#Blockstack: an introduction
Posted on May 4th, 2016
05/04/2016 @ AWS popup loft, 350 West Broadway, NY
Blockstack offers secure identification based on blockchain encryption and confirmation. Six speakers described the underlying machinery and applications.
- Muneeb Ali – An Overview of Blockstack
- Jude Nelson – The Blockstack Server and CLI
- Josh Jeffryes – OpenBazaar and Blockstack Identity
- Arkadiy Kukarkin – MediaChain
- Ryan Shea – Blockstack Desktop
- Juan Benet – Blockstack Naming with IPFS
As in Bitcoin, Blockstack promises secure identification and transactions without using a central verifying agent.
The BlockStack application stack from the bottom up contains:
- Blockchain – want to use the most secure chain, which is currently bitcoin.
- Naming – intermediate pseudonym
- Identity – establish who you are
- Authentication – use electronic signature
- Storage – put pointers in the block chain, so you need storage for the actual information
- Apps built on top of the stack
- Cryptcurrency blockchain
- Virtual blockchain – gives flexibility to migrate to another cryptocurrency.
- Routing – pointers data location. Initially used a DHT (distributed hash table).
- Data on cloud servers. Could be Dropbox, S3, …
1&2 are the control plane, above that is data plane
The current implementation uses a bitcoin wallet for identity and requires 10 blockchain confirmations to set up a person.
- OpenBazaar (a place to buy and sell without an intermediary) has a long identification string for each buy/sell. Blockstack provides a secure mapping of these ids to a simpler human-readable id
- Mediachain is a data network for information on creative works in which contributed information is validated by the contributor’s identity. All objects are IPFS + IPLD objects with information saved to Merkel trees. They are working on the challenge of private key management: high volumes of registrations and the need to register on behalf of 3rd
- IPFS (interplanetary file system) proposes to
- Create a DNS based on the package content which will allow copies to be located on several locations in the network
- Greater individual control over DNS names independent of any centralized naming body
- There are three levels of naming
- The content defines the address through a hash tag. But if the blog changes, the address changes.
- Key name. a mutable layer of names that is stable even as the content changes
- DNS name. a humanly readable name that is paired with the key name