Connect Firefox to Handshake in one step

DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) is a convenient way to bootstrap devices to the Handshake Naming System. Clearly there is some immediate irony here since DoH relies on both the legacy DNS system and certificate authority, meaning we are using two centralized systems to access one decentralized system. The configuration I will describe here can still offer more privacy, security, and decentralization than other centralized services common among the community, in particular because anyone can run their own DoH server.

Some users may also prefer to configure just one single browser (Firefox) on their computer to resolve Handshake names because it can be…

Put those names to good use and add value to the ecosystem!

If you’ve ever launched a website on the “legacy” internet, the process probably went something like this:

  1. Search for an available, memorable name on GoDaddy and rent it from them
  2. Launch a Digital Ocean Droplet (or other cloud server) and get an IP address
  3. Go back to GoDaddy and paste the IP address into your dashboard under DNS
  4. On your server, run the Let’s Encrypt certbot to obtain an SSL certificate
  5. Set up Apache, add content, profit :-)

In this system, your domain name (from step 1) and SSL certificate (from step 4) don’t really belong to you. Both digital…

TLSA records, SSL Certificates, and the future of browsing the Handshake-enabled web.

Handshake is a proof-of-work blockchain designed to secure a decentralized DNS root zone and certificate authority. Most Handshake users have figured out the DNS stuff already. If you have an HNS resolver set up on your computer you can explore this psychedelic website hosted directly on a TLD registered on the Handshake blockchain: http://willcroteau./

So that’s DNS naming, but what about certificate authority? On the legacy internet, SSL certificates are authorized by trust anchors that come installed on your computer when you buy it. These certificates enable us to communicate securely and privately with the websites we browse to, encrypting…

A literal airdrop: But Handshake isn’t conducting psychological warfare, just giving away free stuff to bootstrap the network
A literal airdrop: But Handshake isn’t conducting psychological warfare, just giving away free stuff to bootstrap the network

A deep dive into the cryptographic process of giving away free stuff.

Money & Names

There are two types of assets stored in the Handshake blockchain: money and names.

Money is encoded in Handshake the same way it is in Bitcoin: there is a set of valid transaction outputs (UTXOs or “coins”) that each have their own value and locking script. Unlock a coin, and you can replace it with new coins of equal or lesser value.

Names are encoded in Handshake in the same way. Once a name has been won in an auction, it is “owned” by a UTXO. That UTXO…

2018 was a big year for the bcoin project. We finally removed that -beta and released a solid v1.0.0! How did we get there, and what’s on the roadmap for this year? Let’s take a look.

The 2018 bcoin story

We had a lot on our roadmap for last year. We produced everything we set out to do and more.

The community: Our Github repo is approaching 2,000 stars, 150 watchers, and over 500 forks! It’s great to see so many new people checking out the code. We’re up to 30 contributors, more than half of whom have added multiple commits. Over 134 issues…

Matthew Zipkin

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store