Questions from the Blockstack Whitepaper

It was a bit misleading at first, since the title “A new internet” can be a bit daunting. When Internet is concerned I automatically think of the 7-layered OSI model (physical, data-link, network, transport, session, presentation, and application). However, the paper proposes a change to part of the application layer (namely the DNS servers architecture). In terms of the gigantic complexity abstracted by the OSI model, it is just but a small part. What’s interesting is that this small change, plays a huge part on how we interact with the internet.

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Fair point. I think their vision for a ‘A new internet’, which used to be called the ‘web of trust’ has evolved quite a bit since then. Others like have taken over where they left off with the push to decentralize DNS, which is indeed a key building block of this.

The main appeal of Blockstack today from a developer perspective is putting together all of the pieces of building decentralized applications in one single toolkit, like Firebase did for web/mobile app creators.

Another project i’ve seen which tries to extend this concept further via hardware is

We believe controlling your own data, code and identity is the definition of digital freedom. We believe everyone needs digital freedom, not just a few hackers. We believe the only tool needed to solve this problem is a general-purpose server made for human beings.

Your urbit is your cryptographic identity, personal archive, application platform, and device hub. It’s as easy to manage as an iPhone.

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It makes me nervous thinking about an administrator switching out the blockchain underneath the blockstack when a migration is needed. I guess each app has to decide who has control over making that kind of decision, but at that point don’t we have another bottleneck of trust? At that point a 51% consensus sounds better to me, I wonder if the implementation of Blockstack will allow that.

@1sarabyte they already did that once when going from Namecoin to Bitcoin. I believe we will see another such switch when they go from Bitcoin to Stacks Chain.

I think with Blockstack you can choose which blockchain lives underneath the rest of the stack. If you take a look at the apps available, it sounds like you can choose the blockchain (ethereum/bitcoin) that runs underneath-

If that’s the case, let’s say there’s another, but with bitcoin chain underneath to verify who said what and when. So if at any point this ‘admin’ could change the blockchain to Ethereum, or possibly some insecure blockchain at any point. To me there seems to be a bit of a trust bottleneck here. Who’s this admin?

That just explains the tech stack that app chose to use.

Blockstack only uses the blockchain as a storage lookup for your name. They use Bitcoin, and will transition to Stacks blockchain:

Yes, and I’m saying that no matter the tech stack, if it implements a framework like Blockchain, or IS itself, it can at any point swap out the blockchain. And that is my concern. Saying the same thing over about blockstack’s move to another blockchain does not answer my question, if that was the intent.

It’s a valid concern I think and though It is a risk building on any 3rd party platform, in the case of Blockstack, they’ve taken an exceptionally measured approach to using the most secure Blockchain that’s available.

Here’s their roadmap for adding other functionality:

I think what Blockstack has accomplished already is great! It’s definitely no small feat. And from what I’ve read so far, the security is definitely more beefed up than what the internet is so far. But one lingering question I have is around the apps being built for the network, are these randomly assigned app ideas that are being developed by those seeking rewards?

Hi @peterthomas, some are based on random ideas, some on bounties (Stealthy), and there’s a handy list of apps that they are looking for here:

Thanks, I’ll take a look at this!