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Author Topic: BitDNS and Generalizing Bitcoin  (Read 91870 times)
RHorning
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December 03, 2010, 05:56:41 AM
 #41

Or all domains expire yearly and will need to be regenerated, but if you send it to yourself before it ends you get to keep it. Like this we fix the issue of lost domains and allow dropping old names for free.

I don't have a problem with somebody "renewing" their lease in some manner where they have at least "first try" at keeping that lease.  The "public good" coming from paying the lease fees is maintaining the network.

I don't understand this "sending it to yourself" however.  The domain registration would be something confirmed by a network.  If you were mining these blocks, you might get lucky and mine the block you are also using to register a domain, but perhaps you wouldn't be doing that either.

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December 03, 2010, 11:25:39 PM
 #42

Its like bitcoins but time based old domains get freed up after 365 days, if you want to keep it just send it to someone or to yourself.

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December 04, 2010, 09:01:48 AM
 #43

Quote from: irc
<genjix> dot-p2p: "We currently believe the best way to create a stable
    environment for TLDs is to enact a central authority. We know this
    will cause much argument within the community, but we have made the
    decision that we believe will be best for the continued development
    of this project."

Knew it. They sucks.

Our opportunity is now, but unfortunately I think we lack the expertise to create a BitDNS.

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December 04, 2010, 09:13:32 AM
 #44

http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2072.0

Started a pledge drive. Go. Go. Go.

Hal
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December 04, 2010, 07:47:51 PM
 #45

Let me clarify how I understand the BitDNS idea. First, I think it is somewhat misnamed, as we would not propose to replace the entire decentralized DNS infrastructure of A records, CNAMEs, TTL values, etc. What we want to change is the registrar function, which keeps track of who owns each name.

A domain name entry in this system has 3 parts:

 - the name itself (e.g. example.bitdns)
 - a hash of the owning public key (e.g. djiusjfkrhffhdehyormavtrr...)
 - the IP address of the authoritative DNS server for the name (e.g. 1.2.3.4)

When you generate a block you get to create 50 of these entries, and you then own those 50 names. Of course they have to be new names that were not in earlier blocks.

Subsequently a name might have two things happen to it:
 - the IP address of the DNS server might change
 - it might be transferred to a new owner

Both of these might be handled the same way, via a BitDNS transaction. The transaction would contain:
 - the domain name
 - the new owner key hash
 - the new IP address of the DNS server
And it would be signed by the old owner private key.

As with Bitcoin, transactions would be broadcast and incorporated into the next block by miners.

Is this what people have in mind?

Hal Finney
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December 04, 2010, 08:22:14 PM
 #46

That's very clearly expressed, thank you Hal.

What you describe is almost exactly what I have in mind. Additionally, I would allow the domain name itself to be subsequently changed to any other untaken name:

Quote
Subsequently a registration might have three things happen to it:
 - the IP address of the DNS server might change
 - it might be transferred to a new owner
 - the domain name might be changed

The advantage of allowing domain name changes is that it makes the initial registration easier. Registrars can generate arbitrary registrations, then change the name when they sell them to their customers.

Quote
When you generate a block you get to create 50 of these entries

Exactly. The "50" is arbitrary, but that doesn't matter. The initial scarcity will be reflected in a high price, which will encourage people to generate, which will raise the difficulty and ensure the security of the system.

With 7200 registrations being generated daily, there will soon be plenty to meet the demand. The price will then drop, with transaction fees maintaining the incentive to generate.
RHorning
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December 04, 2010, 08:44:11 PM
 #47

Let me clarify how I understand the BitDNS idea. First, I think it is somewhat misnamed, as we would not propose to replace the entire decentralized DNS infrastructure of A records, CNAMEs, TTL values, etc. What we want to change is the registrar function, which keeps track of who owns each name.

A domain name entry in this system has 3 parts:

 - the name itself (e.g. example.bitdns)
 - a hash of the owning public key (e.g. djiusjfkrhffhdehyormavtrr...)
 - the IP address of the authoritative DNS server for the name (e.g. 1.2.3.4)

When you generate a block you get to create 50 of these entries, and you then own those 50 names. Of course they have to be new names that were not in earlier blocks.

I hope we aren't at cross purposes here as there are multiple ideas.  My idea was more that you would throw in a "transaction" that would have a few bitcoins attached (as the transaction fee) so that any potential miner would be encouraged to put that particular "registration" into a block chain like the Bitcoin mining blocks.  The "owner" is merely the person who paid the fee and is identified by a private/public hash like the Bitcoin addresses are being used right now.  In fact, I would propose that the "owner" of a particular domain might as well be a Bitcoin address unless we can think of a more secure way of claiming such ownership.... which would be of value to the Bitcoin project if you can show it would be unsecure.  It is tying the domain ownership to your wallet.dat file making your wallet even more valuable if you got one of these domains.  The actual hash is irrelevant other than it should be defined in the protocol.

A block would have a limited number of "transactions" in it... perhaps just 1 but it could be 50 or slightly more.  I don't mind putting a limit at 50 per block in the sense that it might drive up the value of an individual domain and set up some interesting economic theories so far as supply and demand are concerned.  That is a network rule to define in this case.  Obviously a miner could create one of these "domains records" for "free", but then again they are contributing to defending the integrity of the database through CPU proof of work.

So really a domain entry would be:

 - the name itself (e.g. example.bitdns)
 - a hash of the owning public key (e.g. djiusjfkrhffhdehyormavtrr...)
 - an optional key which could identify a "new" owner in the case of somebody transferring control of the domain
 - the IP address(es) of the authoritative DNS server for the name (e.g. 1.2.3.4)
 - transaction fee paid in BTC

A block entry would also have a timestamp that could be rejected if it was for some time in the future

As a network rule any name collisions that can't be resolved as from the same person making a request for changes would be rejected.  The cost to run this network would be through the transaction fees, where a "miner" may be as inclusive or selective as they care based upon the transaction fees involved.  Miners might have a different fee schedule for "new" domains as opposed to existing domains and could discriminate on that basis... or simply only select to process one kind or another.  All of this would be essentially a marketplace where those trying to "register" domains are playing chicken with those making the blocks, presumably with the miners wanting higher fees and those registering domains wanting lower fees.  My bet is that domain registration fees would be considerably lower than what GoDaddy charges or for that matter any other domain registrar other than those who simply do it for free.  Maintaining the DNS records does have a cost, which is the purpose of the transaction fee as well.

The only glitch here that I can see is trying to get those transaction fees to the miner.  The miner needs to be able to demonstrate proof of work before they get paid, and presumably that the proof involved has generally been accepted into the network before they get paid as well.  Otherwise, all I can see is that people are being altruistic and simply mining as a free public good.... which has problems related to a tragedy of the commons as well.  I personally think that you should "pay your own freight" for things like this.  Besides, it provides another way for people to earn bitcoins simply by leaving their computer running if you can get the transaction fees for running such a DNS mining application processing these records.

BTW, I created a stub of a document on the wiki for this concept if anybody is interested in filling out some more details of this idea in terms of a formal spec:

http://www.bitcoin.org/wiki/doku.php?id=bitdns_draft_0_1

I'll see what I can contribute to filling this out, and I'm thinking of bumping this idea up on my own priority schedule for perhaps writing an application to do this.  It sounds like something to really get my teeth into even though I got a couple of other good ideas I'd like to try.  Besides, it sounds like there is some real interest to get this going sooner rather than later among many in the Bitcoins community.

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December 04, 2010, 08:50:00 PM
 #48

ames. Of course they have to be new names that were not in earlier blocks.

BTW, I created a stub of a document on the wiki for this concept if anybody is interested in filling out some more details of this idea in terms of a formal spec:

http://www.bitcoin.org/wiki/doku.php?id=bitdns_draft_0_1

I'll see what I can contribute to filling this out, and I'm thinking of bumping this idea up on my own priority schedule for perhaps writing an application to do this.  It sounds like something to really get my teeth into even though I got a couple of other good ideas I'd like to try.  Besides, it sounds like there is some real interest to get this going sooner rather than later among many in the Bitcoins community.

I am using this document as the BitDNS bounty's protocol document.

Hal
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December 04, 2010, 10:25:01 PM
 #49

So really a domain entry would be:

 - the name itself (e.g. example.bitdns)
 - a hash of the owning public key (e.g. djiusjfkrhffhdehyormavtrr...)
 - an optional key which could identify a "new" owner in the case of somebody transferring control of the domain
 - the IP address(es) of the authoritative DNS server for the name (e.g. 1.2.3.4)
 - transaction fee paid in BTC

A block entry would also have a timestamp that could be rejected if it was for some time in the future.

I see, that makes sense. I have an idea about the transaction fee. What if this were integrated with Bitcoin itself? This would be a different kind of transaction that would be mixed with regular Bitcoin transactions and included in regular Bitcoin blocks. Then the block creator would automatically receive the transaction fee just like all the other tx fees in the block.

If that sounds good, I see a way this could be implemented into the current Bitcoin system compatibly with current clients. We could use the mysterious and extravagant "scripting" system to add additional data to regular Bitcoin transactions. These would look like NOPs to current clients and be ignored, but BitDNS aware clients would look inside this NOP block and see the extra DNS data, and interpret it as BitDNS transfers.

Specifically i could imagine using OP_NOP1 to mean BitDNS, then OP_PUSHDATA to push the DNS info, then OP_DROP to drop it from the stack, followed by the regular tx opcodes. This will have no effect on regular clients and look like a regular transaction (can be a dummy tx, 0.01 to yourself) but BitDNS aware code sees a BitDNS transaction. This is actually a powerful general technique for adding overlay protocols to Bitcoin.


Hal Finney
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December 05, 2010, 01:31:31 AM
 #50

Sorry for being too lazy to read all previous posts...

But has anybody actually proposed using bitcoin algorithms to create decentralized DNS to Peter Sunde yet ?

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December 05, 2010, 01:36:09 AM
 #51

Sorry for being too lazy to read all previous posts...

But has anybody actually proposed using bitcoin algorithms to create decentralized DNS to Peter Sunde yet ?

People already put up links about BitDNS.

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December 05, 2010, 05:12:07 AM
 #52

Sorry for being too lazy to read all previous posts...

But has anybody actually proposed using bitcoin algorithms to create decentralized DNS to Peter Sunde yet ?

Several bitcoiners have been in the p2p-dns irc chat and have spoken about it.

Its also been written about on their wiki.

http://dot-p2p.org/index.php?title=Draft_Discussion_Paper  they have a discussion paper out but looks like they have opted for using open nic for now plus a .key domain for a decentralized dns.

As far as I know the argument against using bitcoin is that if you lost your keys to access the domain you would not be able to recover them.

How does bitdns get around that?
kiba
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December 05, 2010, 05:14:36 AM
 #53


As far as I know the argument against using bitcoin is that if you lost your keys to access the domain you would not be able to recover them.

How does bitdns get around that?

A domain name key should be so important that people will backing it up, automatically.

Anonymous
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December 05, 2010, 05:23:50 AM
 #54

Sorry for being too lazy to read all previous posts...

But has anybody actually proposed using bitcoin algorithms to create decentralized DNS to Peter Sunde yet ?

People already put up links about BitDNS.


I added bitdns to the ideas page here
http://dot-p2p.org/index.php?title=Ideas#BITDNS

kiba
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December 05, 2010, 07:33:17 AM
 #55


I added bitdns to the ideas page here
http://dot-p2p.org/index.php?title=Ideas#BITDNS



The likelyhood of the idea getting implemented is likely slim to none.

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December 05, 2010, 11:07:46 AM
 #56

Sorry for being too lazy to read all previous posts...

But has anybody actually proposed using bitcoin algorithms to create decentralized DNS to Peter Sunde yet ?

As far as I know the argument against using bitcoin is that if you lost your keys to access the domain you would not be able to recover them.

How does bitdns get around that?

I think this is a good argument against almost any peer-to-peer distributed database of any kind.  This isn't something unique to just Bitcoin.

All of this is sort of strange, as I thought the whole point of the exercise was to try and decentralize the DNS database.  Instead, there is going to be a central point of control for the whole thing and an official "authority" who is going to be acting as a gatekeeper.  Really, this seems to be a betrayal of whatever it is that they were trying to accomplish and they are now becoming an alternate to ICANN, not something which is really a genuine distributed domain repository.  There may be some differences as it may become a sort of Napster of domain registration, but it still has that point of attack, whatever that attack may be from either a digital, legal, or physical kind of attack.

It is too bad that they aren't rethinking the entire issue down to its roots, which is an attempt to create a "directory" of the internet.  They are also getting IMHO hyper-paranoid about trademarks, as if coca-cola.com isn't sufficient to identify a particular corporation that most people know anyway.  So what if somebody creates coca-cola.p2p?  Or for that matter wikipedia.p2p?

There also seems to be a mindset that it must follow the convention of:

<computer> <dot> <domain> <dot> <top level domain>

There was an historical reason for the original divisions for .com, .mil, and .edu.  They represented three distinct and separate networks originally called "COM-NET", "MIL-NET", and "EDU-NET".  It is sort of like how telephone systems used to be completely separated between business exchanges and residential exchanges.  When the three networks were finally linked, they had to use some way to identify how to access computers on one network to another, so the "TLD" system was originally set up and some other side "TLDs" were made for "miscellaneous organizations" (.org), "international organizations" (.int), and generic "network resources" (.net).  When people outside of America were participating in adding their networks to the internet, they were identified by their country code , now the various "country code top level domains".

Mind you, when the codes were handed out, there was the .us domain which seemed redundant (it was) but those already having .com didn't want to go to a longer .com.us.

Anyway, I contend that the whole notion here of a top level domain is something that completely unnecessary, and that viewpoint has been long advocated by Karl Auerbach.  If you've never heard of this guy, it should be important that he was the one and unfortunately only official elected representative of North America to ICANN, and sort of a major rebel.  He was one of the "at-large" directors that had to get a California court to force ICANN to actually show him their books (he was one of the members of their board of directors and supposedly recognized as such by the organization) and because of his efforts his position was dissolved by the appointed board members made up of people hand-picked by major corporations.  The whole experiment of democratically elected representatives to ICANN was killed by the U.S. Department of Commerce... isn't that something?

Anyway, if anybody knows DNS backward and forward, it is Karl Auerbach, and one of his positions when he was on the ICANN board was that there was no need to even have a top-level domain system at all, and certainly the number of top level domains could certainly number in the millions or more.  It is simply a directory.

This history paper about DNS goes into the gritty details of how it finally got started.  This really is a seminal paper on the history of DNS in terms of how we got to where we are today.

Another paper by Karl Auerbach is certainly worth reading so far as to see what a very well thought out objection to the current DNS system as implemented by ICANN was and how when the whole system was created had people proposing some significant alternatives.  Since supposedly we are talking about alternatives to the centralized DNS, I think this ought to be at least one of the key papers worth reading.  It shouldn't be surprising that the problems he identified over twenty years ago are still present in the current system, and it is important to note that there was opposition back then even to the current system.  If you read between the lines, he was even upset over how IP addresses were allocated... which is a completely different beast altogether.

I don't think that those working with this new "dot P2P" effort are really reading stuff of this nature.  I find it too bad as well, as it shows the immoral and arguably illegal actions taken by those who set up the current system almost as if it was a sort of Jekyll Island episode of the Internet.  There are a whole bunch of common parallel themes between the formation of ICANN and the Federal Reserve.  In this sense, perhaps Bitcoin really is a good fit as it sort of is a merger of the two systems that have been corrupted by aristocrats in a supposedly egalitarian and "officially" classless society.

In short, I think that the "dot P2P" effort is doomed to failure if the continue down the path they are going and not addressing the real problems facing the current system.  Many of those problems are being addressed by BitDNS, even if it is a bit marginalized at the moment.  And I also think that the argument about lost keys is not something nearly as significant either compared to the major issues about what is wrong with the current DNS system.

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December 05, 2010, 11:27:58 AM
 #57

There are others into the subject of a P2P dns as well, Peter Sunde (former spokesman of the pirate bay) was also talking about this a couple of days ago.

Check out http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/29/peter-sunde-seconds-the-idea-of-an-alternative-root-dns/
and http://dot-p2p.org/
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December 05, 2010, 12:36:58 PM
 #58

There are others into the subject of a P2P dns as well, Peter Sunde (former spokesman of the pirate bay) was also talking about this a couple of days ago.

Check out http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/29/peter-sunde-seconds-the-idea-of-an-alternative-root-dns/
and http://dot-p2p.org/


Yes that is what we are discussing. I was in the irc chatroom while all of it was being discussed. I brought up bitcoin several times but was scoffed at,as did someone else. As usual people dont learn from the mistakes of the past and are bent on creating a mirror of ICANN. All I can say is WTF?

I even saw one guy mention how he worked on an email system for the NSA ! and no one even asked the obvious question about someone from  the NSA steering the discussions towards a centralised system.


I say we prove everyone wrong and do our own thing. Centralisation is a big steaming bag of FAIL.


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December 05, 2010, 02:02:07 PM
 #59

As far as I know the argument against using bitcoin is that if you lost your keys to access the domain you would not be able to recover them.

How does bitdns get around that?

If you lose the keys, you can no longer sell the domain name or change the IP address of its DNS, but the domain name itself doesn't immediately stop working. So you have plenty of time to choose a new domain name, set it up, and install redirects from your existing site.

You can protect against this by leaving a copy of your keys with a couple of trusted people. That's a much better solution than leaving your domain name hostage to an untrusted registrar.

In the 1990s, Turkmenistan was selling .tm domain names and I registered one. After a couple of years, the Turkmenistan government decided there were .tm websites they didn't like and they removed access to the domain name. But there was plenty of time to get a new domain and install redirects. It worked just fine.

Ultimately, a name is just a name and it's not the end of the world if one is lost. Even cocacola.com could switch to cocacola2.com and it wouldn't be the end of the world.

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December 05, 2010, 04:57:59 PM
 #60


I say we prove everyone wrong and do our own thing. Centralisation is a big steaming bag of FAIL.


Yes, yes. This is why I offered a bounty. I encourage everyone to pledge some bitcoins if they aren't capable of doing this project.

Why it is only 40 BTC at this stage is beyond me.

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