I came across an interesting paper about bootstrapping a peer to peer network without a central authority
(no IRC channel, no DNS seeds, not even a hardcoded seed list).
Bootstrapping Peer-to-peer Networks
Chris GauthierDickey; Christian Grothoff
In this paper, we present the ﬁrst heuristic for fully distributed bootstrapping of peer-to-peer networks. Our
heuristic generates a stream of promising IP addresses to be probed as entry points. This stream is generated using statistical proﬁles using the IP ranges of start-of-authorities (SOAs) in the domain name system (DNS). We present experimental results demonstrating that with this approach it is efﬁcient and practical to bootstrap Gnutella-sized peerto-peer networks – without the need for centralized services or the public exposure of end-user’s private IP addresses
The Bitcoin network may have too few nodes accepting incoming connections for this to work today, but thought it might be useful someday, as the network grows.