Transaction Based Settlements Encourage Waste (was Re: B

Mike Leber mleber at
Wed Aug 26 00:10:08 UTC 1998

On Tue, 25 Aug 1998, Sean M. Doran wrote:
> | Don't you mean senders here?  (You seemed to be proposing a senders pay
> | system.)  If not, of course receivers would continue to participate, they
> | earn money under your scenario for each bit they receive! 
> A transmitter always has the option not to send.
> If they are unwilling to pay the receiver, they just don't send to it.

Uh, the point is in practice they don't have control over this.  Last time
I checked most web sites don't have a personal relationship with everybody
that happens to randomly visit. 

A high performance "suck" operation would visit every site on the Internet
periodically, but not often enough to be noticed, say, once a month.  Of
course, this usage pattern would occur during the regular course of a
legitimate non fraudulent online business.  An example of this, but not
the only one by means, would be a web crawler. 

> What is paid is a business negotiation, clearly, and one option
> is that the payment amount is zero (i.e., I will only send you
> traffic if I don't have to pay for it).
> Basically that last sentence is precisely the issue between
> BBN and Exodus (cf. I will only accept traffic from you if
> you pay for it).


This is just the pursuit by a group of creatively minded individuals at
one company to create a new revenue center for their business at the
expense of their peers.  In effect the current system is already a
settlement system of sorts.  New systems are simply methods of adjusting
the split different than the current settlement system in an effort to
generate additional revenue.  Impressive if you can pull it off.  I'm sure
everybody you try to take money from won't appreciate it while you try to
do it.  You can be certain the creatively minded individuals will only
propose systems that are revenue positive for their company.

In addition to that, since transaction based settlements encourage waste
it appears that it would be practically impossible to make a new system
stick, in either direction of your desired cash extraction (we've heard
both sender and receiver pays proposals).


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