(This was for anonymous electronic cash, in a better system than bitcoin, invented in the 1980s; there were also RSA patent and Chaum patent considerations at the time, which were also not valid outside the US, and ML/etc. reasons why non-US providers were more likely to adopt it. We ended up getting fucked when a different political party got elected on the island and residence visas were pulled (we'd supported the other one), and then the e-gold federal indictment/prosecution/etc. (they were an investor). Also, living on a Caribbean island is not actually as much fun as you'd think.)
Is it the boredom and bureaucracy? Or something else?
The Internet was maybe 200-300Kbps tops, and kind of unreliable, and sucked a lot since I'd just been at MIT with a "huge" 3x45Mbps connection, working at Media Lab with the SGI Onyxes for anyone, etc.
Please, please write more about this!
Being decentralized is a huge advantage for Bitcoin in a lot of scenarios, but where being decentralized doesn't help, Bitcoin has a lot of baggage, is slow, inefficient, not inherently cryptographically secure (i.e. the safety comes from size of network, not for the first participant based on the strength of a public key algorithm). So, IMO, in the ideal world we'll have both something like Bitcoin for when decentralized single currencies are needed, and a bunch of centralized currencies for other purposes.
The closest thing active right now is Chris Odom ("Fellow Traveller")'s Open Transactions (http://opentransactions.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page)
I think they have a commercial company in this area: http://monetas.net/ but I know basically nothing about it.
I have no idea what your system is, but if it was similar to Ripple (and it sounds a bit like it) then I'm beginning to think this is a sounder approach to cryptocash.
Back in the 80s, I built a car that was better than Google's self driving car in every way except one -- A person had to drive it.
You built your own car, in the 80s? Awesome. Got any pics? What were the stats? I imagine designing your own engine and gearbox was fun!
Yes, I'm being sarcastic, but it's to point out something very important. The OP actually built what he's talking about. Sure, it had some limitations, but he really did build it. You, however, did not build a car.
I'd argue that gmail is farther from "everyone runs a mail server" than "everyone runs a mail server" is from something like bitcoin/bitmessage.
Bittorent is trying solve another set of problems, not file transfers.
"Enabling FXP support can make a server vulnerable to an exploit known as FTP bounce. As a result of this, FTP server software often has FXP disabled by default."
I can assure you that if Bitcoin wasn't decentralised by design (which is like saying 'if this wooden desk wasn't made of wood'), it'd likely be better than whatever you're talking about by a wide margin.
In fact, half the people in here could build you something better than Bitcoin if you just took away that darn decentralisation aspect.
Anyone else here who was at HIP97?
Was this all just so that there was a plausible legal explanation for the code's existence outside the US, even though the means to make it happen otherwise were already obvious and undetectable?
The source code itself got posted anonymously before this point (I believe on firstname.lastname@example.org list), but officially exporting it like this was still helpful.
The goals were: staying out of jail but ALSO potentially making money through commercial versions, support, etc. There have been at least 3 incarnations of PGP as a commercial company.
... i.e. Web prehistory. It's not surprising a lot of it is gone after 19 years.
https://ftp-master.debian.org/crypto-in-main/ (with pictures of course)
The absurdity reached its peak when some bright spark wrote a three-line implementation of the RSA algorithm as a perl script (intended to be used as an email signature) and submitted it to the appropriate US government department for classification under the export controls, who promptly declared that anyone who wanted to export it needed to obtain a licence.
So, people started putting it on t-shirts ("This t-shirt is a munition!"), getting it tattooed on themselves ("I am a munition!"), etc.
Of course, this was all beside the point because the source code for all this stuff was widely available on the Internet.
The net effect of the export restrictions was that companies like Netscape and Microsoft had to create "export" versions of their browsers that were limited to a maximum key size of 56 bits. In '98 (I think), the US authorities relented somewhat, by allowing a scheme whereby financial institutions could get a special "Global ID" SSL certificate from Verisign that allowed the web server to persuade export browsers to "step up" their encryption to 128 bits.
Even after the US government relaxed the restrictions (in early January 2000), it took a long time for people to upgrade their browsers. I went to work at Deutsche Bank in the summer of 2000, where I was responsible for setting up the web servers for online trading systems and I can remember having to carefully craft the SSLCipherSuite section of httpd.confs to force export browsers to step up to a key length and encryption algorithm that satisfied the regulatory requirements for protecting trading systems.
It wasn't just the US who had controls on crypto either. I can remember learning far more than I ever wanted to know about the Wassenaar Agreement and the UK's Open General Export Licence because somebody wanted to give Identrus smartcards to clients who were located elsewhere in Europe.
And then, of course, the UK introduced RIPA, which allows the police to demand that anyone who has access to an encryption key turn it over. If you refuse, you can be sent to prison.
IIRC, they also tweaked the font for better OCR.
For an up-to-date reference see http://www.cryptolaw.org/cls-sum.htm
This would have been late 1992 or early 1993.