If all else fails, there is a failsafe mechanism whereby people have cryptographically signed receipts of a transaction. The Permissionless Timestamping Network is an additional innovation at Intercoin that allows each transaction for a given token to be timestamped in a totally ordered way. Thus, as long as each party claiming to hold the token presents their receipts, we can find out who got the token first (by finding the “first fork” by timestamp).
In the catastrophic event that an entire portion of the network fails (e.g. it is blown up), the truth can be reconstructed from receipts provided by people who store their tokens in their wallets (possibly with backups, etc.) A call would go out for token holders (or their agents) to present their receipts, and reclaim the tokens on the reconstituted ledger. There are only two caveats:
- All affected tokens are frozen during the reconstruction
- This process needs to have a cutoff time, so that the tokens become usable (otherwise we’d always be waiting to see if someone in the world has an even better claim to the token).
This recovery mechanism would only kick in as a last resort and would not operate the vast majority (99.9999999999%) of the time for the lifetime of any token. However, it is good to be extra careful and have this mechanism available.
Intercoin Technology: Background
Intercoin Technology: Architecture
Intercoin Technology: The Tokens
Intercoin Technology: The Ledger
Intercoin Technology: Consensus
Intercoin Technology: Mitigation