Recently chatted with the co-founder, Tieshun. He does a good job of making the case for Handshake and why it's so important for the internet.
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If you have a point you're not making it very clearly.
* sibyl free identity system
* the highest bidder gets to rent a domain name
* everyone receives the average domain rent: the sum of all rent combined, divided by the number of unique users
* want a more desirable domain than the average? pay into the system to receive this special attention from the group
* satisfied with a less desirable or simply no domain? receive crypto for having others make use of your namespace attention
* prevent temporary hijacks: whenever a user clicks a link or types a URL, depending on how he configured his software it would show the different servers previous owners (say last 2 years) of the domain control, with their remarks etc; to make it easy for rightful owners of temporarily outbidded domains to point out this domain used to point to them but was hijacked...
By default, all users would go along with the original chain. To follow the chain with the updated rules (whatever rules the developers couldn't agree on), a user would have to manually opt-in to that updated set of rules.
Too many blockchain pitches say things like it "would be great" if everyone used it. Yeah, it'd be great if we all moved to a decentralized everything, but users don't care enough.
Could a browser like Brave or Firefox decide to start supporting this? Then some websites would only work on Brave/Firefox, eventually forcing Chrome and Safari to support it too.
There are a lot of sites and you can see who has claimed their names and/or put up resolvable names on DNS Live .
 https://dns.live/ </shameless>
There is also similar work in WebExtensions to allow this to happen in the extension layer. Here's a list of p2p-related handlers which were whitelisted (similar was done in Chrome), but "web+handshake" would work without whitelisting. These extensions would obviously be more useful if any mobile browsers had extension support. Firefox seems to have just shut the door on most extensions! What the hack?!
Also a decentralised DNS is exactly what we need.
That list of Open Source "Internet Good Guys" is a list of groups that Handshake decided to sponsor, not groups that endorse or have anything to do with Handshake.
The actual sponsors of Handshake include the dogpile of VCs and financiers that you'd expect would gamble on a blockchain project, confusingly (deliberately?) listed below the definitely-not-sponsors list.
Look, it's great that they want to support the open source community that they and everyone else relies on, but it looks to me like they're trying to trick careless readers into thinking that these well regarded open source / community organizations support the Handshake project. Even with the big disclaimer, that list is the biggest part of the page. It almost seems like they're trying to look good by association, when there isn't even any association... they just wrote a check using VC funds.
To me, this sends a strong negative signal. If anything, it makes them seem more overhyped, not less.
The inclusion of the pledge recipients on this page does not constitute or imply any endorsement of Handshake on the part of recipients but simply reflects gratitude for the grant recipients' contributions to FOSS.
Some of the Current Pledge Recipients (Net 10.2MM USD + coin grants to some recipients)
It has said this at least since August.
HNS.to (No DNS configuration or downloading needed), LinkFrame (Chrome extension), Resolvr (Firefox add-on)
Infrastructure changes on this scale are basically impossible, as evidenced by the IPv4 to IPv6 transition. The only reason that even has a chance of succeeding is economic incentives caused by rising IPv4 prices, however, Handshake does not have that type of incentive.
In my opinion, Handshake will lead to positive changes in our current DNS system. However, I don't see Handshake ever replacing our current system.
I can use a gateway like HNS.to to share it with other folks, but thats uglier than a normal domain and bad practice due to shared cookies and the like.
Its just not worth it right now.
Yes, it will need to find a foothold in a parallel domain (no pun intended). IPC is one example. Combine something like in-process REST with the ability for any app to trivially bind to a name, and we'd be getting somewhere interesting.
"Stop paying for new domains"
Also from the site:
"Buy Handshake coins"
From the site:
"Stop buying domains that are owned by third-party for-profit companies who control the market"
"Use the Handshake currency to participate in auctions hosted by no one in particular, in a market controlled by code"
Well, it looks like the short/good tlds were either reserved or already bought. To me it's just another failed distribution model/project. How many active handshake websites are there? 99% of the domains sold seem inactive, purchased for speculative resale value.
Guess what? I'm working on my own fork with a more value-based distribution(IMO).
That's up to debate I guess :) I'm sure people say the same about the web/internet today, but still good domains are being created every minute, because someone is more creative than the ones before.
I've been trying to advocate for the existence of a system like this for RSS feeds. IMO, RSS "failed" (it didn't fail, it's still around… but obviously it doesn't have the traction of Instagram or Twitter) because discoverability of RSS feeds is abysmal.
If RSS is ever to go mainstream, or we're ever going to have a federated answer to corporate social media, it's going to require some kind of decentralized phonebook. HNS might solve that problem.
So if we want feeds to become popular again, we need to encourage support models for indie content that don’t depend on ads. So far, blog owners are seeing a dearth of donations and sponsorships to keep them motivated, so of course signing up for an ad network is the only choice they think they have.
For smaller sites which don't have new content every day, an RSS feed means I'll come back, no feed means I'll probably forget about it and never come back at all.
Namecoin has the unique advantage that you can do merged mining with Bitcoin which would make the network as secure as Bitcoin without further waste of resources.
Another thing is that namecoin is just on one tld (.bit) whereas with handshake you register names as a TLD.
e.g. for Handshake, the largest two mining pools control about 60% of the hashrate, meaning that only two groups (possibly both run by the same person) control the whole chain. So much for decentralized!
Even bitcoin suffers from the same centralization - the top 4 pools have over 50% hashrate (and so effectively control the blockchain).
Where did the 'distributed' blockchains go?
Yes, you may consider that HS is not fully distributed because of the reasons you stated (many may disagree with you, hence debatable) but if you REALLY wanted to do something about lack of decentralization, you could: just start another mining pool. This is the other aspect of public blockchains that normally goes unmentioned when calling them distributed and trustless: they are permissionless.
That's at least what I understood the 51% attack to be.
Basically have >50% quorum and you can just add any transaction to the shared ledger
If this is actually done, the currency's with would be basically done for, so unlikely that anyone would do that
The general technical audience tends to greatly overestimate the amount of power that a 51% attack has. A 51% attack can only do two basic things:
1. prevent certain transactions from making it onto the chain (somewhat expensive)
2. re-write history so that previously confirmed transactions are no longer on the chain (quite expensive - increasingly expensive the further back in time you rewind)
You can't change the rules of the system, you can't arbitrarily steal funds from users, you can't change the inflation rate, etc.
Double spending requires having counterparty, confirming a transaction with that counterparty, and then re-writing history to eliminate the transaction that the counterparty accepted. Coins that aren't in motion during the 51% attack can't be stolen, and coins that are in motion but aren't being sent from the attacker also can't be stolen.
When a double-spend occurs, usually it's from a deep chain reorg. This is what people usually refer to as a double-spend attack, not the kind of reorg where it only affects a few of the top blocks (which isn't uncommon). The latter occur relatively frequently due to the nature of Proof-of-Work being essentially a race.
Consensus mechanisms can detect when a sudden "deep" reorg occurs, e.g. a sudden reorg of 200 blocks that we didn't previously expect to be reordered. When this happens, it's relatively safe to say that this is a double-spend attack and we can disregard the attacker's chain. There's variations of this that additionally add things like "checkpointing" wherein reorgs beyond a certain block depth (the "checkpoint") are impossible at the consensus level.
There's a lot to critique about blockchain tech, but miner centralization is a relatively dated concern. Yes, it's a concern for many blockchains, but for the major Proof-of-Work chains (Bitcoin, Ethereum), it's not an issue anymore.
Leverage, control. There's some play for what term we use to define the imbalance of these systems. But it sure seems like large, amassed forces have enormous sway over many of these systems, to the point where they can act as they want & are incentivized to do so with other large malfeasants.
Wow, I have no idea how you read that really awesome article and concluded with such a response as this.
The article demonstrates how the authors were able to collaborate with miners to safely secure $9M worth of tokens due to a security vulnerability in a smart contract on a public blockchain where anyone could figure out the vulnerability and execute it before they could secure the funds.
Being upset that a miner is able to pick transactions that they want to include in their block demonstrates a clear lack of knowledge in how these distributed databases (blockchains) work and any critique similar to this can be disregarded.
I think me & the author both identified exactly how dangerous it is that large powerful forces in these pools can pick & choose which transactions they want to win.
The author had to go peer with others to make their own large coordinated/centralized pool to try to make sure they had some chance of winning.
Agreed that this was a public contract, & they managed to save the bacon via this coordination. But it's amazing how user-hostile it is trying to get anything done in these distributed environments. The power is enormously shifted to the hands of the large players. In many ways, a centrally managed but observable is a higher trust, higher security, more user-supporting system than these distributed systems.
In my limited understanding, this is not an issue because it is in the miners' best interest to actually do their job correctly. They wouldn't have an incentive to muck around.
For the other cases like smart contracts and such maybe it's a little different. And perhaps that is why Ethereum is moving to Proof of Stake instead?
Well, they wouldn't have in-game incentive to muck around, but they could have meta-game incentive. Here's a good article explaining that:
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21058809 (Rationality is Self-Defeating in Permissionless Systems).
What is your opinion on this topic?
But that was what some 3-letter-agencys did to the Tor-network _about_ 'decentralisation'
Quoting from another topic not far away: Are governments, oligopolies or even monopolies ? A rival it never saw coming, a rival it didn’t take seriously when threatened and even refused to
- 'given the chance'
?? Whe did it go ?? ...where had it gone ?
This might help explain things. (2 min)
On the other hand, relying on proof of work & creating an economy just to have distributed naming, to me, seems unnecessary & limiting. Users ought to be able to generate & use names heavily if they so desire, without having to do meaningless work to do so.
Systems like wireguard and HIP aren't name systems but they are connective systems, built around cryptographic identity. They assume a system of plenty, where folks & systems can be generating & using new identities regularly. To me, i'd much rather create a name system build around identity & assumptions of plenty, than a more name oriented systems built around restricting/controlling/limiting/funnelling distributed naming, through a Proof of Work pipeline.
These decisions get made on an open market, it's not like anybody is forced to put money into a wasteful system if they aren't getting value out of that system.
The issues of control & power that come into play when we create distributed systems then make them all agree & work in the same way seems antithetical, to me, to the very idea of distributedness itself. I'm far more interested in systems that can range & explore possibility spaces untethered from any notion of root consensus. I would have us rely on informal weak trust models, friend of a friend, web of trust relations, rather than distributed-but-totalizing.
Thank your for your reply. I've talked some about my questions & what I want to explore, but I appreciate your comment a lot. Talking about what proof of work buys us, that it's there for total ordering, is I think a wonderful assessment, & even though it's not my priority or desire, I do think it buys a lot of interesting technical capabilities & assurances we may otherwise not be able to have.
I'm not really in favor of single namespaces at this point. It's been wonderful having DNS as a reliable universal naming system, but if we're talking about trying to move to a more distributed model, I'm more interested in loosening the strings & exploring the space beyond a single namespace. Not just decentralized, as the article talks about, but also distributed. Embrace strong cryptographic identity, cryptographic names first, & leave human naming for additional layers, probably around web-of-trust models.
To me, trying to recreate DNS but with arbitrary distributed blockchain systems to allocate power instead of arbitrary icann registries doesn't seem that advantageous. I do like the idea of censorship resistance, of really owning a name, but the cost & viability of claiming & winning names via out Proof-of-Work'ing folks or buying currency seems daunting to me. The hurdles here scare me. And having one single namespace that can never expand & grow, where the good keeps getting carved out, by early players: that scarcity is unappealing. Single namespaces are consistent & that's powerful, but the digital is capable of so much less scarcity, albeit we humans only have limited experience trying to harness & direct such unlimited digital abandons.
There's plenty of good, interesting, valuable work on single namespaces that we can do, & this is probably a good, interesting, & valuable contribution (albeit one that leaves me with a lot of questions about participation & how the system functions). Restricting ourselves to the scarcity of a single namespace seems both sensible & practical, like a straightforward route towards adoptability, towards a more likely to be impactful protocol. But I do hope some of the wilder, less restrained options for how we do naming get a chance, are a part of our broader experiments in naming.
Do you have some particular options in mind? Practically any example I am can come up with ends up devolving to a single namespace.
The least restrictive one I can recall is the Usenet namespace where the equivalent of a subdomain didn't — at least in principle — require permission from the domain "owner" to establish (eg. alt.comics.superman.dies.dies.dies). In practice this required coordination and consensus among various administrators for a new group to be established, and under various scenarios existing "owners" could object.
A more practical take, I'd love a domain name system that only promised that, at some time, i was the owner of a certain DNS domain. If I stopped being the owner, I could still continue hosting my site, my identity would be cryptographically well known & certifiable, people would know who to come to (or maybe not, not a hard requirement for this scenario; like HIP they should know me when we talk & i do want to say it's me), even though the link, the "ownership" (renter-ship) of the domain i'd held had expired. This again is another huge host of interesting messy hard problems, and if someone does get my keys, i'm hosed, but i really like how it favors a very strong distributed identity over this pressing incessant badgering need DNS has to enforce consistency & singularness.
So, as soon as someone with enough resources decides to take it over, it's no longer decentralized. Cool, cool.
Also, there's that whole CO2 thing that we really shouldn't be exacerbating by relying on proof-of-work.
I suppose there could be a blacklist that gets periodically downloaded by the OS. But then you're back where you started - who maintains the blacklist?
You can easily control the domains, schedule their use, and not worry about takedowns.
Although I'm not entirely sold on BlockChain, there are other more energy saving gossip based Byzantine fault tolerant protocol to consider for use. However, everyone is just prototyping in this space. So for one I'm big supporter for the Root Files to be stored in this fashion, even if it is on a blockchain.