[Bitcoin-development] [BIP 15] Aliases

Khalahan khal at dot-bit.org
Fri Dec 16 21:52:04 UTC 2011

The number of proposals <https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/BIP_0015> is not
infinite, here are their problems :

- FirstBits : centralized
- DNS TXT Records : DNSSEC is required to have a minimum of security,
limits usage to engineers, limits usage to some domain names (i won't be
able to use a gmail address for example, because i don't control the
gmail.com domain)
- Server Service (DNS + a daemon) : Same as DNS TXT records
- HTTPS Web service : relies on HTTPS and CA, bitcoin needs to be able
to check the full certificate chain and access a list of up-to-date
certificate authorities (installed on the OS or provided with bitcoin).
And don't forget the CA model is not 100% reliable (several CA hacked
this year + possible government control...).
- IP Transactions : /This proposal seeks to enable DNS lookups for IP
transactions/ => same as above

I know that providing a namecoin daemon with bitcoin is not the lighter
solution, but, if a better one existed i guess it would have already
been integrated into bitcoin... (see in what state is my first attempt
with the HTTPS proposal : Send payments to emails, urls and domains in
GUI <https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/pull/174> - /khalahan opened
this pull request April 20, 2011/)

So, what's next ?

Le 16/12/2011 20:54, slush a écrit :
> Khalahan, honestly, using namecoin for aliases is (for me) clean
> example of over-engineering. I mean - it will definitely work if
> implemented properly. I played with a namecoin a bit (as my pool was
> the first 'big' pool supporting merged mining), but I think there's
> really long way to provide such alias system in namecoin and *cleanly
> integrate it with bitcoin*. Don't forget that people who want to do
> lookup need to maintain also namecoin blockchain with their bitcoin
> client. It goes against my instinct of keeping stuff easy.
> For example, yesterday I implemented HTTPS lookup for addresses into
> my fork of Electrum client. I did it in 15 minutes, it works as
> expected, it does the job and the implementation is really
> transparent, becuase implementation is 20 lines of code. There's no
> magic transformation, no forced "?handle=" parameters or whatever. And
> I don't care if somebody provide URL
> https://some.strange.domain/name-of-my-dog?myhandle=5678iop&anything_else=True
> <https://some.strange.domain/name-of-my-dog?myhandle=5678iop&anything_else=True>
> And everybody can do the same in their clients, in their merchant
> solutions, websites or whatever. Everybody can do HTTPS lookup. But
> try to explain DNS, Namecoin, IIBAN, email aliases to other programmers...
> Those IIBAN - well, why not. At least I see the potential in PR. So
> far I understand it as some teoretic concept which is not supported by
> anything else right now. Give it few years until it matures and then
> add IIBAN alias to Bitcoin client too.
> Maybe I'm repeating myself already, but the way to go is to make
> aliases as easy as possible, so everybody can implement it in their
> own solution and thus practially remove the need of using standard
> bitcoin addresses for normal users. Using some superior technology,
> which is hard to implement or even understand won't solve the
> situation, because it will ends up with some reference implementation
> in standard client only and nobody else will use it.
> slush

Best Regards,

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