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[GNUnet-developers] GSOC Project proposal GNUnet auction

From: Sourya Kakarla
Subject: [GNUnet-developers] GSOC Project proposal GNUnet auction
Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2017 21:02:33 +0530


I am a Computer Science masters student at IIT Kharagpur, India
enrolled in a 5 year dual degree course(both undergrad and masters).
My thesis work is in the area of cryptography. Though I have been a
big fan of free software, my only meaningful contribution so far is a
very simple  chrome and firefox extension
(, used by around 1200 users
and a trivial documentation (docstring) fix in the sympy repository.

As I am graduating this year, I wanted to make amends and start on my
journey in contributing to free software by starting off with GSOC. I
am a big fan of GNU ecosystem and it was the first organization I
looked into for the GSOC proposals. When going through GNUnet's
proposals, "GNUnet auction" caught my eye due to my crypto background
(also due to its difficulty being medium :) ). I found the premise of
the project to be interesting. I enjoy working in C due to it being
more low-level than other languages. I have experience in network and
systems programming from my coursework assignments which I had fun
doing. Thus "GNUnet auction" seemed like a good fit for me and would
be a great learning experience. I decided I wouldn't try for any other
proposals so that I can focus my time on this. I had a conversation
with @cg(grothoff) and @mate(teich) on the IRC channel. They were very
helpful in inviting me in and suggested some topics to first research

I have read Brandt's paper and relevant parts of @mate's thesis. I
understand how the crypto works (excluding finer technical details)
and the overview of the libbrandt library. I have not yet looked into
GNUnet as I am not sure which version to install and work on. @mate
has given this tutorial and mentioned
that it was outdated. It would be great if I can get guidance on how
to proceed in learning the relevant aspects of GNUnet.

I have a few doubts regarding the overall project. Is there any
standard for the implementation of "smart contracts"? I searched to
find if GNU Taler had any smart contract specifications but couldn't
find anything. I assume that if implemented, "GNU auction" will
potentially used by businesses but not really by  individuals as it
doesn't support English auction which is more commonly used for
selling (e.g. ebay). Is that correct?

Please let me know if I had committed any mailing list faux pas as
this is the first time I am posting to one.


P.S. I was coauthor of a paper presented in SPACE 16 conference where
this was also presented . Small

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