5

Besides sending BitCoins using wallet addresses, there used to be another way, through IP transactions as described in the wiki.

The disadvantages were obvious (man-in-middle attacks etc).

However, were there any benefits (to the individual or to the whole system) in using IP transactions?

  • 1
    You can donate to TOR exit nodes for example ;). – ThePiachu May 14 '13 at 23:15
5

First, it needs mentioning that this functionality has already been removed from the original Bitcoin client.

Here is the GitHub pull request removing this functionality that has been accepted 2 years ago. The wiki page you refer to seems outdated.


The only known use for IP transactions I could find is the one mentioned in the pull request by gmaxwell:

Aww. The removal of this would mean we can't run a lottery for nodes running the most recent version of bitcoin as an incentive to make people upgrade. :)

Another use I can come up with myself would be that you could use the DNS system to create a human-readable address to your IP and use that as your payment address. F.e. I could use bitcoin.stevenroose.be and put the IP address of the computer running my Bitcoin client in the DNS table for that record. I could then tell people to send bitcoins to that address. However, this method would require a PC to be permanently running and connected to the network in order to be able to receive bitcoins.

  • @Pacerier I'm sorry, I read your question wrong. Edited my answer. – Steven Roose May 14 '13 at 19:46
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IP transactions have been disabled for a long time, and since 0.8 even removed entirely from the source code. The reason was mostly security.

However, there is now work on a payment protocol, which is a much more advanced evolution of IP transactions, with built-in (but optional) authentication support.

1

It's not safe, so you should not use it. But you are asking about a possible applications... You could, for instance, integrate IP payments with a bit torrent client, so the people who send you the most of the data would get an incentive for the service they provide you with.

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