The Shake: Mar. 13, 2022
HandyCon starts in 3 days!
Let’s talk about Certificate Authorities.
We know Handshake as an alternative root zone and naming system. But Handshake in some ways is first an attempt to disintermediate Certificate Authorities. To do that, we happen to need our own namespace.
Certificate Authorities are trusted third parties that the internet relies on to secure connections between users and servers / nodes. We depend on the good faith of CAs, many of whom are for-profit companies or state actors, without sufficient incentive alignment to reinforce their trusted role.
The net-effect is a "1-of-m multisig" whereby if any one of the trusted CAs fail, the entire security of the internet fails.
Today, the failure of the trusted-CA model is rearing its head as CAs are ceasing issuance and revoking certificates of Russian domains, creating a vacuum for a Russian-government operated CA to fill. This new Russian government CA can potentially issue certs for any domain, and intercept and decrypt the traffic of Russian citizens.
With Handshake, we can establish a peer-to-peer model of trust that does not required third parties to attest to the security of a connection. Names can point directly to self-signed certificates while users can quickly and securely self-verify those names.
What has been an afterthought in the design of other blockchain based domain projects is proving to be a necessity in upgrading the internet’s security. Otherwise, we’re building “decentralized” namespaces that inherit the same underlying flaws.
This Week in Handshake
↳ lcdb — LevelDB in C From Handshake founder JJ, a reimplementation of LevelDB for the next Handshake full node written in C. Portability has been a stated objective for choosing C for the full node itself and this database specifically.
lcdb is written in such a way that it should be usable on Windows 9x as well as unices which predate POSIX.1-2001 Portability to this degree was achieved by sifting through copies of MSDN from the '90s, as well as examining header files from old unix releases to see which system calls were truly available in practice.
↳ HIP-2 Server — Identity with Privacy From Matthew Zipkin, wallet naming following the HIP-2 standard that uses your wallet’s xpub to derive a new receive address on every request. We get the benefits of sending + receiving assets to human-readable names while being afforded the privacy of not reusing public addresses associated with our wallet in order to do so. Try it here.
↳ Niami Chat The Handshake explorer has integrated HNS Chat. For all names active on the messaging app, a ‘Start Chat’ button shows up on the name’s Niami page. On chain profiles and encrypted P2P messaging are starting to make a block explorer for a naming and identity chain look like… a social network?
↳ Handshake Tarot — The First HNS NFT Auction Learn how to use The Handshake Tarot project to draw random cards using DNS queries and bid for these Handshake NFTs using Bob Wallet. Auctions go live March 16th!
↳ HS Hub — How to Manage Your DNS records Learn how to use the HS Hub nameservers to manage your DNS records with our step by step guide and the more in depth tutorial video from SkyInclude.
↳ HNS Chat — New Registrars + Channels Anyone can now sign up to use HNS Chat without a TLD by registering a free subdomain. Some of these available subdomains come with their own channels, and those channels can public to everyone or private to subdomains only.
↳ Mempool Visualizer The Handshake Block Clock has been updated with a mempool visualizer. Transactions are drawn as spirals of dots, representing the output covenants in different colors. Click on a block or tx spiral to open that object in a block explorer!
Currently, there are 671k addresses with non-zero HNS balances.
Around the DWeb
↳ Skynet Kernel A browser extension that gives the user a trusted environment to run decentralized applications and query decentralized APIs.
↳ Open Defense Fund Mark Nadal wrote a post on forking bluesky, the decentralized social media initiative, to ‘stay aligned with its original vision’. The Open Defense Fund is launching with David Vorick of Sia, Sam Williams of Arweave, and several other founding members along with $650k in grants for projects to defend the web.
- 20,000 DVPN to Tetrashapes for their upcoming HNS mobile wallet
- 50,000 DVPN to HNS Chat for their chat platform
- 77,777 DVPN to Niami for their integration with HNS Chat
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