[dns-operations] blockchain DNS

Andrew Sullivan ajs at anvilwalrusden.com
Sat Jan 27 23:27:39 UTC 2018

On Sat, Jan 27, 2018 at 01:42:42PM -0500, Phillip Hallam-Baker wrote:
> If we are going to have any sensible discussion on this, forget about
> 'blockchain' and the bitcoin ponzi scheme.

Sure.  Whatever you want to call it -- "hash chain notary logs" is
also fine with me.  But "blockchain" or "blockchain tech" or "sparky
the wonder amæba" is also fine, as long as we're referring to the same

> Main issue would be on the social side. There would have to be some
> mechanism to prevent domain name squatting and to permit recovery of 'lost'
> registrations.

But this is really the point.  We were _never_ at risk of running out
of strings in ASCII, never mind in UTF-8.  Our problem in naming is
identifiers useful to humans, where identifiers tend to be overloaded.
(Bizarrely, my brother once asked me whether I'd suddenly become
editor of the New Republic.)

> this can be fairly called out as negligent and told its their own fault as
> far as DNS registrations in .COM are concerned.

But in a world of thousands of TLDs, many of which seem to be designed
only to attract defensive registrations (some have called them
"extortion TLDs", but I would not), that negligence evaluation might

> squatting is homograph and homophone squatting. So some dispute resolution
> process is essential.

And getting worse, as the populations' writing systems get more

> OK, so there is a UDRP like process, though rather narrower in scope than
> ICANN's and there is some mechanism whereby these arbitration bodies can
> post messages that override the first come rule.

This is _the entire rock face_ of the cliff people are proposing to
climb, and you wave it away.  Why narrower in scope?  Who decides?
What is the mechanism?  What makes this legitimate in different
countries?  How do you cope with different jurisdictions ruling
differently?  And so on.  This is not a trivial matter.  There were
good, solid reasons why Jon Postel attempted to punt as much of this
as possible very far away from IANA.  It is too bad that subsequent
generations did not follow his lead, but here we are.  Once things
near the top are open and desirable, we need to find political, not
technical, answers to these problems.  For there is no technical

Best regards,


Andrew Sullivan
ajs at crankycanuck.ca

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