[messaging] Namecoin

zaki at manian.org zaki at manian.org
Thu Aug 21 09:17:21 PDT 2014

Several pieces of context that might be helpful to inform the discussion.

1. The inefficiencies of the proof of work scheme for block ordering in
NameCoin are unlikely to remain relevant over the medium term. Virtually
all Blockchain 2.0 are considering some variation on the block ordering
algorithm that does not involve competitive hashing. BitShares is an
example of an umbrella Blockchain 2.0  project that has been pursuing
support for the DNS application and plans to release a working client
within the next few weeks/months.

2. While the blockchain data structure itself offers a high degree of
cryptographic trust, it isn't appropriate structure for doing fast lookups.
The current state of the art in bitcoin technology is to parse a blockchain
and generate a derivative structure that supports fast response to a number
queries. Either building a full SQL database of names, values, transactions
etc or building a variety of key/value stores is common. What is lost in
building derivative data structures is the underlying cryptographic trust,
these query tables can only be trusted if built locally under the users
control. Maintaining a locally built database is an expensive operation
from both a bandwidth and storage point of view. Running a queriable
bitcoin instance requires about 20GB for the blocks and up to 40gb for
indexed data tables of ledger. The need to provided some sort of query
interface in generic Blockchain 2.0 clients has been getting increasing
attention in the last few months.

If there exists some sort of scheme by which the work done to build a
derivative representation of the ledger could be easily verified by clients
doing queries without access to the full ledger, these problems could be
eased substantially.

US number: +1 650-492-8286
Text Secure
Surespot/Wickr: zmanian
Public Key

On Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 11:42 PM, elijah <elijah at riseup.net> wrote:

> On 08/20/2014 07:39 PM, Tony Arcieri wrote:
> > I remember staring at Zooko's triangle in the days before Bitcoin and
> > thinking it was unsolvable, and in that regard, Namecoin was a bit of a
> > revelation. I had a bit of an "a-ha" moment reading Aaron Swartz's
> > original post about squaring Zooko's triangle.
> Another way to look at it is that Zooko's triangle is alive and well, in
> the sense that a single global append-only log is a central authority,
> just one that is the result of a majority vote, so we feel better about it.
> There may be ways to feel better about uniqueness and human memorability
> too.
> If only we could all just use our face as our identifier. It is unique
> enough, usually, certainly memorable, usually, and there is no central
> authority deciding what face we can use (yet).
> Speaking of biometrics, someone just told me that they now make
> temporary tattoos with RFID chips and now I really want a neck tattoo
> that people have to scan with their phone to get my public key (the
> idiocy of RFID aside). All of my preference for a federated PKI
> infrastructure has gone out the door the moment I thought how cool it
> would look to have a public key on my neck in the shape of a bird
> tattoo. Also, much easier to change than your face when you need to.
> -elijah
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