Because email encryption has been on the minds of many during the past year and a half, and GPG has recently released a “modern” version of their email encryption software supporting elliptic curve cryptography, I thought it would be fun to combine PGP encrypted email with the bitcoin blockchain.
A couple things which I think are cool about this idea:
- Public key exchange has been the achilles heel of many decentralized communications systems. Using the bitcoin blockchain as a decentralized public key server largely solves this problem (and it’s completely invisible to end users).
- Btc-PGP combines payment and messaging into a single communications channel. This could simplify marketplaces; a single email/transaction could order a product, specify a shipping address, include payment, and serve as it’s own receipt.
- Email could be sent with micropayments in an attempt to fight spam. Everyone who messages you must pay $.05. When replying, you send the micropayment back….or something like that (yes, I’m aware that fighting spam is hard).
If you’re interested in giving it a try, the following app will set you up with a testnet address and let you encrypt, decrypt, send, and receive PGP messages on the blockchain. Message me at: “mnpPDMjPFWhdzCHmfGKVbA9ohLJF2b2Q7N” and let me know what you think :)
Note: This link no longer works. Email me if you’d like to see the app in action, and it will give me motivation to get this back up :)