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[liberationtech] Thoughts on decentralized DNS, and OpenNIC particularly?

Rohan Dixit rohandixit86 at
Thu Mar 15 11:36:54 PDT 2012

Thanks for this, really helpful. My purpose in doing this is to figure out
what the most practical/quickest to deployment solution is for distributed
DNS records, so this is definitely useful.

I looked at both namecoin and CJDNS. Looks like namecoin has attracted most
of the developers from the initial project, with CJDNS still limping along
(I'm guessing based on activity here.)

Links to the code:

Could you speak to the structure of namecoin a bit more? Looks like it uses
the "proof-of-work" trick from bitcoin to validate DNS records (and
arbitrary key-value pairs), unless my skimming was totally off. That's
pretty ingenious, for those who are interested I found a great blog post
that serves both as an introduction to Bitcoin and explains how it could be
used to make a distributed DNS.

It appears they're also proposing integrating with providers like OpenNIC,
OpenDNS, etc. although I'm not qualified to judge how feasible that is. They also share computing resources with
current bitcoin generators.... seems they've thought of everything.

Someone mentioned DNSSEC in a new off-shoot thread. DNSSEC within the
existing DNS paradigm is only a half-measure (although I think you'll
agree, an important one.)

*Notes on other dDNS providers:*
So besides namecoin and CJDNS, there's also Dot-P2p, the dDNS system that
was proposed based on the BitTorrent protocol. Some info was here: but the link to looks dead. The first hit
Googling "distributed dns" brings up another codebase that hasn't been
modified seemingly since 2005 ( I checked out DIANNA
as well, but didn't see a link to active code so assumed it was mostly

On Wed, Mar 14, 2012 at 4:36 PM, <liberationtech at> wrote:

> On Wed, Mar 14, 2012 at 02:19:47PM -0700, rohandixit86 at wrote
> 14K bytes in 317 lines about:
> : Curious if anyone had thoughts on OpenNIC as a provider of decentralized
> : DNS. From my naive point of view, it often seems like dDNS is a good way
> to
> : stop lazy types of censorship. But perhaps I'm missing something and the
> : problem is more complicated than that?
> It is not distributed. It is just a rebirth of the non-ICANN root
> servers. See for past history on
> this idea.
> See also for more
> history and current status.
> --
> Andrew
> pgp 0x6B4D6475
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