[Bitcoin-development] [BIP 15] Aliases

Amir Taaki zgenjix at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 16 20:10:30 UTC 2011

I think IBANs are not such a good idea. Note that as someone who has spent the last year of my life dealing with hundreds of bank transactions a day and interacting with the banking system (both on a technical, systematic and personnel level), the entire system is a gigantic mess.

The banks are in fact looking to us for answers. That's why we (Bitcoin Consultancy) were invited to the SWIFT conference to join their panel on bank 2.0.

I don't even mind the maxim "take everything the banks have done and do the complete opposite" :)

I invite anyone who is skeptical to read the ECB's specification on SEPA payments. It really is an example of a system made to work alongside legacy systems that rely on inefficient people. The interchange fees are dependent on a totally arbitrary test of merchant indifference and various antitrust regulations.

These systems are usually built not by engineers or hackers, but by finance people. IBAN has no place in bitcoin IMO.

I don't mean to sound too critical, but I'm skeptical of its usefulness. Especially when we already have bitcoin addresses with their own checksums- what value do IBANs add? Nothing except negatives.

 From: slush <slush at centrum.cz>
To: Khalahan <khal at dot-bit.org> 
Cc: bitcoin-development at lists.sourceforge.net 
Sent: Friday, December 16, 2011 7:54 PM
Subject: Re: [Bitcoin-development] [BIP 15] Aliases

Khalahan, honestly, using namecoin for aliases is (for me) clean example of over-engineering. I mean - it will definitely work if implemented properly. I played with a namecoin a bit (as my pool was the first 'big' pool supporting merged mining), but I think there's really long way to provide such alias system in namecoin and *cleanly integrate it with bitcoin*. Don't forget that people who want to do lookup need to maintain also namecoin blockchain with their bitcoin client. It goes against my instinct of keeping stuff easy.

For example, yesterday I implemented HTTPS lookup for addresses into my fork of Electrum client. I did it in 15 minutes, it works as expected, it does the job and the implementation is really transparent, becuase implementation is 20 lines of code. There's no magic transformation, no forced "?handle=" parameters or whatever. And I don't care if somebody provide URL https://some.strange.domain/name-of-my-dog?myhandle=5678iop&anything_else=True

And everybody can do the same in their clients, in their merchant solutions, websites or whatever. Everybody can do HTTPS lookup. But try to explain DNS, Namecoin, IIBAN, email aliases to other programmers...

Those IIBAN - well, why not. At least I see the potential in PR. So far I understand it as some teoretic concept which is not supported by anything else right now. Give it few years until it matures and then add IIBAN alias to Bitcoin client too.

Maybe I'm repeating myself already, but the way to go is to make aliases as easy as possible, so everybody can implement it in their own solution and thus practially remove the need of using standard bitcoin addresses for normal users. Using some superior technology, which is hard to implement or even understand won't solve the situation, because it will ends up with some reference implementation in standard client only and nobody else will use it.


On Fri, Dec 16, 2011 at 6:23 PM, Khalahan <khal at dot-bit.org> wrote:

>Namecoin is a peer-to-peer generic name/value datastore system.
>Don't forget it's not limited to .bit usage ! So, directly mapping
    things to .bit url would not be the optimal way of using namecoin.
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