[bisq-network/proposals] Replace the role of Refund Agent with a new team of Arbitrators that can together publish one of several pre-signed 2 of 2 multisig timelocked payout transactions as proposed by a Mediator (#220)

chimp1984 notifications at github.com
Sat May 16 03:44:06 UTC 2020

How should the verification of the alternative payout txs work if they are encrypted and not visible / verifiable by the trade peer? This is specially a risk for the seller as he has more to lose and would open up the door for blackmail attacks when the buyer creates an invalid signature and the seller has locked up more funds in the 2of2 MS.

If the peers would exchange the alternative payout txs/signatures (unencrypted) then any of them could easily publish the best outcome for them (e.g. seller gets all or buyer gets all).

So I don't understand how this should work from a technical and security point of view.

But beside that it would introduce again the old problem of the legacy arbitrator and just mitigate it by distributing it to a group of people instead of one person, but that would likely not lower the legal risks that this group could be interpreted as TTP. Using all team leads for that group would be an "invitation" how to shut down Bisq on the human resource side by applying legal pressure....

To use multisig and multiple arbitrators was always on the table with the old protocol as well but was considered a not substancial improvement so it never got implemented. Beside that, multisig  (or SSSS) suffer from the inflexibility when members leave.

I don't see the need for SSSS instead of the more convenient and Bitcoin-native Multisig instead. E.g. group of arbitrators sign payout.

Considering that new protocol idea as optional would carry difficulties in UX and compatibility when one trader wants to use protocol 2 and other protocol 3. At least you would get lots of offers disabled if there is no match, and then you need to explain the users the complexity of the reasons for that -> a UX nightmare.... Giving the users the choice would also introduce a UX hurdle as they need to understand the 2 protocols.

**I understand the problems with the current situation** but **what has been done over the past months to improve the know problems?**
IMO there are 4 main problems causing arbitration:
- Future trades (I guess its 75%)
- Usability problems (I guess its 5%)
- Lazyness/carelessness (I guess its 10%)
- Bugs (I guess its currently 10%)

I think on the bugs side we got some improvements and I am not sure if there is much open.
Probable most cases are due "future trades" caused by a higher price volatility not covered by the security deposit. This area needs improvement urgent! I will add a few ideas below....

For UX I think we could relatively easy add some popup or graphics to make it more clear to newbies that they have to be online and check Bisq's trade status. I assume some users are not aware of that, but its likely a very small percentage, but a problem which could be mitigated relatively easy.

Regarding lazyness/carelessness: More, better notification systems would help as well as higher deposits.

Ideas to combat "future trades":
- Make security deposits more dynamic. E.g. derive required deposit from an API which returns a volatility index. 
- Make more clear that "future trades" are not a "feature" but a trade protocol violation and is not tolerated in Bisq. Mediators/arbitrators could start to block such users onion addresses and payment accounts (and account age witness). For altcoins that likely not very effective as its easy to create a new onion and address, but for Fiat at least it would be effective as the payment account is kind of a scarce resource. Problem: people would start to lie about the  reason at mediation/arbitration, but a low tolerance policy and checking for repeaters will help to deal with that.
- Another approach could be to make that "feature" more accessible and clearly associated with the costs. E.g. add a "cancel trade" button which would cause the mediator to make a suggested payout where the "future trader" gets a small part of his deposit back but a larger part goes to the peer. If he would not get anything back he has no incentive to "cooperate". 

I think as long those more simple steps are not implemented we should no try to do the much harder work like trying to introduce a new trade protocol.

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