Globally Unique Identifier (GUID)

A Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) is a large unique number in the world.  This number is made of 128 bits which is the equivalent of a decimal number having 38 digits.  Since this number is large and used exclusively by computers, it is almost expressed in hexadecimal notation.

 

Example of GUIDs

GUID Description
F6523c7d4fc44925a6a844fb919ea8b9 GUID expressed in hexadecimal notation without hyphens, requiring only 32 hexadecimal characters.
F6523c7d-4fc4-4925-a6a8-44fb919ea8b9 GUID express in hexadecimal notation with hyphens.  The hyphens make it easier for us (humans) to read them.
{F6523c7d-4fc4-4925-a6a8-44fb919ea8b9} You will see often a GUID enclosed in braces {  }.  The braces are just a convenient way to prefix a GUID, similar as using the prefix 0x for an hexadecimal number.
3.274170821782723e+38 The same GUID expressed in a decimal notation.  The decimal notation requires 38 digits to express a GUID, which is much longer than the hexadecimal notation.  Also, the decimal notation is more processor intensive to parse or display to the user.  As a result, is almost never used to express a GUID.
WQaBkvCb1iB9KgU0vrUy1A Again, the same GUID, however expressed in Base64, thus requiring only 22 characters.  If an hyperlink require a GUID, then the Base64 encoding reduces the length of the URL by 10 characters per GUID, compared to the hexadecimal encoding.

 

GUIDs at iGolder

iGolder uses GUIDs extensively.  The greatest benefit of using a GUID is security.  For instance, you iGolder account number is expressed as a GUID, making it impossible to a hacker to guess your account number.

 

Using GUIDS ensures privacy.  For instance, your public profile uses a GUID.  If someone does not know your account GUID, then he/she will be unable to view your public profile.  Such simple mechanism allowed iGolder to design our website in a simple way with the security of privacy, without requiring additional coding.  A secret URL containing a GUID is as good as having the user to login with a password.

 

Another use of GUID is to ensure its uniqueness.  For instance, our Shopping Cart Interface uses a GUID to ensure all Transaction IDs are unique.  The use of a GUID ensure there are no collisions, where two transactions share the same identifier.  Many performance optimizations can be done when a value is guaranteed to be unique.

 

Are GUIDs really impossible to guess?

It would take about 10 trillion years to discover a random GUID, assuming one billion computers, each equipped with hardware capable to guess one billion GUIDs per second.

 

Let's do some more realistic math regarding the network security of iGolder.  Any HTTP request to our server requires at least 1 KB of bandwidth.  Assuming our server has a dedicated Gigabit network card and all the bandwidth is available to us (this is not the case by the way), the network card would be capable to handle a maximum of 125,000 web requests per second.  Therefore, it would take 2.6 x 1033 seconds (118,423,423,820,266,312,210,648 years) to guess only 0.1% to all GUIDs.  No hacker is patient enough to wait that long!  Also, the hosting of www.iGolder.com is on a dedicated server with a bandwidth quota of 1 Terabyte per month.  If we bust our bandwidth quota, we have to pay the extra, or wait for next month.  Any hacker overloading our server would get noticed in our bandwidth usage.

 

To learn more about GUIDs

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globally_Unique_Identifier

 

Since August 1st, 2013 iGolder is no longer accepting new accounts and balances can only be redeemed. During the past years, we have been recommending Bitcoin more than our own payment system. We believe in physical gold ownership, and developed iGolder as a mechanism for people to acquire physical gold by trading with one another.

Since iGolder has a central point of failure (our server may be raided by thugs wearing some kind of uniform), we feet it is safer for us to cease operations. The iGolder experiment has been personally rewarding as we met many gold enthusiasts and also learned about Bitcoin in the process. For those who have no idea what Bitcoin is, we recommend doing your own research. Bitcoin is far superior to iGolder in every way, both in privacy and security as our server is always vulnerable to confiscation. Bitcoin is a communication protocol with a built-in "escrow service" capable of protecting both the buyer and the seller, rendering our Safetransit completely redundant. To learn more about the Bitcoin protocol and its feature, please watch "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mD4L7xDNCmA (Bitcoin 2012 London: Mike Hearn).

For those having gold in their iGolder account, we will ship the physical metal to anyone having more than 1 ounce of gold, assuming the owner is willing to assume the shipping costs. For smaller quantities, we offer to settle in Bitcoin, however we will also settle with any other reasonable payment system. We will give everyone at least two full years (until 2016) to contact us to claim their gold. After that period, any unclaimed gold will go to fund an economic development project in Honduras helping local people to become entrepreneurs.

We sincerely wish you the best in life and hope to keep in contact with you.

Yours in liberty,
The iGolder Team.


Update 2014: Since we announced we no longer accept gold transfers, we have received countless emails asking to keep the free gold charts and the PGP encryption tools. We plan to keep running the domain iGolder.com for both the gold charts and the encryption tools. Better, we are developing state of the art open-source software for a secure decentralized social network with a built-in wallet. We will announce when we have a product ready for use. Stay tuned!