By now you have heard of Bitcoin and maybe have an idea about how the cryptocurrency actually works. The actual code used as a wallet changes on every transaction resulting in a unique identifier after a purchase, or deposit, or even after a return of Bitcoins. This is done via a process that isn’t often discussed but probably relies on either prime or subprime multiplication to ensure that the original wallet remains identifiable and cannot be defrauded by duplication electronically.
What I mean is – you couldn’t simply duplicate the wallet to have 2 times the currency. Nor could you make a false wallet to create currency. While there may exist forms of fraud that could potentially accomplish such things within the world of cryptocurrency, they are likely too time intensive to be considered a viable method or threat.
It would be arguably easier to invent a new cryptocurrency than to defraud an existing one.
Outside of Bitcoin the potential avenues for this kind of encryption include everything from: banking, and government networks, to ISP routers having a genuine method of protecting client data by identifying traffic on sensitive networks.
That does actually require something more sophisticated than the current cookie standards. No matter how many points of authentication are added, nothing could compare to a bitcoin style authentication method if it were done correctly.
A Method: Router patches and advancing numbers could act as one time validations on authorized machines to access a network – after which ordinary authentication methods prescribed to the user could be assuredly only coming from the authorized machine for the task.
Certainly a forward thinking ISP could have their entire service require something like this if they wanted to eliminate the anonymity of cyber criminals altogether. If so then routers issued by the ISP would require sign ins like the ones in public places where you essentially sign away your privacy to use the network.
Why would anyone want to agree to be identifiable on their router?
For businesses the answers are quite obvious. But there are home offices, that would certainly love to be able to prove they weren’t responsible for online activities that could be used against them legally. Just as surely there are home users who would love to know exactly which computer used their network to do something actionable. If a neighbor accessed your wifi to defraud someone or do something illegal, you could demonstrate that, by having the identifier patch on every machine you own checked against theirs for the signature of the attack.
Likewise you could prove someone accessed your network without permission if you really wanted to make a fuss about it.
Not that I’m advocating such behavior, but options like these appeal to people who have dealt with harassment or worse on their own networks. I suppose the real reason to consider this kind of implementation would be to extend the option to those who most particularly need it. You might think law enforcement would be the answer, but in reality it’s mostly for those who need to be able to prove their innocent of any wrongdoing in the case of an accusation.
How much is that worth today?
A conservative estimate might be tens of millions of dollars saved. Likewise what value banks would place on such measures could be easily billions if the technology were implemented in ways that couldn’t be circumnavigated. Between these and other businesses who knows how much the technology would actually be worth?
Why haven’t ISP’s and Banks done this already?
For starters, it’s a fairly new idea. It’s almost like when they decided to implement ipv6, once they got around to it, everything went well. But ipv6 was originally discussed in 1996. It was finally implemented in 2011 – sort of. It’s actually still being implemented as by 2016 it had finally reached a milestone of 16% of web addresses.
By that reasoning this isn’t something you could expect to see overnight unless…
If it were treated as app development and monetized it could see a consumer friendly version but that wouldn’t be the same thing. Unfortunately for such technology to do it’s job correctly it would need to be pretty tamper resistant. In fact it might need to be built in to a computer’s bios or patched into their operating system in ways that the user is scarcely aware of to even be viable.
It was still worth a mention.