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moonshot / crypto
Intro – In my opinion, encrypting data rather than just cryptocurrencies represents the most promising aspect of this project by far. As discussed in my Private key protocol and Most secure way posts, we probably don't want to send a Bitcoin private key. Instead, we should send a private key meant for general encryption purposes with enough security to potentially last decades without being cracked. By sending a private key, we can then use our corresponding public key to encrypt anything.
Other cryptocurrencies – At first, we would encrypt private keys for any cryptocurrency that we want people to be able to donate to the moon. Once the private keys are encrypted, we would destroy the unencrypted private keys and share the public addresses (unencrypted) as well as the private keys (encrypted) with the public. This way, anyone can donate any cryptocurrency but to claim all of the coins/tokens, you must first decrypt the private keys, which requires the master private key on the moon. However, using this method we can encrypt much more...
Mockup – The image above shows an example of a way we could present this project to the public. Since we would have a public key for the master private key on the moon (read above), we or anyone in the world can encrypt any information in a way that requires visiting the moon to decrypt. At it's most basic level, anyone can contribute cryptocurrency to the moon and anyone can encrypt information. Spending those coins and decrypting that information both require the private key on the moon. Therefore, donating data encourages others to donate coins and donating coins encourages the donation of data. That's pretty cool but we can allow coin donations to specific data donations with a web app.
Examples – Anyone could encrypt anything in support of the project. PewDiePie wants to encrypted an unreleased video and upload it to our site? All of his fans just became supporters of returning to the moon. Martin Shkreli (I had this idea before he went to jail) wants to upload the only copy of his unreleased Wu-Tang album to our site? Now every Wu-Tang fan is a fan of lunar exploration.
Possibilities are literally endless. Any individual or corporation could contribute any information and as a result, all fans of that person/corporation have a vested interest in returning to the moon.
Mechanics – In this way, we can gamify the return to the moon. The mockup above is almost identical to how Reddit structures its content except that upvotes are replaced with donations. So for example, if you're a company with millions to spare on marketing, you can donate millions to make your contribution rise to the top essentially as an advertisement. While any cryptocurrency donations all contribute to the same prize pot, being able to donate to support one file over another makes the project much more interesting and engaging. Anyone would be able to upload files to the web app, as if uploading a video to YouTube.
Advanced mechanics – It's possible that we could allow people to donate against something to essentially "downvote" it, hence the Controversial section. Also, the web app could encrypt files for people to make it as frictionless as possible to contribute. For files where security is of utmost importance, encryption would be done locally by the uploader and then shared via a tool like SecureDrop, which is a Freedom of the Press Foundation project used and trusted by over 50 news organizations worldwide.
Fine print – With the way that this works, we will need to ensure a couple of things. First off, people need to be able to confirm that they're who they say they are. This could be done with a Twitter tie-in or, for people knowledgable within the crypto community, they could confirm their identity with a digital signature. Second, there's no guarantee that what people upload is actually what they say it is, since the file will be a garbled mess of encrypted nonsense. None the less, I think people (especially known people) would generally be truthful, as they have no real incentive to lie.
Finer print – It's also worth noting that while the general public won't be able to verify what a file is, if someone (Alice) uploads a file that someone else (Bob) also has, then Bob will be able to check if it matches the file uploaded by encrypting his own file and comparing the two. This could also be done with hashes. Lastly, whoever uploads a file needs to then destroy the original unencrypted file so that there's no chance of it leaking out. That way, the only copy of the file requires going to the moon to decrypt.
Decentralized – It's important that once this project sets in motion, it's entirely decentralized, meaning we have no control over it. Our web application will presumably not be decentralized but it's not essential. It provides a useful and friendly frontend for data donation but ultimately, anyone can encrypt anything with the public key that we release and then share it on the internet as they see fit. We just need to make a decentralized repository that anyone can contribute to.
Repository – This would likely take the form of a torrent, as this is exactly what they're designed to do, though projects like Sia and Storj may be worth looking into. As for the voting system, this would be lost without the web app. It would certainly be possible to implement Reddit-style upvoting on the blockchain independent of the web app but this is not an essential feature and trying to do so may be more trouble than it's worth.
Conclusion – I've seen some people ask if it would be possible to include multiple cryptocurrencies when sending Bitcoin to the moon. It is not just possible. It's impossible not to due to the nature of cryptography. We would not be able to stop people from encrypting data with the public key we provide so we should embrace it and use it to our advantage.