nChain and other affiliated companies will be funding a large number of projects through our venture capital arm, nChain Reaction. In addition to this there are a number of projects that are important but not aligned with the corporate strategy within nChain. To this end, I will setting up my own investment arm personally that does not rely on the same level returns and may address some more politically sensitive topics.
My first funding project is the creation of a secure steganographic system to transport and distribute bitcoin (cash) transactions with a high level of anonymity.
I'm giving (at least) three months from today for the creation of a prototype. The best prototype will be awarded US$100,000 paid in BCH. If the angel funding proves successful, this will be further funded into later stages.
The requirements are:
- An application that runs on either iPhone or android (or both for extra points) that takes a photo using the local camera in the phone and then embeds a bitcoin transaction with in the image.
- The embedding will be completed using steganography in a manner that is undetectable
- The original image will be discarded and only the image with the transaction being saved
- The camera will embed random data into an image on any occasion when it takes a photo
- The image will incorporate two sets of random data and one valid bitcoin transaction on any occasion where a bitcoin transaction is to be included
The application will include a server-side process. This process will scan images from selected registered sources and be paid as part of the transaction fee for the service.
In the initial version of the application, a simple proof of concept using a shared key can be allowed. The winner of this competition will be expected to extend the application to incorporate the following Diffie Hellman-based technique:
A successful late around applicant will be licensed technology for the use on the bitcoin cash or chain that will enable the embedding of a magnet file into a bitcoin transaction in a manner that allows for the secure distribution files over peer networks across DHTs.
The methodology described in patent "Determining a common secret for two Blockchain nodes for the secure exchange of information" would be able to be deployed allowing for the secure torrent based distribution of files that are encrypted to those parties who pay for transaction.
Techniques and intellectual property that allow the server to monitor and scan various sites for images and to determine whether said images incorporate an encrypted hidden process that only the server can detect using its own keys will be provided to the winning proof of concept. These processes are non-interactive and allow the server to pseudonymously accept payments without receiving any information about the individuals using the service.
Any applicant who is not selected for angel funding will be able to launch their own product without any interference on the bitcoin Cash chain even if using intellectual property they have been offered as part of this process.
The process is non-interactive. The server is expected to be economically viable and to make a profit in the long-term. That stated, in the short-term the service will be aimed towards growth. The application should be available to interact with programs such as WeChat and ideally would incorporate other services making it valuable as a camera application for more reasons than embedding bitcoin transactions.
Later stage applications will include blinding technology. In this, the server will not know the sending address of the person who embeds a bitcoin transaction within an image. The server will sign a blinded hash that will be returned on the server in a manner that a separate external process can take and forward allowing the user to have assigned valid transaction only after it is unblinded by a separate party. In this version of the application, blinded keys could be held within a server allowing for a transmission of a blinded transaction that would not act as a standard bitcoin transaction.
The Diffie Hellman process detailed within the above document allows for a secure non-interactive key exchange. The data to be embedded within the image will be encrypted using 256 bit AES and to share key distribution.
Details of how to apply and further technical information will become available during this week.
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