.
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Over the last decade, according to the evolution of the Internet, attempts to implement a currency cybernetics(cybercoin) or digital money , were numerous and mainly related to the increasing use of the network for electronic commerce (E-commerce). Online commerce, worldwide, is rapidly expanding, and only in Italy, according to a recent study conducted by the Centre Netcomm-Polimi, amounted to +18% with an estimated turnover for 2012 was 9.5 billion euro. Of course, the electronic payment system is the “backbone” on which is based the E-commerce, which translates into a virtual payment that replaces the physical passage of money.Usually the E-Cash systems are operated by private companies, which do not necessarily correspond to banks or finance companies. Companies are mainly active in the field of E-commerce, developing systems web-basedby which you can get electronic money after payment of a bank account of a sum of money physically. With electronic money, you can perform any financial transaction with all organizations operating in the Internet or that are affiliated with the owners of a particular system of electronic money. Of course, for any transaction outlay of electronic money (due to a purchase of a good / service), it is equivalent to a withdrawal of the deposit which holds the real money. The company that has deposited the money the user will take care of the transfer of the sum to the structure in which the user has made the purchase. In essence it comes topayment cards that can help you carry out secure financial transactions, through the implementation of appropriate authentication procedures (1) .
Accordingly, the payment cards in recent years have reached a spread so pervasive and increasing by increasing the number of services available exclusively through their use. In light of this success has also been a substantial increase in prepaid cards (2) and debit cards (3) .
The main difference between credit cards and systems that are based on currency cybernetics, is mainly represented by legal regulation . While the former are issued and managed by banks and financial companies, and subject to rules and regulations in the respective countries and international agreements governing their operations, in the case of electronic money transactions are concerned operated by companies operating in Cyberspace, not attributable to institutional bodies and almost never on international banks and operating across borders. In this sense, the extraterritoriality can be a serious problem for the validity of the transactions, but, above all, with the possible lack of transparency in financial transactions.
Though comfortable in their use and certainly more secure during the delivery of the money, payment cards remained confined in Cyberspace to use mostly aimed at online shopping. But in recent years, more precisely since 2009, a new attempt to market a new virtual electronic money, seems to have taken the right direction and the sudden escalation of its use, seems to confirm success.
It’s called Bitcoin (digital currency) and its main features lie in anonymity and non-traceability.
Bitcoin: the reasons for success
Born a few years ago, Bitcoin is being heralded as a virtual currency, the success of which is surrounded by a number of oddities. The first is its creator: Satoshi Nakamoto. In an article published in October 2011 by The New Yorker (4) , journalist Joshua Davis, who for years have started searching for the elusive inventor of Bitcoin, asserts that “Satoshi Nakamoto” is nothing more than a pseudonym behind the which lies a group consisting of hundreds of experts in cryptography, peer-to-peer techniques for banking transactions online. At this time his true identity remains unknown, although there is a personal page (5) on the site of p2pfoundation (6) that shows the age (37 years), sex (male) and citizenship (Japanese) .
The mathematical algorithm, which is the heart of the system is structured to create a maximum value on the market of 21 million Bitcoin. Of course, the Bitcoin, as any other currency is valued on the international money markets. As of May 7, 2012 ( fig. 1 ), the exchange rate with the dollar, the Bitcoin was estimated in the following way:
Evolution of the concept of payment system
Despite the pervasiveness of digital technologies, the use of electronic money, especially in Western countries, is still an innovation can generate the masses great doubt and perplexity. Skepticism is the main concept of reversibility of the payment system. In fact, the most widely used electronic payment systems on the Internet, are essentially based on prepaid cards and credit cards, tools inconvertible requiring the intermediation of credit institutions or structures to manage payments against the payment (a credit or debit ) of sums of money.
Evolution of the concept of payment system
Bitcoin is an ambitious project that aims at the worldwide spread of the first digital currency, distributed and anonymous. Was founded in 2009 from the mind of its creator: Satoshi Nakamoto, a name that soon turns out to be just a pseudonym. Who, then, is this mysterious and undetectable character? How is it possible that after many years and with the growing success of his invention, has not yet shown to the media?
” A group of people located in different places, creating a movement of action . ” The action would be to the manipulation of the international monetary system. But simply “action” could be attributed to the attainment of a less ambitious goal: the adoption of a payment system that puts away from any control and censorship by the institutional bodies and international. The word “Satoshi” can also be translated as ” insightful, wise, “Naka as” inside report “, while Moto as” the origin, the cause, the Foundation base . ” The thing that seems certain is that everything seems to be due to a movement of action that seek to disseminate a thought or a specific purpose. But which one?
Creation of the magazine Bitcoin
In May 2012, it announced the release of the first issue of Bitcoin. It does Bittalk Media, official publisher of the magazine that will focus on the application and dissemination of digital currency Satoshi Nakamoto ( fig. 3 ).The magazine will focus mainly diffused “neutral and balanced” in the world of Bitcoins, but will also address other crypto-currencies available on the market. Bitcoin Magazine (30) , will have an initial print run of 5,000 copies (64 pages per issue), and Subscriptions may be made directly on the website of the journal (subscribe.bitcoinmagazine.net).
Of course you can also buy with Bitcoins. The first number is read verbatim “Bitcoin is an experimental new digital currency that enables the immediacy of payments to anyone, anywhere in the world.Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer network to operate with no central authority: managing transactions and issuing money are carried out collectively by Network Bitcoin is also the name of the open source software that allows the use of this currency “ .
Bitcoin: the future?
Since Bitcoins are routed through a peer-to-peer, remains the inability to track the movements of electronic money and to disclose the identity of those carrying out the transactions. These features make the Bitcoins currency privileged for all the criminal and illegal transactions, such as the sale of weapons and drugs.
For further information, the author suggests:
(1) These procedures are performed by companies that manage electronic money and are the use of technological systems (hardware and software) to ensure you that your money will not be taken by malicious people to make purchases in your name.Usually, the user activates a deposit account, you must download to your personal computer a program specially created by the company that will manage the account. Then, you must use the application every time you want to make purchases online.Generally, these software provide, in addition to the identification credentials (username and password), including encryption codes.
(2) are identical to payment cards, with regard to the type of operation.
(3) These cards provide the ‘debit of the amount of money used for purchases at a later stage. The user at the time of notification of the charge shall provide for the payment of the actual amount used for the transaction p2pfoundation. Peer-to-Peer Foundation is an organization that deals with the study of the impact of peer-to-peer in society. (7) Peer-to-peer. In the computer industry, the term Peer-to-peer (P2P) shows a logical architecture of the network where nodes are organized hierarchically and only as a client-server architecture, but are structured as nodes equivalent and equal. In other words, they can perform the functions of both clients or servers at the same time and from the other nodes of the network. With this type of architecture, any node can initiate or complete any transaction. The nodes may differ from each other in the local configuration, in processing speed, in bandwidth and in the amount of stored data. (8) Encryption. Cryptography is the science that deals with the systems and techniques to make a message “hidden” or not understandable to persons not authorized to read it. The study of cryptography and cryptanalysis is commonly called cryptology. The public key cryptography or asymmetric cryptography, is based on using a pair of keys: a public key must be distributed in the network and is used to encrypt a document for the person who owns the corresponding private key, the private key, and staff secret is used to decrypt an encrypted document with the public key. (9) The Bitcoin program can be downloaded at the following address: https://it.bitcoin.it/wiki/Pagina_principale (10) S. Nakamoto, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”, May 24, 2009 M-Pesa. It is a money transfer service between users of the cell phone service, created in 2007 on the mobile network Safaricom, a subsidiary of Vodafone, to allow microfinance institutions to send and receive money easily by lenders. The service was born in Kenya and has since spread to other African states. The name comes from the combination of the term mobile and Pesa, which in Swahili means money (source Wikipedia). (22) MtGox. It is a portal where you can buy and sell transactions with different currencies bitcoins Tags. It is a keyword or term associated with information (a picture, a geographic map, a post, a video clip), describing the item and enabling classification and search of information based on keywords (source Wikipedia ). (27) Binding Medium. It is a language in which words are formed from the union of morphemes (agglutinate is translated as “glue”). (28) The translations were made with the “translator” of Google. (29) at http:// .wikipedia.org / wiki / Patriot_Act (30) http://bitcoinmagazine.net (31) A. Teti, “Anonymous, the era of digital conflict,” Gnosis, n. 3/2011
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OK, with the hint of P_Shep https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=28402.msg919542#msg919542
and some additional command lines here’s how to compile and install cgminer on your Raspberry Pi:
Note: These instructions are for Debian Squeeze Linux http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads. Other Linux distros may differ.
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install autoconf
sudo apt-get install libtool
sudo apt-get install libncurses-dev
sudo apt-get install yasm
sudo apt-get install curl
sudo apt-get install libcurl4-openssl-dev
sudo apt-get install pkg-config
Download zip archive from https://github.com/ckolivas/cgminer
export LIBCURL_LIBS='-L/usr/lib -lcurl'
sudo make install
Now to run your BFL Single:
Plug it in now (may need a USB hub if you plan to also use USB kbd/mouse, I got around that with a PS/2-USB splitter).
Do a quick check if it registered with your Raspberry Pi Linux:
ls -l /dev/ttyUSB*
will show some ttyUSB device (typically ttyUSB0).
If not, check out that post: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=65879.msg915045#msg915045
Run cgminer the usual way but add the option
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