Reply to topic  [ 45 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Name Squatting once again... 
Author Message

Posts: 6
 Name Squatting once again...
Hi,

I'm rather new to this forum, but have been doing research work on Namecoin for some time.

I know this discussion has been on for a long time, but I think the problem has not received enough attention yet (don't go too hard on me for bringing it up again).

Before asking or proposing solutions, I'd like to pose the following questions:
Do you think name squatting is a severe problem in Namecoin? Have you encountered problems with squatters, which made you think twice about using Namecoin again?

I'd be very happy to see some responses from the dev team as well, since I believe you guys know best what's going on;)

Thanks in advance,

ASZ


Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:23 pm
Profile

Posts: 80
os: windows
Post Re: Name Squatting once again...
I don't think name squatting is a problem.

Please tell me which John Smith should be allowed to pick before the rest?


Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:48 pm
Profile

Posts: 1818
os: linux
Post Re: Name Squatting once again...
ASZ wrote:
Hi,

I'm rather new to this forum, but have been doing research work on Namecoin for some time.

I know this discussion has been on for a long time, but I think the problem has not received enough attention yet (don't go too hard on me for bringing it up again).

Before asking or proposing solutions, I'd like to pose the following questions:
Do you think name squatting is a severe problem in Namecoin? Have you encountered problems with squatters, which made you think twice about using Namecoin again?

I'd be very happy to see some responses from the dev team as well, since I believe you guys know best what's going on;)

Thanks in advance,

ASZ


My personal take on it (not speaking for any other Namecoin devs):

Squatting is somewhat of an issue, but is in practice less of a problem than some people claim. Also, solutions are being discussed.

While it is true that a lot of "popular" names are currently being held by people unaffiliated with the trademark (e.g. d/google), there is no way to prevent this on a blockchain validation level, because there is no way to decide in a decentralized way who owns a trademark. That's a price that we pay for the censorship resistance that Namecoin provides. However, I think it is likely that many of the squatted names would be sold at a reasonable price to someone who actually wanted to use the name for something nonspeculative. Indeed, I'm currently holding about 100 names for various people/organizations I like, and I will happily hand them over for free when/if those people/organizations decide they want to use Namecoin. I am under the impression that a number of so-called squatters have a similar policy.

I have not had any trouble with squatters registering names that I think are rightfully mine. (A squatter did, once, try to register a name that I wanted, though which wasn't rightfully mine. The squatter registered it in all uppercase, making it invalid, and I got the lowercase version. Squatters make dumb mistakes just like everyone else.)

A better solution to the problem would be to increase name fees. ICANN domains usually cost about $10, which is enough to deter squatters from bulk-registering names. It doesn't stop someone from squatting d/google, because obviously d/google is worth a lot more than $10, but it means that people can't simply run the trademark database or an English dictionary through a Python script and get craploads of names.

The question here is, how do you decide on a good name fee policy, given that the exchange rate of NMC is not fixed? There are a number of proposals for this. One possibility is to do what BitShares does, and use a multisig trusted party. For reasons that I think are obvious, I think that's a shitty idea. Another possibility is miner voting. This would give a substantial additional power to miners. This is not really ideal, because mining hashpower is somewhat concentrated right now. (Indeed, F2Pool has the capacity to 51% attack Namecoin right now, although I don't think they're likely to abuse that capacity.) A different possibility is proof-of-stake voting. This doesn't give miners power to abuse the system, but it does give large exchanges like BTC-e some power (I think about a third of mined NMC is currently held by BTC-e's cold wallet).

I would personally lean toward PoS, but I could be persuaded otherwise. Mainly because if an attacker tried to purchase 51% of all mined NMC, it would jack up the exchange rate so much that the attack would probably fail, particularly given that the exchanges don't have enough market depth to even sell that much NMC at any price. I also don't think it's an urgent issue, because until the usability of Namecoin is improved, there just isn't much demand for names anyway.

It is worth noting that the problem of deciding on a name fee policy, is very similar to the problem of deciding on a block size policy (which Bitcoin is dealing with lately). So there are a number of proposals in the Bitcoin scene which might be relevant here. As such, I don't want to spend effort on name fees until Bitcoin gets their stuff fleshed out.

I'm probably rambling at this point, but those are my thoughts. TL;DR: It's an issue, but it's not a huge issue, nor is it an urgent issue, and there are a number of ideas on dealing with it when we need to.

_________________
Jeremy Rand, Lead Namecoin Application Engineer
NameID: id/jeremy
DyName: Dynamic DNS update client for .bit domains.

Donations: BTC 1EcUWRa9H6ZuWPkF3BDj6k4k1vCgv41ab8 ; NMC NFqbaS7ReiQ9MBmsowwcDSmp4iDznjmEh5


Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:38 pm
Profile

Posts: 80
os: windows
Post Re: Name Squatting once again...
biolizard89 wrote:
A better solution to the problem would be to increase name fees.


I completely or largely agree with the rest, except this solution.

The idea that increased name fees would help is false and similar to the idea that increasing the minimum wage would help workers get by easier.
And just like with the minimum wage, all that it does is screws up the most disadvantaged (that is, a good worker will have no problem finding a good job at a higher wage, but in all likelihood he already has one that pays that much, while sub-average workers will end up unemployed).

The same would happen to name registration if fees were to be raised.
Google has no problem paying $100K for google.bit. By raising the fee to $100K you could solve the problem for a future Google. But pretty much everyone else would be screwed.

Rather than discussing possible solutions to a problem that does not exist, I challenge the original post author to demonstrate there's a problem.

The only (related) problem is that it's currently hard to buy and sell names in a trustless way, and the other one is that it's hard to use them.
These two make it hard to create a market for names at which they'll find their rightful owners (those who value them the most).


Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:12 am
Profile

Posts: 1080
Post Re: Name Squatting once again...
somename wrote:
biolizard89 wrote:
A better solution to the problem would be to increase name fees.


I completely or largely agree with the rest, except this solution.

The idea that increased name fees would help is false and similar to the idea that increasing the minimum wage would help workers get by easier.
And just like with the minimum wage, all that it does is screws up the most disadvantaged (that is, a good worker will have no problem finding a good job at a higher wage, but in all likelihood he already has one that pays that much, while sub-average workers will end up unemployed).

The same would happen to name registration if fees were to be raised.
Google has no problem paying $100K for google.bit. By raising the fee to $100K you could solve the problem for a future Google. But pretty much everyone else would be screwed.

Rather than discussing possible solutions to a problem that does not exist, I challenge the original post author to demonstrate there's a problem.

The only (related) problem is that it's currently hard to buy and sell names in a trustless way, and the other one is that it's hard to use them.
These two make it hard to create a market for names at which they'll find their rightful owners (those who value them the most).


My opinion matches this (including the parts of Jeremy agreed with, and including not "just" increasing the name fee as a supposed "solution").

_________________
BTC: 1domobKsPZ5cWk2kXssD8p8ES1qffGUCm | NMC: NCdomobcmcmVdxC5yxMitojQ4tvAtv99pY
BM-GtQnWM3vcdorfqpKXsmfHQ4rVYPG5pKS
Use your Namecoin identity as OpenID: https://nameid.org/


Sat Aug 29, 2015 6:53 pm
Profile WWW

Posts: 1818
os: linux
Post Re: Name Squatting once again...
Quoting myself:

Quote:
ICANN domains usually cost about $10, which is enough to deter squatters from bulk-registering names. It doesn't stop someone from squatting d/google, because obviously d/google is worth a lot more than $10, but it means that people can't simply run the trademark database or an English dictionary through a Python script and get craploads of names.


Yes, it is impossible to stop someone from squatting d/google unless you make the price so high that everyone else is screwed. That fact is not in dispute. The intended goal of raising prices is to prevent a single entity from bulk-registering thousands or hundreds of thousands of names.

A hypothetical: Imagine if names were completely free. A single attacker could register the entire d/ namespace (it would take some time due to the block size limit, but would still be very effective), effectively DoSing the system. I believe that this can be considered censorship. Names are not fungible, and are unique. If a single attacker can command control of an immense amount of the namespace, then that attacker has censored a lot of legitimate speech. This is already happening. OneName is bulk-registering names at virtually no cost to themselves, and this is harmful. For Namecoin to be resistant to censorship and centralization, the name price must be sufficiently high that a single small actor cannot squat an immense amount of the names. It's okay with me if 90% of the names are squatted by speculators -- but it needs to be a diverse set of speculators, not just two or three holding them all.

Now, to be clear: I strongly believe that usability improvements, including registration of names, lookup of names, and trading of names, should be done before we worry about the name price. The market value of a .bit name is much lower than the market price of a .com name, mainly because of those usability issues. But, once we fix those, we should consider changes to the name pricing scheme. My personal opinion (backed by no math or logic) is that 1 or 2 USD should be sufficient. But that discussion can happen later.

_________________
Jeremy Rand, Lead Namecoin Application Engineer
NameID: id/jeremy
DyName: Dynamic DNS update client for .bit domains.

Donations: BTC 1EcUWRa9H6ZuWPkF3BDj6k4k1vCgv41ab8 ; NMC NFqbaS7ReiQ9MBmsowwcDSmp4iDznjmEh5


Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:09 am
Profile

Posts: 80
os: windows
Post Re: Name Squatting once again...
biolizard89 wrote:
A hypothetical: Imagine if names were completely free. A single attacker could register the entire d/ namespace (it would take some time due to the block size limit, but would still be very effective), effectively DoSing the system. I believe that this can be considered censorship. Names are not fungible, and are unique. If a single attacker can command control of an immense amount of the namespace, then that attacker has censored a lot of legitimate speech.


If you agree (I don't know if you do, some people don't) that one's Namecoin holding (whether it's coins or registered names) is private property, you cannot label him "an attacker".

Secondly, if he's occupying the entire name space (or 99.99% or whatever), all the names he registered belong to him (assuming you agree that one's blockchain holding belongs to the person who has the private key required to manipulate it) and in that case he has the full right to deny access to others (just like with trespassing). A legitimate walk is walk on your own and/or "public" property (as well as any other where you get a permit from the owner), and legitimate speech on the namecoin blockchain is speech performed using unspent outputs from addresses that belong to you (or to this "attacker").

biolizard89 wrote:
OneName is bulk-registering names at virtually no cost to themselves, and this is harmful. For Namecoin to be resistant to censorship and centralization, the name price must be sufficiently high that a single small actor cannot squat an immense amount of the names.


Why is the price not higher?

I think it's great that OneName is doing what they're doing. Without companies like their, the price would be even lower!

This is also a good example of why private property is important. The same (well, not exactly the same) id on regular NMC, say "thedonald" may be wroth 100 NMC, while "thedonald" on Onename may be worth several times as much. Clearly this higher vale is captured by Onename, but it is so only because they were able to make that happen by adding value on their own (compared to "regular" ID's).

I think there's a lot of unreasonable negativity towards these "speculators" whereas in fact they are important members of the ecosystem (in cases like Onename, they're engaging in "permissionless innovation").

biolizard89 wrote:
It's okay with me if 90% of the names are squatted by speculators -- but it needs to be a diverse set of speculators, not just two or three holding them all.


Each of us has his own standard of what "reasonable" means. You may think it'd be better if there were 5 of them, I may say 10.
But it seems the project is by definition (anti-censorship, freedom) against that kind of policing, or at least that is what one would expect (we can't know how many speculators there are, since we don't know the identities of address "owners").
Even if you assume there could be some sort of conclusion on this (say, 6 speculators should own not more than 80% of the name space), what happens when one of them uses a proxy to buy another 5%? Or even directly.
So there's nothing that can be done, and if it could be done, it would ruin the credibility of the project. That's why it's not very fruitful to discuss how many speculators there are and what is reasonable.

biolizard89 wrote:
Now, to be clear: I strongly believe that usability improvements, including registration of names, lookup of names, and trading of names, should be done before we worry about the name price. The market value of a .bit name is much lower than the market price of a .com name, mainly because of those usability issues. But, once we fix those, we should consider changes to the name pricing scheme. My personal opinion (backed by no math or logic) is that 1 or 2 USD should be sufficient. But that discussion can happen later.


I think a similar comparison (and root cause analysis) can be made for NMC vs. Onename id's. I don't know how much Onename ID's would sell for, but I would assume the good ones are worth at least $10-$20 a piece, if not much more. Now let's consider what happens from the end user perspective here:
* I visit onename.com
* I get a name for free
* I am richer by $5 or more

This value appears out of nowhere. Good for Onename investors and good for their users.
We should hope they be more successful and not move to another blockchain.


Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:16 am
Profile

Posts: 1818
os: linux
Post Re: Name Squatting once again...
If you seriously do not think that someone who DoSes the system by registering the entire d/ namespace would qualify as an attacker, and argue that such a person is simply exercising private property rights, then I do not think you can be reasoned with. I will save my time and not bother engaging you further.

_________________
Jeremy Rand, Lead Namecoin Application Engineer
NameID: id/jeremy
DyName: Dynamic DNS update client for .bit domains.

Donations: BTC 1EcUWRa9H6ZuWPkF3BDj6k4k1vCgv41ab8 ; NMC NFqbaS7ReiQ9MBmsowwcDSmp4iDznjmEh5


Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:08 pm
Profile

Posts: 1623
Post Re: Name Squatting once again...
biolizard89 wrote:
If you seriously do not think that someone who DoSes the system by registering the entire d/ namespace would qualify as an attacker, and argue that such a person is simply exercising private property rights, then I do not think you can be reasoned with. I will save my time and not bother engaging you further.

If that someone did his thing in a legitimate way it would certainly mean that the system is broken. Lucky us we have several squatters :mrgreen:

_________________
nx.bit - some namecoin stats
nf.bit - shortcut to this forum


Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:26 pm
Profile

Posts: 1818
os: linux
Post Re: Name Squatting once again...
phelix wrote:
biolizard89 wrote:
If you seriously do not think that someone who DoSes the system by registering the entire d/ namespace would qualify as an attacker, and argue that such a person is simply exercising private property rights, then I do not think you can be reasoned with. I will save my time and not bother engaging you further.

If that someone did his thing in a legitimate way it would certainly mean that the system is broken. Lucky us we have several squatters :mrgreen:


Indeed. Free markets are an awesome thing and work great -- so long as the economic incentives are good. There's certainly an open question of exactly what name price will create the right incentives. It is clear, however, than it lies somewhere between zero and infinity, and that the 0.01 NMC that Vince chose was simply a rough guess, which isn't necessarily optimal. Getting such a thing "right" takes a lot of careful thought -- potentially more thought than can be expended by a single person.

_________________
Jeremy Rand, Lead Namecoin Application Engineer
NameID: id/jeremy
DyName: Dynamic DNS update client for .bit domains.

Donations: BTC 1EcUWRa9H6ZuWPkF3BDj6k4k1vCgv41ab8 ; NMC NFqbaS7ReiQ9MBmsowwcDSmp4iDznjmEh5


Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:35 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 45 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware for PTF.