17 April 2014


Amit Agrawal - AxiomSL Pte Ltd

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Bitmessage : Communication from scratch

15 July 2013  |  2308 views  |  0

Bitmessage is a trustless, decentralized peer-to-peer messaging protocol (very similar to Bitcoin). It is a unified system that encrypts every message. It keeps secure the members of the communication: not only is the content of messages protected, but the sender and receiver of those messages is kept secret as well.

Advantages of Bitmessage :
1. Ownership of Encryption Data
Bitmessage isn’t owned by a one person or a corporation, nor does it rely on a centralized server that can be accessed by the government.
Instead, the encryption software uses peer-to-peer technology that links computers into what is known as a distributed network. To retrieve a copy
of an e-mail sent using Bitmessage, the government would have to gain access to an individual’s computer. “Right now, if the Afghanistan government wants to block Twitter or Facebook, they can. It would be much more difficult to block access to the Bitmessage network”
2. Identify of the parties using Bitmessage
It shields the identity of the parties in any online communication. Those who download the free software can create alternate e-mail addresses that are 36-character-long strings of letters and numbers. For ease of use, the new addresses can be stored and shared as a QR code, the pixelated squares that can be scanned with a smartphone

Disadvantages of BitMessage
1. It uses RSA on the message directly rather than generating one-time key which can be used encrypt the message. Thus increasing speed and prevents many attacks based on specifically constructing blocks to exploit the algorithm’s mathematical properties
2. It independently encrypts each block rather than using an encryption mode which makes the contents of the encrypted blocks dependent on each other.
This means that an attacker can rearrange the blocks of an encrypted message, which it will appear to the receiver as a valid message, as if the original sender intended for the message’s blocks to come in the attacker’s chosen order
3. Encryption algorithm does not include an authentication layer, making other kinds of attacks possible
4. It is not compatible with Bitcoin itself

BitMessage will continues to develop and grow, or even if another, similar technology takes its place, what it can offer is a decentralized, cryptographically secure platform that can form the basis for its users’ entire online lives and also potentiallly extend the system to add on a web of trust, a systematic way of declaring friends and business relationships, personal webpages etc.

Hopefully in future Bitcoin will prove to be much more than just a decentralized digital currency; it may be the start of an effort to redevelop much of the internet from scratch – and this time done right


You can follow me on @agrawalamit

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