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An Atomicity-Generating Protocol for Anonymous Currencies
March 2001 (vol. 27 no. 3)
pp. 272-278

Abstract—Atomicity is necessary for reliable electronic commerce transactions [12], [6], [26]. Anonymity is also an issue of great importance not only to designers of commerce systems, [8], [10], [9], [18], but also to those concerned with the societal effects of information technologies [2], [11], [19], [20], [21], providing atomicity and anonymity is not trivial. Reliable systems, which provide highly atomic transactions, offer limited anonymity [27], [23], [15], [13]. Many anonymous systems [22], [10], [18] do not offer anonymous reliable transactions [28], [26]. Three basic approaches have been used: secure hardware for trusted record-keeping (e.g., [1]), storage of identity information with trustees for conditional anonymity (e.g., [13]), or by providing dispute resolution only with the removal of anonymity [9], [22]. In this work, the problem of anonymous atomic transactions for a generic token currency is solved using distributed trust and with the assumption that any single party may be corrupt. Defined is a transaction to include the provision of information goods or a contract to deliver specified goods, allowing for the highest degree of atomicity. The cryptographic strength of the atomicity guarantee can be made to the user's specification on a per transaction basis. The atomicity-generating protocol includes provision for dispute resolution and anonymous refunds. Also illustrated, is that any electronic token currency can be made reliable with the addition of this atomicity-generating protocol.

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Index Terms:
Reliability, fault tolerance, electronic commerce, transaction security.
Citation:
L. Jean Camp, "An Atomicity-Generating Protocol for Anonymous Currencies," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 272-278, March 2001, doi:10.1109/32.910862
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