A website subtitled “You are going to hate it” is certainly an attention catcher, and the proposal of Slur.io catches attention very much indeed: Slur.io will be an open source, decentralized and anonymous marketplace for the selling of secret information in exchange for Bitcoin.
Slur will operate over the Tor network. Both buyers and sellers are fully anonymous, and there are no restrictions on the data that is auctioned. Sellers will auction secret information to the highest bidder, who will receive exclusive access to the decryption key.
There will be an option for crowd bidders pool their funds into a single bid. Should they win the auction, the network will release the decryption keys to all users on the Slur marketplace and the information will, therefore, become public. There is no charge to buy or sell on the Slur marketplace except in the case of a dispute, where a token sum is paid to volunteer referees.
Slur is proposed by the u99 Group, recently covered by CCN for their planned open source map based application for iOS and Android Coinmesh, to find nearby users who want to buy or sell Bitcoin for cash. Like Coinmesh, Slur isn’t operational yet, and the u99 team is asking for donations on the website:
We see disruptive technology as a counterbalance in a class war. By April 2015 Slur will be in beta and production versions will be available in July. Help us pay for the next six months of development and we will deliver an unprecedented information weapon.
In the video below a seller signs, encrypts, uploads and lists a document on the Slur marketplace with a description of the contents. As the buyers place bids, their funds are placed into escrow in real time. The winner of the auction is an exclusive bidder and receives the decryption key from the network. The losing bidders receive their pledges back in full. Funds held in escrow by the network are automatically run through a tumbler.
The Slur developers refer to their project as “WikiLeaks 2.0” – whistleblowing with financial incentives – that if correctly implemented would have a profound and lasting effect on our society.
“The Slur market is WikiLeaks 2.0. An incalculable resource for public knowledge and unfiltered access to the truth. Except that in the future journalists will need to compensate whistle blowers for the extreme risks they take.”
Of course, another less “noble” application of a system like Slur would be old-fashioned blackmail. In that case, the victims would have no other option than buying the exclusive rights to the leaked secret information about them. The recent wave of virus-carried Bitcoin “ransomware” comes to mind.
Also read: Bitcoin Ransomware Hits Sheriff’s Office
What you think of the Slur.io system for whistleblowers and blackmailers? The good, and the bad? Comment below!
Images from Shutterstock.