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[liberationtech] Looking for Feedback | Ombuds

Steve Weis steveweis at
Tue Aug 25 08:35:30 PDT 2015

Hi Nick. I'll throw out some questions:
- The Bitcoin blockchain is 40GB and growing at about 4GB a month.
Will end users have to download that much data to their clients? Or
will people be able to download a partial chain? If the latter, will
this have to rely on trusted intermediaries?

- If an entity has enough control over a network to censor, can they
split the network and control their own fork of the chain? What
happens if an entity decides to restrict access to the blockchain?
Section 5.3 on "Potemkin networks" touches on this. The only answer
given is that a peer will have to somehow pull down data from the
trunk of the blockchain.

- Users of Omsbud will have distinctive traffic patterns. Do you need
to assume enough Bitcoin adoption that using it won't be a red flag?

On Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 8:01 AM, Nick Skelsey <nskelsey at> wrote:
> I am bumping this post just once.
> I was hoping to see if anybody had any "hold on" kind of thoughts before we
> continue on our merry way building this system out. We are working to create
> a free public record for the Internet via user submitted statements. Any
> bits of wisdom you have helps!
> On Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 2:41 PM, Nick Skelsey <nskelsey at> wrote:
>> Hi All,
>> A friend and I have been working on (yet another) anti-censorship tool and
>> we are getting ready to release it. The tool is kind of like a BBS, but the
>> interesting thing about it is that all public statements made through it are
>> stored in a block chain. This is in contrast to a traditional microblogging
>> service where the site's operator has control over a user's content. In our
>> case, we use Bitcoin's block chain.
>> I am soliciting questions, comments, and concerns about the design before
>> we try to get anyone to use the tool seriously. You can read more about the
>> design, how we plan to scale it, and some attacks we foresee in our paper
>> [1]. Feel free to checkout the software [2] and the rest of our material
>> online [3]. None of it is really finished, but we welcome all criticism.
>>   Nick
>> [1]
>> [2]
>> [3]
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