Random

A few things that resonated with me in the past and I don’t want to lose track of.

Cryptocurrencies

If you look at the history of money technology: private sector innovates, government invariably regulates and appropriates.
e.g., “You can’t use yours (Bitcoins), you have to use ours.”
[…]
Bitcoin: In the long run, government has to regulate it (should it become too valuable). Can’t have a medium where no one pays taxes when it reaches scale.
[…]
There will be central bank digital coins. How do I know government currencies will win? Because governments make the rules!
[…]
Q: What’s wrong with having no paper cash whatsoever? A: Small transactions might be best done by cash. Cash is useful during natural disasters (though Ken Rogoff is not that convinced). My (presumptuous) conclusion: No compelling reason for paper cash to exist. Isn’t it really that some folks would be very upset if cash went away?

Source: “The Curse of Cash” talk at MIT by Kenneth Rogoff (on Thursday, November 2, 2017)

Long-term secrets

The worst outcome possible for a scheme is making the user stick with a key that has a suspicion of compromise, because the cost of rotating would be too high.
And all this for what gain?
“Well, of course, long-term trust.” […]
Are you sure you can protect that long-term key forever? Because when an attacker decides to target you and succeeds, they won’t have access just from that point forward; they’ll have access to all your past communications, too. And that’s ever more relevant.

Source: Op-ed: I’m giving up on PGP, by Filippo Valsorda

Systems

Designing systems that are out of reach of power. Distributed. Hard to subvert.