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Issue No.03 - March (2001 vol.27)
pp: 272-278
ABSTRACT
<p><b>Abstract</b>—Atomicity is necessary for reliable electronic commerce transactions [<ref rid="bibE027212" type="bib">12</ref>], [<ref rid="bibE02726" type="bib">6</ref>], [<ref rid="bibE027226" type="bib">26</ref>]. Anonymity is also an issue of great importance not only to designers of commerce systems, [<ref rid="bibE02728" type="bib">8</ref>], [<ref rid="bibE027210" type="bib">10</ref>], [<ref rid="bibE02729" type="bib">9</ref>], [<ref rid="bibE027218" type="bib">18</ref>], but also to those concerned with the societal effects of information technologies [<ref rid="bibE02722" type="bib">2</ref>], [<ref rid="bibE027211" type="bib">11</ref>], [<ref rid="bibE027219" type="bib">19</ref>], [<ref rid="bibE027220" type="bib">20</ref>], [<ref rid="bibE027221" type="bib">21</ref>], providing atomicity and anonymity is not trivial. Reliable systems, which provide highly atomic transactions, offer limited anonymity [<ref rid="bibE027227" type="bib">27</ref>], [<ref rid="bibE027223" type="bib">23</ref>], [<ref rid="bibE027215" type="bib">15</ref>], [<ref rid="bibE027213" type="bib">13</ref>]. Many anonymous systems [<ref rid="bibE027222" type="bib">22</ref>], [<ref rid="bibE027210" type="bib">10</ref>], [<ref rid="bibE027218" type="bib">18</ref>] do not offer anonymous reliable transactions [<ref rid="bibE027228" type="bib">28</ref>], [<ref rid="bibE027226" type="bib">26</ref>]. Three basic approaches have been used: secure hardware for trusted record-keeping (e.g., [<ref rid="bibE02721" type="bib">1</ref>]), storage of identity information with trustees for conditional anonymity (e.g., [<ref rid="bibE027213" type="bib">13</ref>]), or by providing dispute resolution only with the removal of anonymity [<ref rid="bibE02729" type="bib">9</ref>], [<ref rid="bibE027222" type="bib">22</ref>]. 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.</p>
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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