Monday, 15 October 2012

More info on using coloured coins as proof of share ownership and to receive dividends

Here's a bit more info on coloured coins -

It'd be good if the coloured coins could be held in one blockchain.info wallet and dividends paid to any of the coins owners choosing.  Also what keep's the proof of the coloured coins?  If it's just your 'short python script' on my machine then I need a way to back proof up online and to be able to distribute it to each coloured coin owner.  Sorry if that sounds stupid and/or I've missed the point, still trying to figure this all out.

You prove that you own colored coins by holding the private key of the address they held at (same way as you prove that you own any bitcoin, in fact). For my script, the private keys of the addresses you generate with the client for holding colored coins are held in a configuration file. The file is relatively small and in plaintext, and can easily be backed up, sent by e-mail, stored offsite, etc.

Better to show by example, perhaps:
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1. An "asset issuer" essentially says something like: "I will use the output number 2 from transaction 630bccacd6f4401fde53822af3f011daa47ec1bedd1702bf7d0be4391948f49b to represent 100% of the shares in my company, whoever holds the descendants of this output holds a proportional share of the company."

Output number 2 from that transaction belongs to 1AEn3U5MhedXYRbpxLKmkL4r5Kz1XkdZA, as can be seen by the whole world athttp://blockchain.info/tx/630bccacd6f4401fde53822af3f011daa47ec1bedd1702bf7d0be4391948f49b, and can also be verified in their own local blockchain.

2. The "asset issuer" can now transfer those bitcoins or portions of those bitcoins to other addresses. The transfer will be stored in the public ledger/blockchain - everyone can verify that output number 2 from transaction 630bcc... was assigned to three new addresses in transaction d8e8dc799be1b552f29f8cbd2df24a1fcb9c2a9f4a43c9b4444b9dc329bbd17d,http://blockchain.info/tx/d8e8dc799be1b552f29f8cbd2df24a1fcb9c2a9f4a43c9b4444b9dc329bbd17d. 60% of the value was transferred to 1KbDEaZ99YJYaT62emhFwabFoqQ6LYdJg9, 30% to 1DAHyXPNJjqLGFNqHhavrukWZ6XkY8Kj21 and 10% to 1Mhx4LMjbmN6KJ9B5BkdZ5zVWQP64F5TJC.

The holders of these three addresses are now the new owners of the company, since they hold coins that descend from the "ancestor" transaction output. The evidence is in the public ledger for all to see.

3. The holders of these three addresses can again make transfers to other addresses, each time the public ledger/bitcoin blockchain will hold a record of the transaction, such that the genealogy can be traced back to the original ancestor that represented 100% of the company.
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The script I have written essentially just makes sure that the transactions are "nicely" formed, in such a way that descendants of the ancestor are recorded in a very obvious manner in the bitcoin blockchain, and contains a mechanism to track the descendants.

Did that make it clearer, or just mix it up even more (if so, sorry about that!)?

Yeah it shed a bit of light.  So do you recomend every shareholder I send the coloured coin first uses your new client to receive there coloured coins before sending them elsewhere for safe keeping.  So they can get a copy of the ledger in the blockchain.  I know I can just state - 630bccacd6f4401fde53822af3f011daa47ec1bedd1702bf7d0be4391948f49b - is the genesis coloured coin but I imagine its your client that makes visible these coins are coloured.  Otherwise how do people trace there coloured coins back to -630bccacd6f4401fde53822af3f011daa47ec1bedd1702bf7d0be4391948f49b -
So in short people just need to save just tx - 630bccacd6f4401fde53822af3f011daa47ec1bedd1702bf7d0be4391948f49b - and their private-key to prove ownership.  I suspect your new client does all the blockchain checking from tx -630bccacd6f4401fde53822af3f011daa47ec1bedd1702bf7d0be4391948f49b ??

Correct: what your shareholders need to know is that 630bcca... is the ancestor/root/genesis, and after that the script figures out all the shareholders by traversing the list of "well-formed" transactions from there onwards.

IF someone was adventurous enough (i.e. moreso than Indiana Jones or Ranulph Fiennes) to want to use this script at the moment, then I would recommend every shareholder to generate an "asset holding" address with this script. Thereafter, the asset issuer would make transfers to that address. Every shareholder would also have to be told the transaction ID of the genesis transaction (and the output number), which each one would then have to add to their client.

Those concerned about security could also write their private key down on a piece of paper (it is stored in plaintext in the configuration file) and remove it from the configuration file. However, when making transfers, they would have to re-enter the private key in the config file...