CoinGecko Podcast - Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Insights

Steven McKie on Why We need to Decentralize the Domain Name System - Ep. 9

April 08, 2020 Bobby Ong Season 1 Episode 9
CoinGecko Podcast - Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Insights
Steven McKie on Why We need to Decentralize the Domain Name System - Ep. 9
Chapters
CoinGecko Podcast - Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Insights
Steven McKie on Why We need to Decentralize the Domain Name System - Ep. 9
Apr 08, 2020 Season 1 Episode 9
Bobby Ong

In this episode, Bobby Ong, co-founder of CoinGecko is joined by Steven McKie, Founding Partner and CEO of Amentum Investment Management. Bobby interviewed Steven on the story behind Handshake, its structure, as well as its plans for Handshake in the next few years.

[00:00:02] Intro
[00:01:15] What is Handshake?
[00:09:00] Handshake’s structure
[00:14:20] How is Handshake different from Namecoin?
[00:18:24] How does Handshake compare against .crypto and .eth?
[00:23:40] How will Handshake TLD work if there is collission?
[00:27:45] Handshake’s plans to work with browsers
[00:34:00] Stats on domain name auction
[00:40:35] Where to follow Handshake?

Quotes from the episode:

“We're just focused on doing one thing, doing it really well and making it scaleable enough to handle that use case and to be able to just out of the gate have something for people to actually use that could be integrated in a multiple different aspects and with different purity trade off.” [00:05:15]

“So whether it’s Chinese, whether it's in English, whether it's in Spanish, whether it's Russian, no matter the translation, you can register that name on the blockchain, and we will recognize that character as your unique TLD.” [00:25:05]

“Handshake has grown pretty quickly. So I say you give it another two or three months, we'll probably see a handful of different ways that you can quickly get up and running with Handshake,” [00:33:20]

Links

Handshake - https://handshake.org/
CoinGecko - https://www.coingecko.com/
Handshake (HNS) on CoinGecko - https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/handshake
Handshake Explorer - https://hnscan.com/
Handshake Exchange - https://www.namebase.io/
DNS.live - https://dns.live/
HSD Tools - https://hsd.tools/auctions

Social Media

Twitter - https://twitter.com/hns
Telegram - https://t.me/handshaketalk and https://t.me/handshake_hns

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Bobby Ong, co-founder of CoinGecko is joined by Steven McKie, Founding Partner and CEO of Amentum Investment Management. Bobby interviewed Steven on the story behind Handshake, its structure, as well as its plans for Handshake in the next few years.

[00:00:02] Intro
[00:01:15] What is Handshake?
[00:09:00] Handshake’s structure
[00:14:20] How is Handshake different from Namecoin?
[00:18:24] How does Handshake compare against .crypto and .eth?
[00:23:40] How will Handshake TLD work if there is collission?
[00:27:45] Handshake’s plans to work with browsers
[00:34:00] Stats on domain name auction
[00:40:35] Where to follow Handshake?

Quotes from the episode:

“We're just focused on doing one thing, doing it really well and making it scaleable enough to handle that use case and to be able to just out of the gate have something for people to actually use that could be integrated in a multiple different aspects and with different purity trade off.” [00:05:15]

“So whether it’s Chinese, whether it's in English, whether it's in Spanish, whether it's Russian, no matter the translation, you can register that name on the blockchain, and we will recognize that character as your unique TLD.” [00:25:05]

“Handshake has grown pretty quickly. So I say you give it another two or three months, we'll probably see a handful of different ways that you can quickly get up and running with Handshake,” [00:33:20]

Links

Handshake - https://handshake.org/
CoinGecko - https://www.coingecko.com/
Handshake (HNS) on CoinGecko - https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/handshake
Handshake Explorer - https://hnscan.com/
Handshake Exchange - https://www.namebase.io/
DNS.live - https://dns.live/
HSD Tools - https://hsd.tools/auctions

Social Media

Twitter - https://twitter.com/hns
Telegram - https://t.me/handshaketalk and https://t.me/handshake_hns

Bobby Ong:   0:02
Welcome to the CoinGecko podcast. I'm your host Bobby Ong. Each week we will be interviewing someone from the blockchain industry to learn more about this fast moving crypto currency economy. If this is your first time listening, then thanks for coming. The CoinGecko podcast is produced each week to help you stay ahead of the curve. Show notes can be found at podcast.coingecko.com. I highly encourage you to join our newsletter where we send out top news in the crypto industry every Monday to Friday. Come back often and feel free to add the podcast to your favorite RSS feed or iTunes. You can also follow us on Twitter and Telegram at CoinGecko.

Bobby Ong:   0:39
Welcome to the CoinGecko Podcast. For today’s episode, we will be welcoming Steven McKie, Founding Partner and CEO of Amentum Investment Management. Steven has been involved with Handshake (HNS). Handshake is a decentralized naming solution for the internet and provides a blockchain powered alternative for allocating ownership rights to Top Level Domains (TLD). A little bit more about Steven before we start. Steven has been involved in crypto for the past 7 years. He was previously the Head of Growth and Product Content at Purse and also hosts the BlockChannel podcast. Welcome to the CoinGecko Podcast, Steven.

Steven McKie:   1:10
Hi guys.  Thanks for having me on. I really appreciate it.

Bobby Ong:   1:13
So for the first question can you explain to us in your simplest manner what is Handshake and why is it important to decentralize the Domain Name System?

Steven McKie:   1:21
Of course. So you know the current web as it stands right now, were traditionally enough is centralized to a small group party based out of an organization here in the US, called ICANN. And so potentially what they serve as are the technical stewards, Custodians of the Web, which basically run and dictate what sort of new g teal these are like top level domain names will exist on the Internet. So they essentially, like, play the gatekeepers over individuals and other registrars that want to sell access to these names to a very like convoluted and expensive process that you have to go through you know, specifically to them. So you know, as with all other cryptocurrencies in the kind of the concept of Byzantine fault, tolerance and you know, building a block team as a whole, the idea is to remove these central authorities. So in Handshake's case, you know, they're looking to kind of solve what is called, like previously is like Zooko's Trilemma, which says that, you know if you're going to build a decentralized name space, you have to satisfy kind of like two or three of these properties, which one, being human readable names. Like it needs to be secure right. Byzantine Fault Tolerant, etc. And it needs to be like a distributed name space. So, if you know you wanted to build a Blockchain using all these different things that we learned over the past 10 years since Bitcoin, since Ethereum, to come together to build a new chain, that could remove the need for these centralized custodians that would be the gatekeepers of the current Web. And build a alternative root anchor to ICANN, which is essentially a soft fork of, you know, the current DNS system, wherein the system is backwards compatible, and as a result out too, ICANN if a name doesn't exist in the Handshakes' name space. And so the idea is, you know we're not, it's kind of a technical Trojan horse or sorts that you can take the current Web and current name space, and then we can expand that to an unlimited array of names as long as you know they support our UTF-8. And so you, we can have, you know, as long as it's less than 63 characters as well, which is similar to the current DNS's rule. You're gonna have any sort of name that you want. And so the idea is, it's an advancement over the current DNS's name space, that's backwards compatible, and then, you know, also it allows us to remove that centralized authority. So the idea is taking some of the best new creations that have come about like segregated witness, light clients, Merkle Trees, which were designed by JJ, one of the main developers, Christopher Geoffrey of BCoin. And then now Handshake HSD. It's you know, what we all like to joke about and say like an artisanal approach had what you would do if you wanted to create a Blockchain that was not only like application specific but was secure and focused on doing one particular thing. Whereas Bitcoin was successful because it was good at what it did - Peer-to-peer payments, and it's created that. Ethereum wanted to be more generalize-able right. Smart contract, extendability, back composability. That's nice. But then, you know Ethereum itself is constantly looking for use cases to sustain its value into the growing ecosystem. And Handshake out of the gate similar to Bitcoin, it's coming out saying, Hey, we have this render extendability here, being so natively architected to work with the modern web, but we also don't change some important aspects, like UTXO. We don't have you know, an attractive model like Ethereum does. And so, you know, we're just focused on doing one thing, doing it really well and making it scale-able enough to handle that use case and to be able to just out of the gate have something for people to actually use that could be integrated in a multiple different aspects and with different security trade off. So, and that's like the shortest speech that I give when someone goes, why does Handshake have its own blockchain? The idea is that in order to fully realize the idea of having something kind of generalize-able, but still application specific. We kinda really gotta start at, kind of just first principles and work our way backwards and think about what has the industry got right? You know, in the past 10, 11 years since Bitcoins conception and what we need to focus on to build something that people are gonna actually want to use.

Bobby Ong:   6:06
Who came up with the idea of Handshake? When did he or she came up with the idea and white paper for Handshake?

Steven McKie:   6:13
Yeah. So the exact time that the original idea came about if I had to guess, probably when toward the end of time when I was at Purse in late 2017. So maybe sometime in that summer, if I would imagine maybe, JJ and the the other individuals at Purse and the other partners and creators that have been listed elsewhere, you know, it kind of came together. And at the time, you know, JJ was working on Bcoin, which was the first full note alternative implementation Bitcoin rebuilt, in Node.js that JJ and another gentleman [inaudible] had originally worked on and from there I guess the idea was what we couldn't build in Bitcoin, JJ saw this opportunity to kind of take all of his experience of working, you know, in the web space, previously at one point he had worked at Go Daddy and, you know, also reimplementing Bitcoin and all of its entirety. You know, running a node for this modular extendable library for Bcoin. And so, since that served as the kind of mature boilerplate for Handshake HNS and HSD, the hope that the code base came from, you know, a very mature project, and then from there was able to be extended out further. And so I think a lot of the early design around how the system will be architected came from a lot of probably JJ. Since he is, you know, the main implementer of the project but then also just Joseph Crew and others played a role in likely that game theory and architecture and how that all should that best be set up. So at least from like kind of the core constituents there and also Andrew Lee from Purse and then Andrew Lee from I think it's London New Media, London Trust Media, in the private Internet access VPN. There's two Andrew Lee on the projects so sometimes that could be confusing. And so, as far as like, the original kind of the core, I guess creators that, too, I would personally like recognize as who [inaudible] and also [inaudible] who, coincidentally, my fund Amentum, which I am CEO of. He was also an original co-creator of our fund in company Amentum prior to going to work and to build Handshake full time. And then to which later, you know, we invested as fund into Handshake as well and also a slew of other project. And so, you know, really, it just came from a courtroom of folks that really supported Bcoin, really supported JJ and saw an opportunity to kind of really build something important and starting from square one.

Bobby Ong:   9:01
How is Handshake's structure? Is there a foundation? And then I remember there was some sort of early investors through some private sales. Do you know how much it raised and how's the development team going around?

Steven McKie:   9:13
So all that stuff is transparent. It's on the website. You can find it in quite a few other articles in some places as well, and there's proof of all this stuff and you know, the code base as well. But the entirety of the, I guess kind of like the initial genesis allotment of Handshake, was in total 1.36 billion. And what that included was that was broken down into various different segments and with different groups. So it was broken down mostly into 7.5% segments, which comes out to roughly 102 million HNS allotment. So you can say 102 million or so went to the initial kind of creator group of individuals and their businesses and firms and developers that, you know, work initially on Handshake. And then you have the investors, which are folks like us. So, you know, they originally raised $10.2 million of assets, not just for the fund, for the development of the protocol or for anything like that. But that was to go to the boss organizations and that ultimately that we hoped would be, you know, future custodians of Handshake and would look to adopt it and to recognize it you know, upon this launch. I would imagine came theoretically with how that worked out. So that $10.2 million that was raised was given away to those organizations, which are also listed on the Handshake website. There's like a sponsors in green page on there that breaks down all those different organization. So like Debian and FreeBSD and other groups that are, like listed up on there were able to kind of just get a jumpstart on Handshake. And so with that believe, some of that came with an additional allotment of Handshake, too. So I think they both got USD and HNS of committing their keys to the tree and then there are the other percentages. So there was like a certain amount of segment for all of the air drop participants, though, there was the boosting airdrop, which is like a zero knowledge claims scheme for individuals to use their current keys that they've had submitted their PGP keys and things of that nature from Github, on Keybase and a few other places and sources that these bees were farm from and they were included in the tree based on some other parameters. For instance Github. I think it was having 15 followers or more, sometime after like February, mid February in 2019. And there's a certain date where all those keys were pulled as well. Essentially over 200,000 unique individuals are included in this majority allotment. And of those individuals they each got somewhere around like 4200 HNS. And then, prior to that, there was online faucet, where individuals could confirm and verify their Github, keys, their free node, addresses and the PGP keys to also get allotments. And that was a smaller pool of individuals, I think that was somewhere around 2000 folks. So the majority of Handshake is owned by you know, those overly 200,000 future airdropped recipients, folks who can claim. And then there are, you know, some other allotments. I believe I can't remember the other, like recipient groups on top of my head here. But there is a nice pie chart somewhere on that site or probably you can find it in Internet archives, one of the previous version of site. But all that's open source on the HST GitHub too. The breakdown is you know, 1.36 billion or so out of a future. 2.04 billion, I believe, is the total on top of my head here. And so, uh, you know, the rest of the assets are mine via proof of where, which is a blake to be shot through proof of work algorithm. So generally, that's the overall breakdown of how the initial airdrop happened, though, if you have Github keys and if you have your keys were including the tree, you can submit your claim, but then also, if you're in the Alexa top 100,000, so that was farmed as well from those lists. So the top 100,000 Alexa names each got a different allotment of HNS. Some of the earlier name, I think like the first, maybe 2000, maybe it was 10,000 for men like that, they got different allotments, and you can actually see all that information live. It's all part of the tree, it's all part, these are like in consensus, as far as in consensus rules. So all this stuff is set in stone and is there forever, and it can't get changed. But if you go to dns.live, there's a website there that shows all the current names that have been claimed. So it just, it's a HSD node, and then you know, gets back the name information of who has claim their name on the tree thus far. And who's gotten their allotment of Handshake that is included with that? And so there's a variable amount there, and that makes up one of the other 7.5% allotment as well. So you know, a good group of Alexa top 100,000 got somewhere between, like 102 million, like HNS divided amongst them as well.

Bobby Ong:   14:16
Ya, I remember in the early days of crypto, Namecoin was one of the most popular project because it aims to decentralize the DNS system too. They have this .bit top level domain that is decentralized. However, Namecoin didn't really become popular. How is Handshake different? How will it not repeat the mistakes of Namecoin?

Steven McKie:   14:35
Yeah, there's a really nice interview that MIT technology review did on the Handshake project myself. Tieshun from Namebase and a few other folks that goes over this general idea. But the general idea here is like back then you know, Namecoin created itself, there was a very small, limited amount of crypto adopters at the time. Namecoin has to compete against Bitcoin, which is also growing like simultaneously, but just technology wise, just the right way to architect something like Namecoin just wasn't quite there yet. And also you had to also take into account, not trying to just start from square one. And you wanted to just, you know, not trying to create complete alternative system that was completely separate from current DNS. That was a very early mistake again you know, Handshake DNS is essentially a software that the current DNS in the sense that we retain the current name space. But then also it will resolve recursively back out to ICANN's route service if needed, in which case, the name doesn't exist in Handshake's tree. So you know, in no way are we completely separating ourselves from the web. We're more of like a drop in alternative. And so, you know, that is one consideration to, you know, aspects around, like flat file storage, oracle trees, how those names are gonna be stored and served, updated covenant, which is what part of the Handshake architecture on how the Vickrey bid auction system works. There's something that came later, a few years out from Bitcoin conception and Namecoin conception. That works very well for security UTXO and also light clients. So, like the SPV light resolver require HNSD, which is not to be confused with HSD the actual full client name. It itself will, you know, just interact with letters and to verify that your names and where they could be resolved from a full note. And so basically it's like different security trade off of don't want to run my own full node and which isn't a recursive resolver and authoritative name server over the name, you know, name Jimmy, Handshake name space. But then also, you have a light client that can work alongside the system that someone can run, you know, passively and say like the windows tray or background in there. Or I can just change my local resolved icon files on my computer on say my Mac, to someone else's full node and just trust that I'm sending my queries to their system. Or I could reference another zone resolver, something like next DNS, which is added support for handshake where they run an instance of HSD where they're resolving and storing Handshake names and then so you could make a request directly through next DNS using the traditional web DNS. So you don't even make any actual changes aside from add support for you there servers on your local device for your network. And so it's, there's many different ways that Handshake can be incorporated into the modern web that Namecoin, which mostly working at a full node, a client in order to like validate names and etc. And they'll continue to improve that system and that staff are working very, very hard. It's just different considerations for Handshake to kind of be a root anchor and economical reference. You know we reach data availability, but you know, is also agnostic to how it can be utilized best. And, you know, I think there's a right and a wrong way to approach thing and not that Namecoin took it and did it wrong. It's just they did what was available at the time and, you know, 10 years, 11 years really makes a big difference on how these systems can be implemented.

Bobby Ong:   18:22
All right, cool. So, I'm just wondering, how does Handshake compare against the .crypto Top Level Domain (TLD) offered by Unstoppable Domain and also the .eth offered by Ethereum Name Service? Don't you think that Handshake is just a feature within an existing blockchain instead of being an entire project of its own?

Steven McKie:   18:43
Of course. So, yeah. No. So I've talked, I've got some interesting stories from Polkadot. So on the regard of, like, Unstoppable Domain, it's from my understanding that they were built originally on underlying blockchain called Caligua. And then I think then they created these things called ZRC20 contracts, like, basically EVM compatible smart contracts that then they ran like an instance to that on Ethereum. And I think that's where they think got the .crypto domain, which I believe if that is the case, it's also just potentially a multisig that controls that name. And so with that, they have this name registered .crypto and they sell people access to this one TLD that they created, .crypto. Wherein, you know, Handshake and anything can be a TLD. You can own, Bobby, you know, you can have, I can own McKie, you know. And CoinGecko, that could be its own TLD, right. And then you could have any other additional domain. You know, Unstoppable domain on top of that. So, you know, for instance, you could have news.coingecko or etc. And so the idea is unstoppable domain, they're limited. So they are releasing like other names that they support. But the idea is you want to give the user complete control over what that name is or should be, because again, you're just trading one gatekeeper - ICANN for another, that's Unstoppable domain group, which is, like, you know, slowly iterating and like, changing and has a completely different security model than a proof of work visiting fault tolerance system right. That has its own proof of work security and its own unique hashing algorithm that has a dedicated economy of scale behind it. Kind of protecting your name space. And then so the same goes to like ENS.  So ENS, great folks, what they're working on, it's just they're just kind of tackling the concept of naming and there's two different perspective. I've spoken to a gentleman there, named Brently, who is basically the COO there I believe at ENS domain. He's a fan of Handshake. He likes what we're doing. He understand what our approaches are. Probably have a very difficult approach from his, we will have a difficult time ahead of it, excuse me. In his perspective, on, like, just because we are basically kind of Trojan horsing ourselves in, on this extension vs what they're doing where they're literally trying to go on working hand in hand with ICANN. They were also at ICANN meeting that they had in Montreal this year. They had HNS, ENS and few other folks on their back. And I think October, November's time frame, and we all presented there. We as in other folks in the Handshake community, so that was the Purse's Bcoin team and then Namebase as well. Some folks from there. I think his idea is you know, we're working directly with them, you know that slowly has supporter for these different name into our registry over time. You know, we're focused well once, predictably on Eth right. But we know also, you know, they want to be able to rule cross compatible with current DNS. And they have support for DNS sack as well. So essentially the kind of just approaching things, one from .eth perspective. And then also, whatever else they want to work with by going forward through, you know, the normal bureaucratic process, where we're like, "Hey, we're Handshake. We're here. Here's this alternative root zone." "Um, you wanna buy anyone Handshake? Great. You can be whatever it is. And then now the name is secured by blockchain itself." And now there is no central authority which will dictate what's going forward with versus also ENS, again, it's own architectural is doing a different thing, But it is maintained by a seven person multi-state which can be found on their ENS domain group as well. Folks like Nick Dair, I believe Taylor from My Crypto, Taylor Monahan is another. And then another  folk. And so the idea to is that you have this multi-state group that basically controls the ENS domain registry. So it feels like they just again, each of these different groups of different focus,where we feel like Handshake is the generalize-able, extendable, agnostic, naming blockchain, where you want to come have a decentralized name identity? Cool. Whatever you, this moniker means to you, whether it's your Twitter handle, your Instagram name, your online brand identity, the name of your YouTube channel, whatever. You own that and that name can now be as a user's identifier across the Web in many different ways. And you can have sub domains, which would be utilized in any form of business or personal use that makes sense.

Bobby Ong:   23:20
Yeah, it's interesting. I mean, ICANN has bean aggressively adding many top level domains recently. So like now, for example, one can buy .accountant, .auction, .camera, .car, . doctor, etc. This wasn't the case several years ago. And for Handshake's case like if you owned doctor.com, you basically can claim the .doctor TLD. My question is how will Handshake TLD work if it clashes? What happens when ICANN adds more TLD in the future? So for example if someone owns doctor.com or somebody owns .doctor, like how will it work then when they also have .doctor on the Handshake TLD?

Steven McKie:   23:57
Yeah. So this question is actually come up many times in the community, and I really wanna say, hats off to Tieshun the CEO of Namebase there, who's probably I have seen answer this question the most. But essentially the kind, the way it works is, you know, they go through this bureaucratic process. When anyone wanna add this name they go to compile all the, you know, attempted registrations for folks that are attempting to, you know, join the processor for getting a new type of TLD added, this happens every, like I think there's, like, four years, something like that. And I think there's still another, maybe three or four years going forward into the future, which has been announced publicly when they're going to get back to that process next. To make the decision on whatever new names, you're going to be added to the state. So Handshake has a unique launch strategy where only certain names in the name space are released over a 52 week period. So essentially you take a name, say Bobby Ong, and you hash that a shot three hash and then your module is 52. And then that's how you get what we, for how many weeks you need to wait after Handshake launches before your name becomes available. So what this means is, since you know, you can have any name. So whether Chinese, whether it's in English, whether it's in Spanish, whether it's Russian, no matter the translation, you can register that name on the blockchain, but we will recognize that character as your unique TLD. But the name is only released within this 52 week period. So every week, a new set of names become available in the network for people to open up and start trying to purchase that name. And so there's a rolling period here honestly in the first year of Handshake was very important because that's when all these names are slowly become available while simultaneously folks are claiming their names from the airdrop, new services are coming online, adding new ways to resolve Handshake. You know, different security models, different security trade off and so us growing as a community and also as, not only as like in usage but also speculation the asset development of the code based additional alternative client. It is really just like build, and again, we're always going to attempt to be as compatible as possible. So if we get that far into the future and the community wanted to, for instance, like soft fork or hard fork in, you know, additional changes that when you are blacklist, they're making the additional things that would potentially add further backwards compatibility with additional DNF. Governance of chains allows those types of things happen if the community believe that that's important. But the idea here is that Handshake should grow, you know, in strength, quickly given organically and you know how things were built with a team you know, incentives and if all things go according to plan you know, that'll be proof of work, economy and scales. People building ASICs and they'll be large, large mining pool's already supporting Handshake as things currently. That way, you know, only continue to grow. So the incentive to secure and grow, HNS has as an asset, as the main space or whatever it is, people you know, see Handshake is being useful for. And using it as its covenant system. It will eventually give us what we need to be an alternative. So there is no right answer to the question of what are you going to do and, you know, in the future of potential collisions? It all depends on how successful the community is and also what sort of flexibility governments wise that will the community a lot the asset in order to make changes to ensure that doesn't have any problems going forward.

Bobby Ong:   27:37
So if I'm interested in listing a site that uses the Handshake domain, I believed that I would need to run a Handshake resolver. That sounds like a very troublesome thing to do. So is there any plans for Handshake to work with browsers like Brave, Opera to incorporate the resolver directly? 

Steven McKie:   27:56
Yes. So that's what I was talking about previously, where you don't have to run a full node in order to resolve Handshake name. Because I was saying was, there's different security models so you can run a full node. You can authenticate names in tree using a light client which targets another full node, just provides you the name information that you need but without having to download blockchain data. Or you can use another resolver as I mentioned, like next DNS which will allow you to resolve your name using their VPN like service. So think like Cloudfare, like 1.1.1 resolver this one built by next DNS by default has support for Handshake name. So when you go in your browser and type in say, nb/, which is the name that Namebase bought from the Handshake chain, shorthand N B for Namebase that will take you directly to whatever site and records that Namebase has posted on there. So that, so next DNS for instance, it is as easy as going to nextDNS.io, copying the authentication key that popped up on the website could get just the stores that have a cookie in your current session that generate you to a free authentication ID. That you go into your settings, click enable Handshake resolve, and then you open up your phone and you're going to the IOS store and android app store, download their app. You click one button and then you paste your identification ID. And you're done. And essentially it connects you to a personal like VPN service that will then you know, resolve your names through their service next DNS. But then, with that, this backwards compatible in your browser for Handshake names .  All you need to do is include the slash. For instance like, nb/, write in your browser and it'll resolve it. And so with that, you know you can also, there's gonna be support for other, like root zones that currently already use Handshake and run Handshake resolvers. So you'll be able to just in a clear where browser for instance, you can go to like the Namebase, say I'm going to nb.hs. run or nb.hs.zone and with that, that's another zone that's being controlled that also hits Handshake name similar like next DNA and we'll resolve your name. So the idea is that you won't have to do anything at all in order to support Handshake. So all you're doing is choosing you know what level of security and what sort of trade offs you want to get. Just like when you make the decision, do I want to use a coin base account and store my assets in a centralized bank service where coin base control my keys. Or in this case, you could resolve your names through another service that, you know , you're sending your encrypted traffic through, but still you're sending their tracking through it. But then also, you can have decision of I want a noncustodial while I'm gonna generate my own keys. I'm gonna run, have this locally, and I have this backed up. Let me keep this store in cold storage, but which is the equivalent of I'm gonna run my own full node. I'm gonna process all my request. Or you have another friend that runs a full node or you have another trusted service run a full node, and you just want to connect your light client to it. And then your light client then hits someone else's full node. So then you're still getting your records directly from the chain.  You're giving, you're trading off your security of running and verifying your own full node [inaudible]. So the idea is that you want to be as flexible as possible, and that is what Handshake allows. And so, as we can see, since it's, Handshake's only launched February 3rd now and we're maybe like 70 days just in since the launch, it will only continue to mature, and other services like Brave, for instance, they were just on a recent developer call this past Thursday and they claim their 3.3 almost 3.4 million HNS, I think it was from the tree, which is a sizable amount at current prices, somewhere like $500,000. So a huge incentive for a company like Braves to just claim their name and then say, Hey, we want to support Handshake in our browser, what ways can we do that? Can we use the light client? Do we use the Dane, which is another authentication service, which is not as popular, but it adds for more forward compatibility, backward compatibility with Handshake as its is currently. Or, you know, do we want to add support for full node or whatnot or what does that look like? And so, you know, they already have people on the job. And so that was, that came from the idea of that initial airdrop that we're talking about for a name claim. So if you're not Alexa top 100k, for instance like Brave is, some of these other companies got larger allotments like Cloudflare. Nick Sullivan, who is the head of crypto there, we had a meeting with him to talk about Handshake. They're very excited about Handshake there too, so they'll probably do their name claim. Some point in the near future they're dealing with, I'm sure the bureaucracy of getting free Internet money so you know, that's a slower process as a large enterprise. Brave was a start up so they can move a lot more quicker right? Yes. So, you know, there are a lot of incentives for folks to make and check the easiest uses possible. And in developer community, I mean, it continues to work on ways to make it not only easier to find names to purchase, but also to, like spend up your own name servers so you can set your records for resolving your names. But also other, faster ways for developers to be able to quickly build on deploying and to like test out without running full node and etc. And then almost two months is out. Like, you know, Handshake has grown pretty quickly. So I say you give it another two or three months, we'll probably see a handful of different ways that you can quickly get up and running with Handshake, and they're probably already are many that I'm not even realizing on top of my head. 

Bobby Ong:   33:33
Sounds very interesting. I can't wait for the time to come and I can easily resolve and open up a Handshake domain.  

Steven McKie:   33:39
Yeah, so right now, if you go to dns.live and you go to, like, resources there or learn more, I believe is what you click, it will show you and you click resolver, there's so many different ways that you can quickly get set up to resolve Handshake name and most of them just a couple of minutes.

Bobby Ong:   33:56
So there was a Handshake domain name auction that's happening on Namebase recently? Not so sure, if you know but do you know any interesting stats or like for example, how many have been sold, what's average price? Like any interesting names have been sold from the domain name auctions?

Steven McKie:   34:12
Yeah, for sure. So that one, there's two different ways you can get these metrics right? You could, myself as an investor in Namebase, I don't know all these internal metrics KPIs as they don't necessarily have to be that public. But you can see all this stuff, apparently from the chain itself. And so, some of the sites that have listed dns.live is one way to look at the name and what names have been claimed. But there's two other resources is that are really, really all. If you're digging in Handshake at a high level very quickly, one, hsd.tools. So that's a website to allow you to see in many different languages when certain names are going to be available. That would just kind of run that little function that I mentioned earlier. Shot three hash of a name, module 52. It's getting to be that into the system and tells you when that name will be available. But it will also show you the top bids for names historically, who's had the largest, like bid mask in order to officiate their bid. What is the person that had the largest bid mask but ultimately came up with the smallest amount of money. Basically like metrics behind auctions and like how they ended up and closing out since Handshake's launch, which is really cool to look at. And then if you want to get a high level view quickly of the activity on a chain, you go to hnspan.com, kind of like Etherscan, kind of like ICANN, but you can go here and it shows you on the very front page that says network summary. And so far, there's been over 19,891 names just in the past two months that have been bid on and are currently in the process of closing to belong to someone. So a lot of activity there, but also currently daily transactions float somewhere between 5000, 6000 transactions to historically all time high of over 20 000, 20 500 daily transaction. So the chain gets a lot of activity and handles this throughput very well. You know, some of the most expensive names historically, let's see, if we go to hst.tools we can go to the leaderboard. The most expensive domain name, which is the very final price that was playing for the domain name which is the second price auction. The winner is the highest bidder, but they only pay the second highest price that was bidden in the auction. So at the end of the bidding process period, the highest bid so far have been for the crypto domain, which I believed might even purchase by the unstoppable domain folks. They actually popped into the chat one day on Telegram and they were like, Hey, like, we want the .crypto domain name and someone said, Oh, yeah, like we can't stop the Blockchain. So, you know, you're just gonna have to buy it. So I think they might have been this person. They spent 200,000 HNS just for that. The other top name is eight/ so very popular number in China. So that was 180,000 HNS. Coin/, That was 103,000 HNS. The number seven/, 100,000 HNS. Zen 80,000. Namebase NB that I mentioned earlier. They spent 50,000 HNS, that name alone. 25, 000 HNS for mining. 40,000 HNS for Ducks. So, you know, there's been some pretty large bids have been put out. So, you know, again, these are TLD, right. So the person owns the right to control this name forever. So if I own the crypto name, I'm Unstoppable Domain folks for instance, who I speculate may have bought this name, then now they can only, also control this name on the HNS namespace as well, which is really cool. And then, like, if I own the name Coin and I want to sell, resell subdomain access to, say, like, bobby.coin or mckie.coin, I can purchase you know, that right to like have that subdomain access just as, like, the same way I go to buy a .com name from another registrar. So effectively, I am the registrar of "coin" or "crypto". And so you know, there's also future specular value on what can I resell that name for? But also, what can I re-utilize this name for? It's just a brand now? Would someone else wanted buy access to, or I bought like .cryptofund or something like that. And I'm Amentum, do I want to buy amentum.cryptofund. just have that resolved on my actual webpage. There's a lot of cool complexity here that happens with Handshake, because you have this fungible assets HNS but then you burn this fungible assets into the covenant state in order to create a non-fungible name. That thing could be transferred, you know, resold, etc, to other people and other addresses. And there's some really interesting dynamics there, having been economically, too, because the, as names become more popular on the system, there's further deflation happening as assets are being burned into the Covenant state once they've gone through the bid process, the reveal process and effectively, once they registered their name that met that HNS in the original bidders. It's burning, is no longer spendable from that address. So you know we have admission of 280,000 HNS today, but 144 blocks a day with the ten minutes block time, just like normal Bitcoin. And so the difficulty adjustment algorithm is dynamic and adjust and tries to always effectively have 144 blocks a day. So there's a fixed submission from henceforth, and there's happenings every 3.5 years. Scarcity of the asset will continue going forward as a deflationary aspect of the effort continued to grow. And the adoption, the names will continue in the economies of scale. They're built on top of one of the names and service is but also individuals minding the asset. So it's the birth and growth of a burgeoning community that is, if successful, will create, generate a lot of wealth and many different ways.

Bobby Ong:   40:14
It's very interesting. Thanks a lot for sharing out all these stats. I find it really interesting, looking at some of the most expensive domain, some of the highest bids and all. It's pretty interesting stuff. Yeah, so I think I've asked all the questions I want to ask today. So it's been great having you on a show today, Steven. Thank you very much for taking the time to explain everything about Handshake to us.

Steven McKie:   40:35
Yeah, of course. And if anyone wants to have any discussions, that just curious about Handshake want to learn more, you know, there's a couple of social channels for that. There's the @hns Twitter handle on Twitter, which is run by the HSD developers. And then there's also @hnsminer, which is run by us at Handy Miner, which build a handy miner mining client. And we have a community on Telegram as well, t.me/handshaketalk. All right. And then there's also another channel for developers who wanted just talk specifically development. And that's t.me/hns_tech. So, as you can tell, it takes a lot to explain Handshake and what it is and kind of the thought process behind it, because it is such a complex thing. So if anyone ever has any questions or wants to know where there are resource is to learn more about what it is I've said or want to critique anything I said feel free to reach out on this community.

Bobby Ong:   41:32
That was awesome. I will add this all to the shownotes later on. Thanks a lot. Thanks a lot again for explaining Handshake to all of us.

Steven McKie:   41:38
No problem. Thanks, Bobby.  

Bobby Ong:   41:40
All right, that wraps up the show. Thank you for listening to the CoinGecko podcast with Bobby. If you like our show and want to know more, check out podcasts.coingecko.com or please leave us a review on iTunes. Do you have any feedback? Do drop us an email at hello@coingecko.com. Join us for more next week. See ya.

Disclaimer:   41:58
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