[kwlug-disc] Callout to CS majors/Other technically savvy klwug listers.

Doug Moen doug at moens.org
Fri Feb 8 21:13:54 EST 2019


Stuart said "the end users host the index on blockchain and the content
on torrents".
I googled these topics, and found IPFS, the InterPlanetary File System,
which is "a peer-to-peer distributed file system", with similarities to
bit torrent and git repos. It's popular and well known, being used by
multiple decentralized internet projects, and does not use blockchain.
Files are immutable and are identified primarily by their hash. If you
change a file, you create a new object with a different hash. IPNS is a
decentralized naming system that gives fixed names to mutable files, and
supports human readable file names.
I also found FileCoin, Storj, Swarm, etc, all based on blockchain and
cryptocurrency.
The early internet had a decentralized index called /etc/hosts. This was
before economic activity was allowed on the internet, so the internet
had not yet been contaminated by evil, and initially nobody worried
about the now obvious security problems with the hosts file. The problem
was it didn't scale, so DNS was born.
Blockchain is a shared, decentralized, tamperproof public ledger that
can be updated with new entries in a trustworthy way. I see the logic in
storing a decentralized index on blockchain, but as soon as you have a
cryptocurrency, it becomes a magnet for criminal activity. That's
something I want to steer clear of in the Curv project.
If I reject blockchain, then probably I cannot have a single
decentralized & authoritative index for Curv. This leaves me with what
Paul described, which is a centralized index, which can be forked, which
could lead to multiple competing indexes. Which is actually fine.
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