@The-A-Man your concerns echo some of my own. I think Holochain’s primary use case is to help groups make sense of each other so they can make wise decisions – essentially a digital augmentation of the social reputation metadata that we couldn’t maintain once groups grew past 150 people. In other words, it’s supposed to help people in big groups make sense of each other. This requires some sort of persistent identity.
Privacy and anonymity are two separate concerns. While Holochain does have a lot of great privacy features built in (not every piece of data has to be public, separate apps have their own private encrypted networks that can’t be discovered by other apps), it isn’t well optimised for anonymity. Given a large enough pool of people who wish to remain anonymous, your ‘P2P tumbler’ approach might work quite well.
Another approach might be throwaway keys, but then you’d have to create some way of discouraging Sybils, because unlike blockchain, every keypair belongs to a validator and Holochain doesn’t have any built-in economic incentives to keep validators honest.
I think Eric and Art have other ideas for anonymity up their sleeves, but I don’ tknow what they are.
No way to even know about what apps are running unless app announces itself
And how exactly does an app do that?
To clarify, one app’s network doesn’t know about any other app’s network. Their traffic goes past each other on the internet, encrypted, so there’s no way for third parties to detect the existence of a network. Unless it announces itself in a public place (e.g., a hApp store) nobody knows about an app except its participants. BUT – on one participant’s device, their running instances of different apps can know about each other if the participant has set up bridges between them.
Hope that helps; let me know if you have any more questions!