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instantX + micropayments = unlocking the potential for real PUSH mechanism in cryptocurrencies


When talking about the goodness of instantX, one argument that often comes to the fore is that they are useful primarily for larger transactions/purchases of items/services of higher value. While this is certainly true, I would like to highlight the importance instantX could have on the opposite side of the value spectrum which ultimately might be more beneficial for sustainable growth and adoption of Darkcoin in the Internet or on mobile platforms.

While it might be a bit premature to think about any specific applications of instantX, as the design in all its ramifications has not yet settled, and the consequences for the future DRK transaction system are not yet clear in its entirety, I really think that the potential of any working reliable solution cannot be overestimated and some speculation about the possible cool shit and the killer apps that the internet has impatiently been waiting for since its infancy is warranted to keep us all excited and dripping wet ;)

With Darkcoin Instant Transactions we have for the first time a reliable method to really reap the promise of a real push mechanism for transactions, micropayments and even secure, spam free communications.

To really grasp the breadth of applications that could be built on top of this technology, I think of it as a trigger mechanism that can initiate any kind of digital interaction. The more the digital interaction is time sensitive (requires a response during a very short time window) the more it would benefit from instantX.

Let me give you an example. For some people it might already seem like from a long gone age now, but for decades mobile operators and third party mobile application service providers have used SMS (another pure push technology) to monetize info and communication services, games or lotteries like weather/street condition info, contests, chat/dating/match making services. Essentially they were and are still making money charging per SMS whatever price they think, according to their vast experience observing the transactions, would make them squeeze most money out of the users.

Now with DRK instantX you could implement the exact same thing with the fundamental difference that the charge per pull request is determined neither by a mobile operator nor a third party application service provider but by the actual source of the information/service. By cutting out the middlemen and eliminating the service provider cartels, instantX would not only evaporate the hot air in commissions for the big guys and bring price down to the real market value of what is on offer, they also would open up the market for essentially everybody with some interesting unique source info/service to offer who is able to integrate instantX micropayments and advertise them accordingly.

Some more internet-focused applications I can think off the top of my head:

  • immediate and real anonymous site access without having to confirm email, credit card etc. Send a few drk or a few duffs, get a temporary or permanent code back and enter the site. That way those fuxxing captchas can also be kissed goodbye.
  • immediate transactions facilitate in-game spontaneous payment decisions which should benefit online casinos/games/bets/lotteries
  • private quests - e.g. interested parties pay an ante into a pot (multisig address) to play/solve a game/riddle/question and the winner takes it all
  • content on demand - pay as you go online journalism made easy (get the news article you want to read now while the coffee is hot and without searching your flat for the credit card you left in your wallet in the car)
  • empowering live web cam workers (cutting out the payment processor/site operator and making them self employed, independent entrepreneurs)
  • live tipping (for specials in live chat/cam sessions etc.)
  • virtual currency for online games where transactions can be part of game relevant interactions
  • get rid of comment spam. Pay a duff for posting a comment.
  • Advertisment free Search Engines. (Pay some duffs to Sergey and Larry per search for stopping them to track you and feed you with their advertisements - not really my favorite though :) )
  • Advertisement/tracking free sites etc.
  • App Stores based on drk. (Buy and unlock software for your smart phone. Yeah, Evan, I’m still waiting for that Darkphone :))
I think this list is far from complete. Feel free to brainstorm, share your thoughts, add to the list and dream...
So many possibility's with actual instant transactions!

Decentralized social networks... That allow you to tip another person using darkcoin itself, in realtime!
You could also choose to be completely anon on this social network and choose to tip using darksend funds.

Decentralized gambling... With instant transactions, bets could be made during races/matches/any sporting events, poker is an obvious one... Especially if you live in America where its illegal to play online poker!!! And you need anonymity, dark with instantx is just perfect for these kinds of things.

Asset movement... Such as S&P500 shares need the ability to be moved anywhere in the world instantly. Bitcoin (with my limited understanding of block confirmations) can only confirm a set of transactions (a block) every 10 minuets (ish) If this is correct, stock market trading is impossible with the current tech bitcoin has. We still have to resort to exchanges that use there own back end ledger systems, which i do not trust one bit.

So much more my tiny little brain cannot even comprehend, and all i see is moaning about Evan mining allot of coins, or the name "Darkcoin" is somehow damaging to the tech.

Satoshi mined alot from the start... Bitcoin has a 6 billion market-cap.

Darkcoin the name is reference to the privacy the "darkweb" or "darknet" offers, imo.

Great read by the way! Can't wait to see instantx on test-net!
Feel free to brainstorm, share your thoughts, add to the list and dream...

Service providers love premium SMS because everybody has mobile phones with money on them.
Service providers love credit cards because they can rebill clients easily.
Darkcoin… need long way to go (Bitcoin's way) before Service providers will at least notice it.

Speed is important, but without millions of Darkcoin users it doesn't matter much for Service providers.
I have another good one: the real Ebay killer: live online auctions. Wow, I think just watching them would be a real alternative for many a housewife to the latest afternoon soap. The technology would be perfect for youtube too. Once Shopping-TV will have found its way over there.
Service providers love premium SMS because everybody has mobile phones with money on them.
Service providers love credit cards because they can rebill clients easily.
Darkcoin… need long way to go (Bitcoin's way) before Service providers will at least notice it.

Speed is important, but without millions of Darkcoin users it doesn't matter much for Service providers.

I do think your right that DRK needs to be further adopted for all this to make sense. But, I also think that the commercial draw from integrating services that don't require people to have a bank acc, just a phone, is massive. Under 18's in the west for a small start (gaming, site access ... etc.), then something like (from a shadowy memory) 80%+ citizens in India, for instance, have no access to bank accounts at all. But you can be sure every service provider on the planet wants some of their action. I also think that countries in Asia/Africa, in which a very high number of people have a fundamental understanding and daily experience of bartered trade, will get the general idea so much faster than your average price-tag-western-Joe - especially when they realise they've finally been in included in the global economy - I think it's easy to miss-judge the relevance of those detached marketplaces.

Although, perhaps DRK marketing should consider some piggy-backing of BTC's mainstream strengths - whatever the f**k that means :what:

Bottom line: I think this will go faster than the long-game believers expect, especially if they haven't realised the inclusive power of crypto, or more that most of the planet aren't including in anything yet
Service providers love premium SMS because everybody has mobile phones with money on them.
Service providers love credit cards because they can rebill clients easily.

Alex, you're of course right that service provider love to easily bill their customers. But who cares about them any more? The whole point of my analogy with premium 2-way SMS and value added services was precisely to illustrate the potential for cryptocurrencies like Darkcoin to by-pass service providers and get to the source, the content producers. InstantX could offer a mechanism that allows to do just that. E.g. using something similar to the Bitcoin Payment Protocol (https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/BIP_0070 or http://www.bitspace360.com/bip70.pdf) which is already implemented in a lot of bitcoin wallets (although hardly used) added to the Darkcoin QT (I'm not sure, but I don't think it's there right now, haven't checked). For the sake of clarity, let me spell it out for you:
  • We have a decentralised network that is perfect for micropayments
  • We have a Transceiver in the form of the opensource Darkcoin QT
  • We have InstanX with almost instant confirmation of successful payment
  • We could have a payment protocol that supports the exchange of Tx and Rx messages (the memo field in PaymentDetails of the Payment Request, the message Payment and message PaymentACK (check out https://gist.github.com/gavinandresen/4120476 for details)
So lets take butler Jeeves, who just happens to know a practical answer to almost every conceivable problem and wants to make some extra cash offering a service called AskJeeves where everybody can make use of his vast database of butler knowledge. Right now he would traditionally need a Service Provider with a connection to the SMSC of a mobile operator and advertise his service like this:

Text "AskJeeves <<your Question>>" to 966 and get the answer to your problems. Cost: 50c (which are then somehow shared by the mobile op, the service provider and Jeeves.

With InstantX and an suitable payment/messaging protocol, Jeeves, being the versatile hacker he is, would hack some code into the opensource Darkcoin QT, code up a processor for the memo field, link it up with his DB, put up a website askjeeves.com with a Darkcoin PaymentRequest link like this:

<a href="darkcoin:mrhz5ZgSF3C1BSdyCKt3gEdhKoRL5BNfJVr=http://www.askjeeves.com&amount=0.1">Ask Jeeves if he's gay</a>

Cost: 0.1 drk. Payed just to Jeeves, not shared with anybody.

Alice, who always wondered about the sexual orientation of Jeeves and as of late had been neglected by Bob, clicks on it, her Darkcoin QT pops up with the payment request parameters already filled in. Even her question has conveniently been put into the memo field for her. All that is left to do is confirming the payment by hitting Send. As soon as the payment lock has been confirmed by the masternodes and Jeeve's Darkcoin client informed accordingly, her client gets back a PaymentACK with the answer to her question in the memo field (no, I've no idea what the answer was because the whole exchange was of course encrypted).
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Would certainly remove the need for a whole lot of back-end work or 3rd party solutions for merchants and content providers. Might even make camosoul happy. :grin:

Hope Evan sees this, might have some bearing on how his proposed encrypted messaging system gets put together. Couple of fields and corresponding functionality added to the wallet and you've got a complete, integrated buyer/seller solution.
I have built drkipn.com solely to serve for this purpose, ping a website back with transaction details (like paypal IPN), but it takes too long because of confirmations and stuff like these! adding instantX would be a blast in the crypto world and will eliminate the need for blockchain monitoring for that purpose! awsome!
You know the Silent Circle angle sounds good. Maybe also PRISM-break might be interested. We should really be hitting up the privacy community more.
Silent Circle https://silentcircle.com/ and other mobile ventures might be a mutually beneficial arrangement.

You know the Silent Circle angle sounds good

Very off topic but just to comment on silent circle: Their "PrivateOS" is open source. But what about the Baseband OS and the SIM Card OS? I guess not. Blackphone secures data only at the application level, which truly is already a big step forward. As a selling point their CEO likes to mention how painstakingly they are checking each hardware component of the so and so many subcontractors to make sure that everything is clean. Swiss quality. Very, very safe. But it’s still a profit oriented company and as such centralized. You still have to trust them checking all the weak links correctly and, in case you're Angela Merkel, that they won't be corrupted or infiltrated by the NSA or whosoever. With a centralized security model and quite a few attack vectors the "Blackphone" will be really just that. Another black box in your pocket making you more paranoid than you already are. But maybe Sir Crouton meant to take their open source PrivatOS and put it to better use? Develop a community DarkOS out of it? That would make much more sense to me. The first phone I will trust will be a phone harnessing the power of a decentralised crypto network without a SIM card and no other OSs on it. I’d call it a "Darkphone". Unfortunately we don’t have open source hardware 3D printing phone components quite yet, so for the time being I would select the cheapest and simplest piece of phone lying around in every corner of the 3rd worlds, the parts of which could easily be de-and reassembled, exchanged and checked for tampering should suspicion arise. The 33$ Mozilla phone you mentioned might be a good start. Make that flashable with the DarkOS. The Darkphone would sit entirely on top of the Darkcoin Network. As a dark wallet, it could be a special kind of node, a mesh node, a node in the DarkMesh, which similar to a masternode would let its owner earn some drk when actually relaying Dark traffic. Just so the phone's owner can cover the hardware investment, not much more. A simple incentive for making the Darkcoin Network as a whole so much more robust by enlarging and powering the DarkMesh. Think firechat http://www.technologyreview.com/new...-app-for-iphone-needs-no-internet-connection/ or Uepaa!
Hmm, Masternode architecture and InstanTX micropayments could certainly help solve one of the key problems with mesh networking in general - "What do I get out of running this node?"

Heh, we need a Kickstarter...
I went on the ripplecoin site, and they were going on about instant transactions and how unbelievable it was that noone else had noticed this 'amazing thing' that was ripple. Now personally I consider ripple a bankster scam (they increased coin circulation by 25% without explanation, have no mining and no open source), but they do appear to have the banks behind them, and trading pairs have magically appeared on cryptsy without any volume as yet. Is this possible competition for darkcoin or is the Sheep grazing in the wrong field?
Ripple is no competition for Darkcoin !
At least not innovation wise. ripple seems like, more of the old world.
Its system is more like paypal than a cryptocurrency.
I mean no decentralization, all the ripple nodes/ network is owned by .... ripple labs
most of the ripple coins (Xrp) are owned by .....ripple labs.
ripple is like a rip off, it is just an improved paypal.
So you chose the right field to graze :grin: