This is the papers page for Ian Grigg, and joint authors. Each of these papers has been written and circulated with some seriousness in various fora. Many have been published in some formal academic conference or journal. Sorted in most recent first.
Ken Griffith and Ian Grigg, Bitcoin Verification Latency - The Achilles Heel for Time Sensitive Transactions (PDF)
Bitcoin has a high latency for verifying transactions, by design. Averaging around 8 minutes, such high latency does not resonate with the needs of financial traders for speed, and it opens the door for time-based arbitrage weaknesses such as market timing attacks. Although perhaps tractable in some markets such as peer to peer payments, the Achilles heel of latency makes Bitcoin unsuitable for direct trading of financial assets, and ventures seeking to exploit the market for financial assets will need to overcome this burden.
As below, developments moved fast on this question, and there are now more ventures looking at the contracts and trading question. For clarification, I am the secondary author, Ken is lead. Comments can be placed on FC's announce post (in SSL only). It was written in December of 2013, and published here in Feb 2014.
Philipp Güring and Ian Grigg, Bitcoin & Gresham's Law - the economic inevitability of Collapse (PDF)
The Bitcoin economy exhibits remarkable and predictable stability on the supply side based on the power costs of mining. However, that stability is challenged if cost-curve assumption is not solely expressed by the fair cost of power. As there is at least one major player, the botnets, that can operate at a power-cost-curve of zero, the result is a breach of Gresham's Law: stolen electricity will drive out honest mining. This has unfortunate effects for the stability of the Bitcoin economy, and the result is inevitable collapse.
Events overtook this paper. We had hoped to present it at some interesting conference, but with the development of full-scale attacks on the Bitcoin economy, it is better out now, so as to explain the reasons. This does not preclude a later publication - this paper is still in draft in the freer sense of FC++ (comments welcome on the SSL version of the blog).
How does a lightweight community Certification Authority ("CA") engage in the heavyweight world of PKI and secure browsing? This talk tracks the systems audit of CAcert, an open-membership CA, as a case study in auditing versus the open Internet, community versus professionalism, quality versus enthusiasm. It will walk through the background of "what, why, wherefore an audit," look at how CAcert found itself at this point, and then walk through some big ticket items: risks/liabilities/obligations; assurance and what's in a name; disputes and reliance; and systems and security.
Can CAcert deliver on its goal of free certs? The audit is into its 3rd year as of this writing; and remains incomplete. Some parts are going well, and other parts are not; by the end of the year 2008, we should be able to check all of the important areas, or rethink the process completely. Hence, finally, the talk will close with progress and status, and recommendations for the future.
Presented as an invited talk at the 22nd Large Installation Systems Administration Conference (LISA 2008) 13th November 2008. Above is HTML with slides embedded within; also available are the slides in extracted form. See also the CAcert and the audit page.