W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webpayments@w3.org > November 2015

Re: WebDHT weparation of concerns (was Re: A Decentralized Hashtable for the Web)

From: Fabio Barone <holon.earth@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Nov 2015 10:15:03 -0500
Message-ID: <CAOL8i_kTsuRQrDFGJasYJbXVwJtVLMp-iUkyqMtFkKcF-yb+8Q@mail.gmail.com>
To: Michael Bumann <hello@michaelbumann.com>
Cc: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>, Web Payments <public-webpayments@w3.org>
Actually, I was thinking the other day, when posting my other comment, that
maybe those trust relationship we were talking about could be done with
blockchain technology (in order to automate decisions based on trust). But
as it seems to be already included in the current spec in another way, I
can't see the applications/benefits of using blockchains for WebDHT.

2015-11-04 4:23 GMT-05:00 Michael Bumann <hello@michaelbumann.com>:

>
> On 04 Nov 2015, at 08:23, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com> wrote:
>
> > On 11/03/2015 05:43 AM, Michael Bumann wrote:
> >> it sounds interesting. I am posting before I haven't fully
> >> read/understood the spec, which maybe is not a good idea :)
> >
> > Yes, please read the spec. :)
> >
> > It helps us not repeat things that are already in the spec on the
> > mailing list. :)
> >
> >> But somehow it reminds me of the Bitcoin or Namecoin block chain and
> >> some projects that happen around there.
> >
> > Yes, the goal is similar to Namecoin, except that this is not attempting
> > to take the Bitcoin blockchain and make it do something it was never
> > designed to do.
> >
> > Part of our work here is to figure out the really interesting pieces of
> > the Bitcoin blockchain and reduce each thing to first principles,
> > implement those first principles as modules, and then construct new
> > things from those modules.
>
>
> I guess some quite some people/projects would disagree. Just look at the
> blockstack/onename/factom projects.
> Also we should not mix up namecoin and bitcoin. Namecoin is a fork of
> Bitcoin which takes the block chain idea to create a decentralized
> information registration system.
> So even if we say the Bitcoin block chain is not intended to do something
> like that, namecoin from what I understand is.
>
>
> What I am missing in the WebDHT spec is some incentive for running a node
> or a securing/consensus mechanism, but I guess that would only be needed
> for unique human readable aliases or unique names (like domains).
>
> >
> >> Can it be reused?
> >
> > Digital Bazaar's position is that we shouldn't re-use the Bitcoin
> > blockchain for something it was never intended to do.
> >
> >> The Bitcoin keys are basically also some kind of identifiers. In fact
> >> the usecase of domain ownership is one that especially namecoin tries
> >> to solve - being a "decentralized open source information
> >> registration [...] system". Easy speaking it solves the issue of
> >> deciding about ownership of an unique name in a decentralized
> >> system.
> >
> > Yes, the downside being that you have all these other things that are
> > going on in the Bitcoin ecosystem that don't enable you to optimize for
> > that problem.
> >
> > For example, the recent scalability discussions around block size in the
> > Bitcoin community have almost nothing to do with determining identifier
> > ownership. The WebDHT is not a blockchain by design, so it doesn't
> > suffer a number of the downsides that a blockchain design based approach
> > creates when dealing with identifiers.
>
> Yes, you have this discussion because of a "consensus" about ownership
> that the network has to reach.
>
>
> >
> > To provide an example of how the problem could be decomposed:
> >
> > The WebDHT has no memory. If a memory is desired, a separate ledger
> > format (aka blockchain) should be specified that can be written to /in
> > parallel to WebDHT operations that should be archived/. It could be
> > argued that this is the proper separation of concerns because you enable
> > the WebDHT (decentralized identifiers) to evolve at a different pace
> > than the ledger mechanism (long-term memory). There are certainly
> > downsides with that approach, but the point here is to have the proper
> > separation of concerns.
>
> What I might not understand is how WebDHT reaches consensus about
> ownership of identifiers?
> The spec uses domains as an example. But I don't understand from the text
> how unique ownership of such an identifier is secured.
>
>
> >
> > Don't get me wrong, I think Bitcoin is important and was a world
> > changing technology. That said, if we are to look at this from a systems
> > engineering standpoint, we have to understand the composable bits to
> > ensure that whatever we try to standardize will stand the rigorous W3C
> > standardization process. One of those hurdles we will have to overcome
> > is proving that we have the proper separation of concerns.
> >
>
> yep, totally agree with that. And your inspiration/ideas are really great.
> thanks!
>
>
>
> Btw. what do you think about OKTurtles/DNSChain? https://okturtles.com/
>
> > -- manu
> >
> > --
> > Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny, G+: +Manu Sporny)
> > Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
> > blog: Web Payments: The Architect, the Sage, and the Moral Voice
> > https://manu.sporny.org/2015/payments-collaboration/
> >
>
>
>
Received on Wednesday, 4 November 2015 15:15:33 UTC

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