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Author Topic: Namecoin was stillborn, I had to switch off life-support  (Read 45898 times)
d'aniel
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October 15, 2013, 10:57:49 PM
 #81

Essentially, if we give up on names being meaningful (but still keep them short, pronounceable and memorable) then they can be used alone securely as identities - no PKI needed.  The idea is that there are a relatively small number of transactions in the Bitcoin blockchain (< 2^25 currently), so you don't need very many bits to encode a transaction's location in the blockchain uniquely.

FWIW I had pretty much the same idea about a half year ago.

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=138000.msg1471978#msg1471978

Although I thought about using words rather than phonemes: four words are enough.

E.g. somebody can register a name like "cranky corporate classic company".
Oh cool.  The phonemic names seem like an improvement on this (shorter and more memorable), but you can credit the Urbit developers for them.
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October 15, 2013, 11:48:19 PM
Last edit: October 16, 2013, 12:04:35 AM by eldentyrell
 #82

Well supposedly namecoin was never much use to start with because names were so cheap that basically everyone's name was already taken almost before anyone had heard of the thing?
Actually there was a long price ramp at the beginning and names started out very expensive.

No, actually there was a short price ramp.  That was the problem.

Because namecoin entries aren't fungible the viability of the system is much more sensitive to the inflation schedule.  BTC are fungible so if the initially-hardwired inflation schedule isn't "perfect" it simply amounts to a larger or smaller financial windfall for early adopters.

The printing press heralded the end of the Dark Ages and made the Enlightenment possible, but it took another three centuries before any country managed to put freedom of the press beyond the reach of legislators.  So it may take a while before cryptocurrencies are free of the AML-NSA-KYC surveillance plague.
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October 15, 2013, 11:55:26 PM
 #83

No, but it does require a serialization mechanism whose developers aren't actively hostile to it being used for information storage.

In other words, you can't use the bitcoin blockchain for this.

They'll be overruled by an economy majority eventually.

Except that they aren't the majority!  You see, that's the issue.  As long as the majority of the use of the BTC blockchain is as money, not as a key/value store, people using it as a key/value store are vulnerable to sudden changes that aren't in their interest.

The printing press heralded the end of the Dark Ages and made the Enlightenment possible, but it took another three centuries before any country managed to put freedom of the press beyond the reach of legislators.  So it may take a while before cryptocurrencies are free of the AML-NSA-KYC surveillance plague.
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October 16, 2013, 12:00:28 AM
 #84

I'm not sure that a block chain is required at all

What prevents double-transfer of names, then?

The Namecoin v2.0 rules.

If by "namecoin v2.0" you mean luke-jr's proposal, that does require a blockchain.



Quote
the next namecoin should be implemented on top of the bitcoin blockchain.

Well, good luck convincing people to use it.  I'm not very interested in spending money or computing power on an entry in a key-value store that could suddenly become frozen due to small outputs suddenly becoming unspendable or some other change to the bitcoin block validation consensus.

Bitcoin works because everybody has a common interest in it being usable as money.  If you're trying to use it for something else you will always be at risk of the majority (who don't care about your weird use) tweaking the rules in a way that breaks it.


The printing press heralded the end of the Dark Ages and made the Enlightenment possible, but it took another three centuries before any country managed to put freedom of the press beyond the reach of legislators.  So it may take a while before cryptocurrencies are free of the AML-NSA-KYC surveillance plague.
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October 16, 2013, 12:21:28 AM
 #85

That's one area where Namecoin was very weak. Its blockchain may have started out smaller, but its scalability is no better than Bitcoin's, and it'll eventually have the same problems (like all Bitcoin-based altcoins). But if your decentralized DNS doesn't include a currency, then old data about domain ownership can be more easily forgotten. For example, if you require that registrants renew their domains weekly, then resolvers only need the last few weeks of full blockchain data (plus headers to verify the chain). There may also be better ways of doing this that don't require frequent renewal. (You can also do this sort of renewal thing with BTC in order to reduce download requirements, but it'd be really unpopular.)

Well, Namecoin name registrations are rather short term (3 or 6 months?), so I wonder if that can't be implemented in some way, the same way Bitcoin will do pruning.

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October 16, 2013, 12:29:49 AM
 #86

One issue I could see with implementing NMC on top of BTC is future scalability. Specifically, when BTC blockchain gets huge, it would mean that the datacenters that store bitcoin blockchain information would have to also double as DNS providers. I think a NMC blockchain would be much much smaller in size compared to bitcoin, since transactions on namecoin are much less frequest, even if they may hold more data. So keeping the two separate would allow for many more smaller, independent DNS providers, instead of limiting it to just the few bitcoin providers we'll likely end up with in the future.

That's one area where Namecoin was very weak. Its blockchain may have started out smaller, but its scalability is no better than Bitcoin's, and it'll eventually have the same problems (like all Bitcoin-based altcoins). But if your decentralized DNS doesn't include a currency, then old data about domain ownership can be more easily forgotten. For example, if you require that registrants renew their domains weekly, then resolvers only need the last few weeks of full blockchain data (plus headers to verify the chain). There may also be better ways of doing this that don't require frequent renewal. (You can also do this sort of renewal thing with BTC in order to reduce download requirements, but it'd be really unpopular.)

Running a resolver on a well-designed DNS system will always be pretty cheap unless Bitcoin's network requirements become huge.

Could DNS be implemented as smart property on top of something like Mastercoin?

Probably, but I'm not a huge fan of smart property or Mastercoin.
People, lol! You all just ignore my messages but your ideas clearly point to dianna-project.org

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October 16, 2013, 01:01:18 AM
 #87

I'm not sure that a block chain is required at all

What prevents double-transfer of names, then?

The Namecoin v2.0 rules.

If by "namecoin v2.0" you mean luke-jr's proposal, that does require a blockchain.

No, I mean a hypothetical protocol that doesn't use a separate blockchain.

Quote
the next namecoin should be implemented on top of the bitcoin blockchain.

Well, good luck convincing people to use it.  I'm not very interested in spending money or computing power on an entry in a key-value store that could suddenly become frozen due to small outputs suddenly becoming unspendable or some other change to the bitcoin block validation consensus.

Bitcoin works because everybody has a common interest in it being usable as money.  If you're trying to use it for something else you will always be at risk of the majority (who don't care about your weird use) tweaking the rules in a way that breaks it.

You just don't get it: it's impossible to stamp out all the ways of timestamping data in the blockchain, and timestamping w/ bitcoin sacrifices is sufficient to build a useful and secure distributed DNS system. Even a majority of miners can't use blacklists to stop timestamping and bitcoin sacrifices because you can devise protocols with very useful properties where the transactions involved are revealed after they have been confirmed; they've have to whitelist all acceptable transactions, which is close cousin to very strong censorship.

Such a system can't replicate the scamcoin-like aspect of namecoin where you see speculators hoping the price goes up of course, but notice how namecoin has never caught on...

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October 16, 2013, 03:24:42 AM
 #88

People, lol! You all just ignore my messages but your ideas clearly point to dianna-project.org

Take a hint and stop spamming your thing on this topic? Go bump your own topic, and hope others join in.

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October 16, 2013, 04:04:59 AM
 #89

Namecoin has always been my favorite alt-coin - it had a clear purpose, different from Bitcoin, offering a nice way to keep a de-central registry of key-value pairs.
You found a bug that can be patched. Kudos. If there were an active development team, you would have alerted them privately first I presume rather than stir a panic. I do hope some developers will take this warning to heart and fix the problem, even if a bounty is necessary. Because like the OP, Namecoin is also the favorite alt-coin of many others.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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October 16, 2013, 04:30:57 AM
Last edit: October 16, 2013, 05:07:34 AM by Paladin69
 #90

So it is dead or can it be salvaged?  Sorry, not technical here.
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October 16, 2013, 05:12:16 AM
 #91

Namecoin has always been my favorite alt-coin - it had a clear purpose, different from Bitcoin, offering a nice way to keep a de-central registry of key-value pairs.
You found a bug that can be patched. Kudos. If there were an active development team, you would have alerted them privately first I presume rather than stir a panic. I do hope some developers will take this warning to heart and fix the problem, even if a bounty is necessary. Because like the OP, Namecoin is also the favorite alt-coin of many others.

OP contacted the Namecoin devs through multiple channels and gave them over a month to respond.  They never responded nor gave any indication that a fix was being worked on.  Project was assumed abandoned.

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October 16, 2013, 05:20:55 AM
 #92

So it is dead or can it be salvaged?  Sorry, not technical here.
I think it can be salvaged. A particular block, well in the future, will have to be chosen. After that block, every name will have to be recomputed to determine its correct ownership under the new, correct, rules. At that time, all names will revert to their correct owners, and from then on, the exploit will be impossible. It's just going to take the Namecoin community to come together, agree on the new rules and block number, get the work done on time, and so on.

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Paladin69
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October 16, 2013, 05:32:42 AM
 #93

I'm not taking any chances.  I just made 20 BTC off selling mine.  Nice surprise when you haven't paid attention to something for a while.  I dropped the vircurex price pretty hard...lol  If anyone wants to get back in cheaper than btc-e, go there.

Time will tell if that was a mistake, but I think not.  Especially if the project was abandoned.
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October 16, 2013, 10:59:38 AM
 #94

Namecoin has always been my favorite alt-coin - it had a clear purpose, different from Bitcoin, offering a nice way to keep a de-central registry of key-value pairs.
You found a bug that can be patched. Kudos. If there were an active development team, you would have alerted them privately first I presume rather than stir a panic. I do hope some developers will take this warning to heart and fix the problem, even if a bounty is necessary. Because like the OP, Namecoin is also the favorite alt-coin of many others.

OP contacted the Namecoin devs through multiple channels and gave them over a month to respond.  They never responded nor gave any indication that a fix was being worked on.  Project was assumed abandoned.

some more contacts have been given to him.. Khal received messages, but he has been busy the last month or 2

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October 16, 2013, 11:13:00 AM
 #95

RIP NMC  Sad

Bitcoin will show the world what hard money really is.
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October 16, 2013, 11:46:37 AM
 #96


there are also some other bugs as pm'd by libcoin.. please wait before updating.. there will be an official announcement eventually/soon

also namecoin-qt is NOT the official repo

What is the official repo?
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October 16, 2013, 12:18:57 PM
 #97


there are also some other bugs as pm'd by libcoin.. please wait before updating.. there will be an official announcement eventually/soon

also namecoin-qt is NOT the official repo

What is the official repo?

Find it here: http://namecoin.info

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October 16, 2013, 05:10:06 PM
Last edit: October 16, 2013, 05:21:56 PM by cassini
 #98

Quote from: phelix
Works like a charm so far. Just updated d/wav
Did you use snailbrain's new namecoin-qt build for regaining d/wav?

http://explorer.dot-bit.org/tx/af84b86f549c1c484238b70d742789ac07d4e9295bd2e075895fd968ab00f53b
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October 16, 2013, 05:14:05 PM
 #99

Quote from: phelix
Works like a charm so far. Just updated d/wav
Did you use snailbrain's new namecoin-qt build to reclaim d/wav?

http://explorer.dot-bit.org/tx/af84b86f549c1c484238b70d742789ac07d4e9295bd2e075895fd968ab00f53b

Hehe. Still testing Wink

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October 16, 2013, 05:40:08 PM
 #100

So all the brains and noise in crypto and open source projects over looked such a disaster?
I'm not sure whether to congratulate you or offer my condolences to the dev team and the big players.

This is rather interesting, not only for crypto, but also for all open source projects; having a project "open source" and calling the myth of "open source is more secure" doesn't make the code more secure.. Having developers like yourself actually looking into the code and testing the hell out of every possibility  is what makes it secure.

Nice work, hope a fix, patch, rebirth or whatever you want to call it will be pushed out soon as such noise is in no way good to any cryptos including but not limited to Bitcoin  

I partly agree with you. The problem is that most open source software is poorly documented. Sparse documentation is what keeps the developers from actually inspecting the source... making it more secure becomes secondary in nature. This is one of the reasons I'm excited about the release of btcd (blog.conformal.com/btcd-not-your-moms-bitcoin-daemon). At least the source is readable and well structured. I'll not be surprised if majority of the developers start moving away from the Satoshi client to btcd once btcd reaches stability. I'm not saying that Satoshi client is unreadable. But it has a steep learning curve that deters new developers.

What is the point of open-sourcing software if you can't document it? Its like Shinichi Mochizuki (who was incidently thought to be Satoshi Nakamoto) having supposedly proved the ABC conjecture(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abc_conjecture) but nobody can understand it.

Interesting read: Paradox of Proof (http://projectwordsworth.com/the-paradox-of-the-proof/)

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