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Pre-proposal: DASH PrivateSend De-Anonymization Contest

Discussion in 'Pre + Budget Proposal Discussions' started by DashDude, Jul 29, 2017.

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Would you vote for this proposal? MNOs only please!

  1. Yes

    15 vote(s)
    88.2%
  2. No

    1 vote(s)
    5.9%
  3. Abstain

    1 vote(s)
    5.9%
  1. DashDude

    DashDude Member

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    Problem Statement: DASH has a robust, protocol level coin mixing service called PrivateSend, but it is frequently dismissed as inadequate by those favoring other coins such as Monero, Zcash and others.

    Proposal Description and Goal:
    The purpose of this program is to create a Contest and Public Relations event to challenge people to determine where coins in a PrivateSend transaction originated from. The purpose of this is two fold:
    • First, this gives the DASH community ammunition to effectively respond to challenges that DASH isn't private enough. We can publicly challenge anyone who thinks PrivateSend is weak to try to claim the prize by breaking the anonymity.
    • Secondly, this is designed to be a huge PR event where we can promote DASH generally by publicly organizing, announcing and discussing the ongoing status and conclusion of the Contest.
    Program Scope:

    The Contest will offer a prize worth up to $100,000 USD, paid in the winner's choice of cryptocurrency, to someone who can successfully determine the originating address of a small quantity of DASH in an address given out to the public.

    Example:
    • a quantity of DASH is in address A
    • the dash is mixed using PrivateSend and 0.1 DASH is sent to address B
    • address B is given to the public with a challenge to determine the address (A) where it originated from before PrivateSend mixing

    Prize Schedule:

    The contest will begin with a prize of $25,000 and then increase by $25,000 each quarter until a maximum prize of $100,000 is reached as follows:

    Start of Contest to 3 Months: $25,000
    3 to 6 months: $50,000
    6 to 9 months: $75,000
    9 to 12 months: $100,000

    To help keep the contest impartial, I will arrange for a 3 person panel of prominent members of the crypto community to serve as contest judges. These people will not be generally connected to the DASH community. I will target members of the Bitcoin community to be judges to elevate DASH awareness among Bitcoin users.

    As an incentive, at the conclusion of the contest the judges will each receive a donation of 100 DASH to be paid to the charity of their choice. The charitable donations will be made whether the 300 DASH contest prize is claimed or not.

    How to make this a viral PR Event:
    This is intended to be a big PR event and not just a simple bug bounty.
    • Preference will be given to judges with substantial social media presence
    • Involving members of the other crypto communities as judges will gain DASH exposure to a wide crypto audience.
    • Offering a contest with a significant prize we demonstrates to all how the DASH treasury system can do things that other coins can't
    • Offering a prize that increases each quarter makes the contest more newsworthy with fresh opportunities to discuss the new larger contest prize.
    • When promoting the contest we now have an excuse to go into "home forums" of other coins and gently plug the DASH contest
    • This gives Dash Force News and everyone else covering the crypto space something interesting to talk about to help increase DASH awareness
    • The contest improves confidence in the PrivateSend technology in a way that is more meaningful than simply just claiming "ours is the best."
    • Charitable donations will be paid in DASH expanding DASH awareness in the non-profit community.

    Rules for claiming Contest Prize:

    To claim the contest prize, the winner must do the following:
    In the event of a dispute regarding the contest DASH will make the final determination of the outcome. Contestants agree to hold contest judges harmless.

    I will work closely with the DASH core team to coordinate efforts. I will also coordinate PR or provide content to Dash Force News or others as appropriate. @mastermined

    Duration of Contest:
    The contest will run for a period of 12 months.

    Why Now? This is a critical time in the crypto community with news about Bitcoin forks taking all of the headlines. A new fork for "Bitcoin Cash" with 8 MB blocks and a stance toward on chain scaling was recently created. Another Bitcoin fork may come in a few months.

    These forks more closely compete with DASH for the "digital cash" market segment so this is a good time to highlight DASH's advantages over these new Bitcoin forks and other digital cash coins. This contest helps to accomplish this by creating a PR coup to take some of the headlines back for DASH.

    Program Risks:
    • It would obviously be an embarrassment if someone actually won this contest by de-anonymizing DASH. Need the core team to ensure that all known PrivateSend vulnerabilities have been addressed. @eduffield This risk can be mitigated by correcting a discovered vulnerability and then launching a fresh contest with a doubled prize.
    • It is possible that a contest judge or other person may leak the origination address or otherwise have the address exposed due to security problems. This isn't really a concern since claiming the prize requires demonstrating how the source and destination addresses are linked.

    Program Funding Request:
    Contest prize - will only be requested from treasury if needed to be paid to contest winner. DASH will be converted into the cryptocurrency of the winner's choice.
    Charitable donations - 300 DASH (100 DASH each to be paid to the charity of the judges respective choice.)
    Program promotional material development, judge recruitment, communications and program management - 90 DASH
    Proposal fee reimbursement - 5 DASH
    Total Request: 395 DASH

    Treasury Payment Schedule (into escrow):
    Month 1: 95 DASH
    Month 2: 300 DASH
    Total Request: 395 DASH

    Due to the large payments involved I propose holding these funds in an escrow suitable to the community until they are ready to be disbursed. I propose using a 2 of 4 multisignature address to serve as escrow.

    Proposed signers for 2 of 4 multisig:
    1. Myself as proposal owner & 3 others acceptable to the DASH community - TBD

    Milestone Payment Schedule

    From escrow to PO
    Month 1: 5 DASH - proposal fee reimbursement
    Month 2: 90 DASH - following launch of contest​
    From escrow to contest winner (only if necessary) - up to $100,000 worth of DASH depending on date
    Month 12: From escrow to judges charities at the conclusion of the program - 300 DASH

    Proposal Owner: Allow me to introduce myself. I've been into crypto about 2 years and am a reformed Bitcoin maximalist. I got bitten by the DASH bug recently because of all it's great features and all of the governance problems I see with Bitcoin. I bought my first DASH last month.

    I'm writing under a new handle DashDude, but for full transparency my name is Steve Dussault. I'm an experienced professional working as a Sr. Product Manager in heavy industry with many years of blue chip company experience. I have extensive experience introducing new high-tech products worldwide and working to increase their market share and profitability.

    My LinkedIn Profile

    Thanks for reading and your suggestions!
    Steve
     
    #1 DashDude, Jul 29, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017 at 10:59 PM
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  2. Super8

    Super8 Active Member

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    Certainly worth a shot at a proposal the n my view.
     
  3. DashDude

    DashDude Member

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    OK - this proposal has been "quietly" received so far. Can we get a discussion going on this? Even if you are opposed I'd like to know why - my feelings will not be hurt. :)

    Is my proposal unclear? Don't see the need? Too complicated? Too expensive? Too risky? Don't think the PR will be catchy/viral? Thoughts please!
     
  4. Dashmaximalist

    Dashmaximalist Active Member
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    awesome stuff really , wonder why people dont see the value of this..
     
  5. Syntheist

    Syntheist Member

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    I'm guessing that to some extent the current prize for another cryptocurrency to break PrivateSend is some percentage of $1,352,463,661 which is the current market cap of Dash.
    If they could show it can be broken then Dash would lose users and they would gain them.

    This could be a good way to market Dash & quiet any trolls...
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. joezippy

    joezippy Member
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    I though, I remember hearing about some new wallet integration announcements regarding private send and instant send in last months Core meeting... If so, this type of contest should be tied to the announcements, as an overall marketing promotional plan... Check w/ the Core Team on upcoming wallet support before launching... I would love to see private / instant send in something like Jaxx w/ this bounty highlighting the private send feature... But then again, maybe it was an integration dream I had.... :rolleyes:
     
  7. DashDude

    DashDude Member

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    @joezippy The new iOS DASH wallet was just approved by Apple last month and it does have an InstantSend option. I don't think any of the light wallets perform PrivateSend. Jaxx does not yet support InstantSend. It's a good idea to try to tie this to other developments in the wallet space, but I also think it's a core feature of our protocol that is worth promoting regardless.

    @Minotaur , do you know if any of the light wallets plan to support PrivateSend in the near future?
     
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  8. akhavr

    akhavr Active Member
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    I was planning to do research on electrum implementation, but I'm out of time :(
     
  9. pwjjrn

    pwjjrn New Member

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    Abstain now.
    i don't know whether it's the right time to promote the anonymity of DASH.
    BTC-e just went down because of money laundering, and the largest mixing service Bitmixer.io has decided to shut down.
    This action may attract more strict supervision .
    promoting the InstantSend advantage or something else maybe a better idea recently.
     
  10. DashDude

    DashDude Member

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    @pwjjrn - I understand what you mean about the timing. I also think that if you wait for a "good" time to convince the State that they are on the wrong path when it comes to privacy issues that you will be waiting a very long time.
     
  11. jimbursch

    jimbursch Active Member

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    I think rather than funding a contest, we should fund a blockchain forensic analysis. There are companies out there whose job it is to de-anonymize bitcoin transactions. We should hire one to use their techniques to analyze Dash.

    Arguably, we could leverage the Dash Bug Bounty program for something like this, since the ability to break the privacy feature would be considered a bug. We could ask researchers to focus on PrivateSend and award a bounty if they are able to break it.
     
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  12. DashDude

    DashDude Member

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    Hi @jimbursch . Your suggestion to fund a forensic analysis was already done. See this. The idea I'm proposing isn't a bug bounty - it's a PR coup masquerading as a bug bounty!

    I'm just tired of "misinformed" people like this guy spewing BS about PrivateSend that just isn't true. Let's shut them down hard with a good PR move!
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  13. n00bkid

    n00bkid New Member

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    I think this is a great idea -- both for the peace of mind it'd give to current/potential users, as well as possible headlines.

    My only suggestion would be to ask for the 300 Dash reward only in the case that someone actually breaks PrivateSend. If they don't -- and we're obviously betting they won't -- you'll have 300 Dash on your hands, with no agreed-upon place to put it. That's awkward for you and for all MNOs.

    So granted that you hold off on asking for the reward portion of the Dash if/until there's actually cause to pay it out, I'd vote for this.
     
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  14. DashDude

    DashDude Member

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    I thought about this when writing up the proposal. Originally I considered it safer to have the money allocated up front to guarantee a payout in the event de-anonymization occurs. The odds of that happening are very low, however, so maybe that would be OK. Will consider additional feedback on this.
     
  15. mastermined

    mastermined Active Member
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    Very interesting for sure. what is the current state of this pre proposal?
     
  16. DashDude

    DashDude Member

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    Hi @mastermined . Here's an update on the status so far. The last several days I've been reviewing comments to judge community support. I'd say it's generally more positive than negative. Not sure yet if it would have enough votes to pass. What's your read on this?

    Also, to move to a formal proposal I'd need clarity on the following:

    1. Need confirmation from the core team that any known PrivateSend vulnerability has been addressed and that we are as certain as we can be that the PrivateSend contest transaction will NOT be de-anonymized. @AndyDark or @UdjinM6 can you weigh in? If this proposal is funded can you serve on the DASH core technical opinion team (if it ever becomes necessary)?
    2. Need permission for me to use the email [email protected] for the contest. @kot who needs to approve? We can use an unofficial email if necessary, but this seems more professional.
    3. Need multi-sig escrow signers. @kot had volunteered on a previous proposal. Need two more. Suggestions?
    4. Also need to clear up a few things on the contest prize. If the odds of this being claimed are extremely low can we leave it out of the funding request? This would mean that the Masternodes would have to approve a prize payout separately in the future if PrivateSend were somehow de-anonymized.
    5. Lastly, if we really are confident in PrivateSend, should we increase the prize to 500 DASH? Would be nice PR to be able to show a prize worth around $100,000.
    Thanks again for everyone's thoughts and suggestions!
     
    #16 DashDude, Aug 11, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  17. AnarchicCluster

    AnarchicCluster Active Member

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    Dash Address:
    XgJkzjmW1onXH8EsaaZakN1GswjjnAYhUE
    Sounds like a good idea. Increase it to 500 Dash and wait for PrivateSend to be broken first before asking the network for the prize money. However, it would have to be widely publicised and the core team (maybe even Ryan and Evan) should come out and publicly support it in order to inspire confidence that the money is actually going to be paid out.

    It is a nice publicity stunt but I thought we have Bug Bounty program looking into the security of Private Send. Can't we use that argument when trolls come attacking Private Send?
     
  18. DashDude

    DashDude Member

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    Regarding the bug bounty, @jimbursch was wondering the same thing above. This program should be viewed as a PR move, not a bug bounty.
     
  19. Leonidas

    Leonidas Active Member

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    I believe it is important that the money is already allocated if not why would anyone bother ?

    Here's an idea. Why not setting an ending date to the contest (1 year for example) ?

    We could have a proposal that asks the network for 50 dash for 12 months (whatever the amount) which are put every month in escrow. The prize will grow every month, the competitors will know the money is available. They will still be incentivize to claim it as soon as they would crack it (good luck to them) as they might fear somebody would claim it before them (so, i they'd crack it in 6 months, none of them would wait 12 months to claim there prize).

    If the money is not won, what to do with it ? Charity ?

    And then, that all process can start again the following year, even with increased amount for good PR.

    The risk I see is the network is not that keen on approving 12 month proposal (although this proposal is very different as the money is put in escrow). My guess would also be that the network would better like the leftover money used in something with ROI and not charity (although some people fail to understand that charity = PR).
     
  20. DashDude

    DashDude Member

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    @Leonidas I like the idea of a prize that increases with time. I think it makes it more newsworthy as time goes on to talk about the increase in the prize. We could start at 125 DASH and then increase by 125 per quarter to end up with 500 DASH prize for the 4th quarter.

    Also, to clarify it is not the unclaimed prize that goes to charity. The charitable donation is the incentive to get the judges and this donation gets made regardless of whether the prize is claimed or not.
     
  21. GrandMasterDash

    GrandMasterDash Well-known Member
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    I am voting no on all charity-only proposals, including those tied to a challenge.
     
  22. DashDude

    DashDude Member

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    @GrandMasterDash , do you have a good idea for a different incentive to get well known judges to participate or to increase the PR value of the proposal? We don't have to use a charitable contribution, but I am struggling with other ideas...
     
  23. GrandMasterDash

    GrandMasterDash Well-known Member
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    I wasn't knocking the underlying idea of a prize fund. And I'm not that keen on generating the money before it's been cracked, if ever.

    Why don't we just submit a 5 dash proposal pledge...

    "We the Dash DAO hereby declare a $1 MILLION DOLLAR PRIZE to any entity successfully cracking Dash's PrivateSend according to the following rules..".​

    If we can pledge a 2MB block increase and be held to it a year later, then we can uphold this pledge also.
     
  24. DashDude

    DashDude Member

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    That's one way to do it. I'm looking for something more viral, though. Something that will get traction outside of the "DASH echochamber."
     
  25. GrandMasterDash

    GrandMasterDash Well-known Member
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    True, but the proposal could be raised a little to pay for press releases etc.

    Okay, unlikely, but what if PrivateSend is compromised in some way.. a viral campaign to crack it would be met with an equal force of shame. Sure, go for the growing prize fund idea or something else, but why the money has to be created first?
     
  26. DashDude

    DashDude Member

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    The prize money doesn't have to be created first. I will probably change that part, though a few have suggested that I should keep it up front.

    Thanks for your suggestions, by the way.
     
  27. solarguy

    solarguy Member

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    I like the idea of a well publicized and substantial prize for anyone who can break a private-send transaction.

    If the prize money just sits there and sits there, we can use that for tremendous PR. However, we also state up front that in the unlikely event they can break a private-send transaction, they have to reveal the methods used so that we can improve private-send.

    If you pitch the contest properly, it's a win/win.

    In the unlikely event someone breaks it, we fix that and then immediately double the bounty.

    I don't care if we generate the money before or after. It is somewhat problematic who holds the money and who certifies the transaction is broken or not.
     
  28. DashDude

    DashDude Member

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    Following feedback from the community, I have modified the proposal as follows:

    • Changed contest prize to start at 125 DASH and then increase quarterly by 125 DASH up to a max of 500 DASH to make the contest more newsworthy throughout the year
    • Changed contest duration to 12 months
    • Removed contest prize funding from proposal. Prize will be requested only if it is needed to pay a winner.

    To move to a formal proposal I'd need clarity on the following:

    1. Need confirmation from the core team that any known PrivateSend vulnerability has been addressed and that we are as certain as we can be that the PrivateSend contest transaction will NOT be de-anonymized. @AndyDark or @UdjinM6 can you weigh in? If this proposal is funded can you serve on the DASH core technical opinion team (if it ever becomes necessary)?
    2. Need permission for me to use the email [email protected] for the contest. @kot who needs to approve? We can use an unofficial email if necessary, but this seems more professional.
    3. Need multi-sig escrow signers. @kot had volunteered on a previous proposal. Need two more. Suggestions?
    Thanks again for everyone's thoughts and suggestions!
     
  29. Bitedge

    Bitedge New Member
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    I really like the idea and encourage you to push ahead with it, a few points of potential improvement though.

    Why should this expire at all? Why not have an ongoing bounty for anyone who de-anonymizes private-send? You would have to set it up in a way that the judges, reviewers and contest admin can be changed over time and when there are upgrades to private send you will have to do a new transaction. But if this is a good idea for the next 12 months it also a good idea for the 12 months after that and so on.

    Also I think if private-send is found to be breakable, fixing it and doubling the prize is a great idea.

    Non-dash people (who are the target market) would argue
    1. Good cryptographers could break private send but won't bother because they dont want a dash prize anyway.
    2. if private-send anonymity is broken the value of dash will plummet so a prize denominated in dash would be worthless.
    The way to defeat these arguments and make a more robust and marketable campaign would be to make the prize $100,000 (approx 500 dash at today's value and a nice round figure) worth of the winners prefered crypto, like bitcoin or etherium. The prize would still be generated in dash through a treasury payout but the contest admin would just shapeshift the dash to the winners preferred currency before paying it out.

    This is not just to placate the haters. Media would be much more likely to report on a $100,000 contest than a 500 dash contest. Remember you trying to get this to go outside of our echochamber and people only care about 500 dash inside our echo chamber.
     
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  30. DashDude

    DashDude Member

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    Good questions, @Bitedge . Will try to address them below.

    Why should this expire at all? - A year from now DASH and the crypto world will be much different, Evolution will be out and we'll probably have other features we want to promote. Other coins are working on privacy features, etc. If this still makes sense next year we can launch a new version, perhaps with some different angles for better PR. Finally, I think limited time offers tend to "pull" better and have better PR value.

    If private-send anonymity is broken the value of dash will plummet so a prize denominated in dash would be worthless. - I doubt it would plummet that far, but is a good point nonetheless. I had always intended to market the contest as 500 DASH along with the ~$100,000 USD equivalent.

    The way to defeat these arguments and make a more robust and marketable campaign would be to make the prize $100,000 (approx 500 dash at today's value and a nice round figure) worth of the winners prefered crypto, like bitcoin or etherium. The prize would still be generated in dash through a treasury payout but the contest admin would just shapeshift the dash to the winners preferred currency before paying it out. - Good suggestion. I will modify accordingly.
     

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