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Namecoin: A Decentralized Trusted Base

Introduction I’ve been thinking a lot about transport-dependent DNS settings (BIND, http, tor, and i2p) and the architecture the original Domain Name System and applied encryption. After long talks with Ryan-C and Mark of EasyDNS, I believe we need to recast Namecoin’s purpose as a decentralized trusted base which offers secure delegation, not as a generic key->value datastore. A Trusted Base The real innovation offered by the blockchain is the ability to have trusted transactions between untrusted parties. Public-key cryptography

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DNSChain vs Real Interop

In the dustup generated in my article on DNSChain’s broken security model, some argued that there is a need for a trusted solution. I agree with this, my criticisms of DNSChain are that it misrepresents its security model and introduces the worst kind of third party trust without any gains in usability or interoperability. I’m working on a more secure trusted server solution that provides backward compatibility with the existing domain name system. (more…)

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DNSChain Considered Harmful

DNSChain is a DNS server that uses Namecoin as a backend, but compromises Namecoin’s security without any improvements to usability or legacy interoperability.  However, DNSChain’s faulty and grandiose claims have led to a frightening degree of interest and adoption.  The Namecoin blog is not the place to engage misguided projects but, as an official Namecoin developer, I feel compelled to speak out. (more…)

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TPP IP Chapter Primer

Characterizations of the intellectual property chapter of the TPP ranges from “SOPA on steroids” to “DMCA++“.  As someone who is building a blacklist resistant infrastructure, I needed to know the details so I treated it like a patent application and rewrote it.  It turns out that the copyright lobby has succeeded in using a trade treaty to impose arbitrary censorship. (more…)

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Counterfeit-Proof Physical Bitcoins

The problem with current “physical” Bitcoins systems is that their production cost scales at upfrontCost + btcValue x rawMaterialsCost x coins while the attack cost is only upfrontCost + rawMaterialsCost x coins.  Storing a physical one-way hash of the individual coins on Namecoin would make such coins “counterfeit-proof” in that the attack cost scales at some multiple of the reproduction cost of the physical one-way hash.  This is a major breakthrough for both Bitcoin and traditional currencies. (more…)

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Safeplug is Not Safe

The importance of my personal security has increased in line with my involvement within Namecoin and as head of Speech.is.  Lots of money and secrets could be gleaned from compromising my systems. My laptop is the workhorse for all of my personal and professional  activities and segregating my administrative functions would be very complex and less secure than I would like. Over the winter break I looked over my options and settled on using a Chromebook and an NFC implant

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On Domain Name Squatters

Domain name squatting has become an overriding point when discussing Namecoin.  After a tumultuous early life, many important domains (including namecoin.bit) were lost to squatters.  How to combat such pollution has been hotly debated.  However, I would like to outline the simple mechanics underlying all solutions to domain name squatting. (more…)

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