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> IRC does not have this. I've to connect to your server, or you to mine

IRC most certainly does have this. All larger IRC networks are exactly that: Networks of federated servers. It's been like that since the early 90's, when it was an absolute necessity as none of the ircds could handle all that many individual users.

Nope. IRC model is closer to clustering than federation. The key difference is that all connected IRC servers have nearly full control of the whole network which is why you can not allow untrusted servers in a IRC network. Also in IRC all messages are routed to all servers. Contrast that to something like SMTP or XMPP where every server is mostly independent and generally handles only messages that belongs to them, and where federation does require very little trust.

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