Blockstore's "SPV" uses social media as consensus system...?

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biolizard89
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Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:25 am
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Blockstore's "SPV" uses social media as consensus system...?

Post by biolizard89 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:32 am

I posted the following on /r/Namecoin last week, but people here may enjoy it too:

As you may remember, a while back Onename announced that they would stop spamming the Namecoin blockchain with their nonstandard transactions and shift operations to their own naming system, Blockstore (which uses the Bitcoin blockchain along with a DHT). At the time, I (and several other Namecoin developers) cowrote a blog post outlining why Blockstore wasn't secure or sanely designed. One of the many issues I noticed was that their design couldn't work with SPV, because Bitcoin miners don't verify validity of Blockstore transactions. Onename loudly claimed that I was wrong and that they had already figured out how to do "something like SPV". At the time, I guessed that their usage of "something like" meant that they knew they couldn't do SPV and that they had some other hack that was likely to have much worse security properties than SPV.

Today I was talking to someone and they asked about Blockstore. I explained the various problems with it, but then I wondered if maybe Onename had posted more details about their "SPV" implementation. So I looked at their documentation -- nothing obvious came up. But then I decided to look at their GitHub issue tracker -- and lookie what I found.

https://github.com/blockstack/blockstore/issues/1

If you can read through the entire thread without bursting into laughter or facepalming multiple times, we wouldn't have fun hanging out.

Spoiler: they're literally using social media posts as a consensus mechanism. Not kidding.

Your guess is as good as mine on how they managed to convince investors and the media that their system should be taken seriously.
Jeremy Rand, Lead Namecoin Application Engineer
NameID: id/jeremy
DyName: Dynamic DNS update client for .bit domains.

Donations: BTC 1EcUWRa9H6ZuWPkF3BDj6k4k1vCgv41ab8 ; NMC NFqbaS7ReiQ9MBmsowwcDSmp4iDznjmEh5

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