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Namecoin: Distributed (p2p) domain registration system based on bitcoin (dot-bit.org)
102 points by elliottcarlson on May 14, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 35 comments

Sweet! Now I can use money that nobody uses to own a domain name that nobody can visit!

The money that nobody uses is also apparently making me rich, for now.

Hopefully, it will get even better.

lets leave the ponzi dreams over on your smf

My partner dropped his work to work full time on bitcoin project back in February. I think he was one of the first, who have bitcoins as main income source.

Currently bitcoin related projects are an unexplored land of possibilities :)

Could you elaborate on what he does and how it all works out? Sounds pretty fascinating, does he use Mt Gox or something else to convert to more recognized fiats?

Does he (and you) have a backup plan in case things don't work out as planned with Bitcoin?

Mining pool (http://deepbit.net). Yes, mtgox for now, though i hope that in a year or two i will be able to pay my rent with it directly :)

Currently the growth is exponential, so it takes time to scale it.

For me it's a side project, though it's becoming a large part of my income. If bitcoins fail - no big deal, just move on.

I would definitely not be willing to pay my rent directly in bitcoins. It is much more interesting to pay in silly worthless fiat governmental currency.

Currently to pay it i have to convert bitcoins to fiat currency (and lose around 2% in the process). I'd like to be able to skip this part.

I wonder how the IRS will choose to treat it. If you solve a block, have you made income or realized a capital gain? When you convert BTC into a national currency, what gain have you realized?

(Current_price - Price_at_generation)?

It seems like a legal minefield.

Yeah, it's probably better to just not pay taxes.

It is going to be difficult for the IRS to prove that you even own the Bitcoins with money laundering services and the ease of creating new accounts.

As more merchants accept Bitcoin, I will try to convert to fiat currencies only when absolutely needed.

^^this sums up my impression of the bitcoin community.

Bitcoin is backed by what? Oh, right, scarcity.

I'm watching Bitcoin along two axes-

One, how much value is notionally stored in the system. At this moment, it's roughly $51.4 million (6.192M bc at exchange of 8.3 usd), which is starting to be interesting. An order of magnitude higher, and it's definitely interesting.

Two, what can actually be bought with the currency? This is still lagging considerably. It's almost entirely trinkets or not-very-interesting services that have no marginal cost to the producer. No one has put much faith in Bitcoin by putting their livelihood on the line with it, and that makes it less interesting.

There's a fledgling trade in controlled substances via Silk Road, but having that as a primary example makes me considerably less interested. Not only am I not in the market for such, growth in this area virtually guarantees the ultimate failure of Bitcoin due to government action.

The right approach to grow Bitcoin as an actual currency which is truly exchanged for goods and services is to offer something that people really want exclusively through Bitcoin. The extreme example would be the iPad. One producer, very high demand. Dollars (and thus value) would flood into the Bitcoin system with something like that.

But where's the incentive for the producer? If you've got something people want, why would you offer it only via a currency no one uses?

There's your core dilemma, and why it's all t-shirts and domain registrations.

"...virtually guarantees the ultimate failure of Bitcoin due to government action."

Owe ya, I sure do miss "Bittorrent".. boy do you remember that. Too bad the Gov shut it off.


"why would you offer it only via a currency no one uses?"

You would not that would be vary stupid. That is why Apple take EUR, USD, and so on....

bittorent does not require the "real world presence" that bitcoin exchanges do. While its true it can really never be completely shut off, its very easy to target the major exchanges that an efficient and liquid economy needs. If you are suddenly unable to covert bitcoins to real money, they arnt worth much.

You are correct about the facts, but you have your prospective worng. Bitcoin's are not just handed out to people. They have to be made first which take time and money. Bitcoin also needed to build the network infrastructure first.

Bitcoin has only been capable of being used for about 2 months. Now with a more realistic prospective you can see that bitcoin has come a Vary long way, and is sky rocketing in the currency exchange market's. Bitcon has more then quadrupled in value in the pas 30 days.

This is a good project that attempts to add a bit of freedom back to the internet, but the DNS concept is not the right thing for a truly free internet. We need to take it one step further and get rid of domain names entirely, start building on the freenet concept and replace urls with hashes and domains with author signatures.

I am working on a simple system of that sort. I'm not sure I trust myself using crypto, so consider it a proof-of-concept. The system provides key-based domains, and allows sites to update them automatically over http or distribute them through websites.

This system can also work alongside ordinary DNS. When it is running, any domain you visit can provide a record and a public key. If the DNS record changes in future but the signed record isn't updated to match, the user continues to use the signed record.

The first version is probably going to be an HTTP proxy, but I'd like to make it a browser plugin if I can figure out how (it looked more difficult than I expected).

Example Scenario:

- I'm running wikileaks.com. I generate a key and upload a signed record with the IP.

- Clients visit wikileaks.com and automatically download the record and associate the key with the domain.

- Government sizes wikileaks.com domain.

- Clients are redirected to wikileaks.com-via-a-long-generated-domain...

- Clients are able to visit the site without interruption.

- I now register wikileaks.ch, and I use my key to sign an updated record with the new domain.

- Clients check wikileaks.ch and associate it with the key, then redirect any requests to wikileaks.com or the-long-generated-domain... to to wikileaks.ch.

I will provide a link when it's a little more complete.

Plus a duplicate HN story that got some discussion: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2586778

I think there is a scaling problem here -- every client in the network has to hold a full copy of the entire block-chain in order to know every host on the .bit TLD or to participate in acquiring and actively renewing one's domains. DNS solves this problem by virtue of its recursive nature. I'm not sure this is suitable for Internet-scale use.

You wouldn't necessarily have to worry about that - the name servers would need to have the entire block-chain without requiring all users to maintain a client or a block-chain. Anyone wanting to own a domain must participate and to maintain the ownership their clients must continue running which would keep them up to date with the blockchain as well.

Basically - if you want to own a domain in the .bit TLD you have to run the client - if you are just a standard user, you can just access the available nameservers.

I thought one of the goals was for it to be fully decentralized. If I'm relying on a nameserver I trust (let's say ICANN starts running their own .bit mirror) then what's to stop ICANN from making edits to whatever they serve up as per what the US government forces them to do? If ICANN adds their .bit TLD mirror to the root servers then we're back at square 1 because most people will consume .bit through the roots. In order to deliver on the promise of decentralization it seems every client must have its own copy by default instead of relying on a trusted authority. I think that doesn't scale very well, though.

Side note: my understanding of bitcoin is that a given bitcoin network requires a central IRC server for command/control of miners. This also won't scale to an Internet-sized volume of clients.

In order to deliver on the promise of decentralization it seems every client must have its own copy by default instead of relying on a trusted authority.

No, you just need enough servers to make it unlikely any one entity could gain over 50% of the computing power on the network. So if there were 1 million simple clients and only 10,000 clients with a full block chain, then any attacker would have to exceed the computing power of those 10,000 full clients in order to subvert the network.

my understanding of bitcoin is that a given bitcoin network requires a central IRC server for command/control of miners

IRC is just used as a way of getting a list of initial peers to connect to the network. It has nothing to do with command/control of miners.

Good point about the central authority - I would be curious how they think to accomplish that.

In regards to the IRC server - IRC servers can scale horizontally using a multicast type protocol - it's been literally a decade since I've been on IRC but I am sure that this protocol must have improved and that load can always be increased (and also would leave things less centralized).

I was wondering the same thing about Bitcoin itself. If Bitcoins took off, wouldn't they run into a scaling issue too?

Essentially, yes. For mining. Transactions don't require you to have the full block chain, you just have to "know" your current balance's info so you can make modifications to it.

This is how it is implemented now. However, it is not needed. The dev's have already said this can and will change when it needs too.

Pluss, even now it is only the mining rig's that need the full list. If you just want a wallet to send and receve bitcoin you don't need the whole thing.... Correct me if I am worng. Also, you can use an on-line wallet service to hold your coins and then you don't need anything.

So essentially there is going to be a big change to make BitCoin work better in a while. That sounds like IPv6, new web versions, and OS/browser upgrade head fuck.

No, it is not a change in the protocol. It will be a seamless migration for normal clients to not keep the entire blockchain. This was planned for from day 1.

And already exists in the Java client: http://code.google.com/p/bitcoinj/

I stand corrected.

Technologies have a tendency to escape their niches. Namecoin is jailbreak out of Bitcoin technology's niches.

I agree completely. If this works, why tie its fate to bitcoin? With various governments deciding they can seize domains, this could be huge.

  Set $wgLogo to the URL path to your own logo image.
Well this sure was thrown together quickly.

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