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Decentralized blockchain technology against ICANN: What are the odds of conflict?

Source: cryptor.net
Date: 19.06.16

I have a smartphone and I have no idea how it actually works in spite of the fact that people like me made it. I know that there are detailed descriptions of how it works but nevertheless when I call it’s still magic for me. I got accustomed to it and take it as something ordinary but still magic.

We are surrounded by “black boxes” which perform operations incomprehensible for us. We made some of them and understand, in whole, what they do. Some “boxes”, however, was made by the nature and we dimly understand their magic if understand at all.

What we will discuss here? The fact is that certain small super effective systems are better than large. Does it mean that certain alternative root DNS zones are better than that huge ICANN? Well … What about systems based on blockchain?

I have a plank at home. This plank is already not a riddle today; it composed of plant cells which in turn composed of smaller components composed of molecules composed of atoms etc. But I can take a saw and saw up a plank. Knowledge about cells doesn’t help and not prevent from sawing a part needed. For me a plank is like a “black box” and a saw is a tool of interaction, helping me to do some work without thinking about cell structure.

Magic of the nature appeared by itself during Big Bang. Of course, we don’t know how it happened. And, perhaps, will never know. Magic is already here and we can use it to make a technomagic (as my smartphone or saw).

Techno Magic is now at the crossroads. What is better to create big systems which will have an interface for communication with users and include a huge number of components and parts of a system? Or better to go by another way and create many small independent systems which have proper interfaces and can exchange information with each other to perform big systems’ work?

What is the Internet? This is a large number of independent systems including providers, data centers, software developers and many other participants. All of them have interfaces to communicate with each other. The best proof of this is the fact that at the moment I can simply read articles of other people and write my own (oh, If I could charge battery in the Internet …)

So well, can we say that the Internet is a perfect example of how complex decentralized systems should be modeled? I would like it exactly. But this wouldn’t be an absolute truth. Bad example of decentralization became a symbol of decentralization – how it happened?

Techno Magic of the Internet

There are a large number of steps hidden from me between my web query to open the website and data received. The first step is at the border of human – machine and is a subject of huge interest.

Say, I want to visit Wikipedia and read about cryptocurrencies. I enter “wikipedia.org” in the search field. This name is clear and understandable for me as human.
But, before a system processes my web queries, this name is simply abracadabra. In this case DNS servers are intermediaries. Thus, the next step is translation of a name from a human language to IPv4 or IPv6 address, which will be understandable to a system.

DNS servers provide an address translation understandable for human into address understandable for router.

The correct software, telecommunications and DNS servers’ network are the intermediate points between human and automatized system. These intermediate points start a chain the result of which is the main page of Wikipedia that I see.

It seems that DNS works , although there are some inadequacies. But before we start criticism of real ideas, let’s discuss the role of blockchain in it.

Techno Magic of blockchain

The main difference between blockchain and any other database is in decentralization of blockchain. Web addresses and IP matching database are kept on DNS servers. Servers are located all over the world and decentralized measurably. So, if the fire will happen in a place where one of the DNS servers is located, the Internet will continue to work.
Servers are controlled according to the strong rules and managed by different organizations and governments. The main management company, ICANN, applies quite democratic policy of creating new domain zones and new addresses registration. However, the system is complying with some limits and US government is one of influential players of ICANN.

On the other hand, we have a decentralized blockchain technology. Databases are saved in blockchain only if they comply with specified rules and can not be deleted. Of course, you can edit database on your computer and your friends’ computers, if they don’t mind. But if a huge number of users all over the world will download blockchain, such trick won’t work.

Blockchain being located all over the Internet, is not under the jurisdiction of any countries. Moreover, being the database accessible for all social groups (egalitarian) blockchain as not under ANY jurisdiction. This is not concern the private blockchains, that have a specified owner and there is a limited access to them.

On the other hand, we have a decentralized blockchain technology. Databases are saved in blockchain only if they comply with specified rules and can not be deleted. Of course, you can edit database on your computer and your friends’ computers, if they don’t mind. But if a huge number of users all over the world will download blockchain, such trick won’t work.

Blockchain being located all over the Internet, is not under the jurisdiction of any countries. Moreover, being the database accessible for all social groups (egalitarian) blockchain as not under ANY jurisdiction. This is not concern the private blockchains, that have a specified owner and there is a limited access to them.

Alternative DNS

Along with ICANN system there is a number of alternative root servers. For instance, Tor has its “.onion” domain to access to which a specified version of Mozilla, Firefox or plug-in are required

There are two popular ideas among software based on blockchain. These are Namecoin and Emercoin, they provide maintaining correspondence between web address and IP in blockchain. For use of the additional domains in your browser a plug-in will need to be installed

A complexity of blockchain DNS is in that that although a computer has an access to a greater number of resources,the idea means to keep the whole database on user’s computer.
However, there is something that can help with this problem. For instance, OpenNIC offers its own DNS servers which can process not only ICANN addresses but many alternative domains including Namecoin and Emercoin.

So, on the one hand because of a list of domains keeping decentralized on the OpenNIC servers we lose decentralization. On the other hand it is convenient for user. Not everybody would like to download a huge blockchain and synchronize it with network for simple accessible Internet zone extension

Decentralization means that control of any service including domain registration services should not to belong to a particular person, organization or government, but should be distributed among all of participants of community

In any case, a problem of decentralization/convenience also actual for monetary transaction: not everybody would like to download blockchain for decentralized transaction realization. In many cases it will be easier to apply to a reliable centre to perform necessary operation.

Decentralization of the idea based on blockchain doesn’t based on that every user must download blockchain to his computer, but based on that many users all over the world will have their copy. At the same time one blockchain guardian may account for a thousand of common users. If there are hundreds of millions of users, a sufficient decentralization and independence are provided for thinking The answer for a question “Why people make futile attempts to create ICANN analog if ICANN works perfectly as it is?” is that, of course, this is not for turning “microsof.com” domain into alternative DNS and put a home page of his hamster there . This is for prevention of any possibility of domains registration control by a person, an organization or a country.

More magic, more interfaces, more decentralization.

Self-organization magic: every participant is busy only with his business, but a total result exceeds the whole results of participants’ work.

You have a large system with a great number of over complicated processes inside (e.g. taxation or Department of Transportation). Also there are number of small systems which exchange information with each other and together they can perform tasks of a large system. Now, try to answer the next question “who has more chances to live: a large noneffective system or many small systems which work is expensive?”

I hope you have already answered to this question. Centralization was a trend of 20th century and if you voted for large inactive systems I can most likely assume that you have lived most part of your life in 20th century.

The Internet which covers the largest wise part of the planet allows distribution of a process in space. For instance, you can work in Seattle and live in Thailand. You can design products in Denver and produce them in China. And in general, you can use 3D printer in that Denver.

You also can live in you house, get energy from the sun and organic waste recycling, purify water you need. Thus, wires and pipes become non-topical, so why do you need a centralized provider if you have all straight on the spot?

We expect that the future business will be even more integrated with the Internet and use of decentralization and interactive interfaces. Could we allow ourselves such optimism and say that a century of a centralized money emission, centralized funds and centralized Internet control has finished?

Many alternative root DNS has already been trained to combine and withstand ICANN but they are still faint. After all ICANN uses a trust more than alternative DNS even in spite of that many of these DNS use innovations (the matter is blockchain). Bitcoin team thinks that blockchain technology is an alternative to centralized infrastructures but we don’t expect of centralized structures extinction, especially those supporting government.

Another scenario seems more realistic. Decentralized ideas based on blockchain has already proved its efficiency but in a small scales. After all we don’t have a retailer based on blockchain and comparable in volume to Walmart and a total capitalization of the most successful cryptocurrency is evaluated only in $6, 4 millions.

However, state monopoly fluctuates. Fluctuations are still small but long-term implications are obvious. The attempts of government to control networks based on blockchain will be unsuccessful as well as attempts to create an electronic state inside the Internet by the enthusiasts of crypto currency.

After this the negotiations about coexistence of centralized and decentralized systems will be started. In spite of Snowden’s disclosures and Stallman’s sensible criticism, a compromise with the government should be achieved and terms of this compromise should be accepted. However, the government also has to offer compromise terms.

The agreement has its limits. If the rule of data addition in blockchain exists, then a deletion because of an infringement of copyright or insult someone will become impossible. Blockchain is inflexible as well as the laws of physics and it doesn’t care about senators’ and lobbyists’ opinion.

The most interesting is how to achieve the agreement?