Even though I've gone to the dark side (there will be a fun post of that in le future) I still have great love and obsession with freeing the common man from the evils of modern banking.
So for any of you who don't know I am a big advocate of the bitcoin, but I'm also an even bigger advocate for Open_transactions. It's an open source suite of market tools based upon Ricardian smart contacts which offers true anonymity and a fix to bitcoins troubles with trusting entities (ie mt.gox debacle)
It's already done, but a commercial version will be out around Q3 and Q4. It's being marketed to businesses for speedy transaction time and to Africans since they seem to have a flair for alt.currencies (like cellular minutes). Also any country that doesn't like the petrodollar (everyone else) will probably use it.
So here's the lowdown
ILLUSTRATED EXPLANATION http://opentransact.nevermeta.com/OT-Pseudonym-Instruments.jpg
Read the illustrated explanation and watch this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teNzIFu5L70&feature
Basically an anonymous, encrypted, secure set of tools for an entire digital marketplace with reciepts based on smart contracts.
A financial crypto and digital cash software library. The software's author likens it to "PGP for money". Open Transactions (a centralized transaction system) is complementary to Bitcoin in that it provides some features that Bitcoin cannot, such as untraceable anonymous (versus pseudonymous) transactions, no latency (instant finality of settlement / no risk of double spending) and more. Featuring: *Untraceable Digital Cash (real blinded tokens) *Anyone An Issuer (Ricardian-style Contracts) *Bearer-only, Fully-Anonymous (when used cash-only) *Pseudonymous User Accounts (user account == PGP key) *No Account History (asset account == the last receipt) *Many Financial Instruments (cheques, cash, vouchers, invoices...) *Basket Currencies (10 "baskets" == 5 gold, 3 silver) *Markets with Trades (stop, fill-or-kill, limit orders...) *Payment Plans https://github.com/FellowTraveleOpen-Transactions/wiki/FAQ https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Open_Transactions http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSgpStCTw2g http://monetas.net/
-- Many financial instruments are supported: Users can write cheques, purchase cashier's cheques ('vouchers'), and withdraw in untraceable digital cash. The software uses Chaumian-style, blinded tokens courtesy of the Lucre library by Ben Laurie.
-- It's like PGP FOR MONEY. The idea is to have many cash algorithms, not just Lucre. I'd like to add Chaum's version, Brands' version, etc. So that, just like PGP, the software should support as many of the top algorithms as possible, and make it easy to swap them out when necessary.
-- User accounts are pseudonymous. A user account is a public key. (This is like PKTP.) You can open as many user accounts as you want. Full anonymity is possible only for 'cash-only' transactions (where users only perform token exchanges), whereas pseudonymity means that transactions can be linked to the key that signed them. (While the real life identity of the owner is hidden, continuity of reputation becomes possible when using pseudonyms.)
-- ANY USER CAN ISSUE new digital currencies and digital asset types, by uploading the new currency contract to the server. (This functionality is comparable to Ricardo, the transaction server by IanG.)
-- No Account History. Client and server are able to conduct transactions, and agree on current holdings, via signed receipts, without the need to store any transaction history (beyond the last receipt itself.) See Bill St. Clair's excellent Truledger (http://truledger.com/
) for another example of this concept.
-- The server cannot forge your signature, and thus cannot change your balance without your signed permission, (since it can't falsify any receipt.) The server is likewise on the hook with the issuer, for the same reason. This is because the receipt IS the account, and because the server cannot sign the receipt until you have signed it first--and the server cannot forge your signature.
-- Open Transactions also features MARKETS. Any two asset types can be traded against each other. The markets are full-featured and include LIMIT ORDERS, STOP ORDERS, FILL-or-KILL orders, DAY orders (date ranges), and stop limits.
-- Open Transactions also supports BASKET CURRENCIES. Users can define their own, and the server handles the process of exchanging in and out of basket accounts. Baskets are treated by the software like any other asset type, (you can open accounts, transfer funds, withdraw cash, write cheques, and even trade basket currencies on markets.)
-- Open Transactions also supports PAYMENT PLANS. Users can sign contracts with each other, and the server will carry out the terms and implement the payment plan. (A future goal is to issue new asset types based on revenue from payment plans--so they can also be traded on markets.)
-- CONTRACTS, in general, are very important to Open Transactions; they are the building block of the entire library. Open Transactions uses a Ricardian-style contract, and all the various instruments, data files, and messages resemble PGP-signed XML files. All objects serialize to a string.
-- SMART CONTRACTS are now supported (scriptable clauses). These make it possible for users to write their own financial instruments, without having to change the OT code itself. To read more about this concept, see Nick Szabo: http://szabo.best.vwh.net/contractlanguage.html
-- The philosophy of the software is based around the SEPARATION OF POWERS (issuers and transaction servers being separate entities -- See Loom for another example of this.) as well as the DISTRIBUTION OF RISK. For example, assets of a single type can be distributed across many many servers, AND a certain asset type can also be distributed across multiple issuers (via basket currencies.)
-- Future (possible or planned) instruments include: Interest-bearing bonds, dividend-paying stocks, real bills, and collateralized debt obligations. These features aren't available yet, but they are easy to add given the existing OT infrastructure.
-- All communications are secured with OpenSSL. All messages are also signed and encrypted. All transactions require signatures from relevant parties including the server.
-- Open Transactions is free software (GNU), written in C++, object-oriented, and includes a high-level API in Java, Ruby, Python, C, D, C++, Obj-C, C#, Lisp, Perl, PHP, and Tcl. (Also supporting JRuby, Jython, Groovy, and any other language available on the JVM.)
-- The software is fully cross-platform: Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, Android, and Windows are supported with makefiles, project files, and instructions.
-- The library is transfer-protocol neutral as well as storage neutral, and could be utilized across a variety of different transfer protocols and storage systems. The current test server and client use the ZeroMQ library for messages, and a storage abstraction is employed to make it easy for you to swap in any storage method you need. (Filesystem by default, but you can store anywhere.)
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