Q&A w/ the Handshake Founders

Have you ever had a question for the founders of Handshake? Well now’s your time to get it off your chest and ask. The audience can bring up questions and ask for opinions in this Q&A session.


(00:01) [Music] [Applause] [Music] uh [Music] [Music] [Applause] hey guys it’s awesome yeah all right so i think everybody’s excited about this session fistful how you feeling uh feeling pretty good it’s pretty uh my my heart’s fluttering it’s cool to be up here with the with the handshake founders uh you guys it’s pretty well known that you guys aren’t like super duper active within the uh discords in the chat so it’s really good

(01:04) to uh get a connection between uh the community and you guys during this time so i’m really glad really thankful that you guys could be here today so thank you so much for giving us your time yeah it’s super awesome yes yeah so like i think andrew we’re just chatting we’re just gonna keep it freestyle i think last year was awesome too so people can leave questions just we ask if you can try to use the q a tab not the chat if you want to ask a question um you are best to uh put it in the q a section

(01:38) and i think it’s just going to be straight up uh people ask and and they’ll they’ll try their best to give answers um so [Music] uh does that sound good for everybody what yeah yeah please utilize the q a it helps us keep everything organized for all the questions because we know uh it can get hectic so we want to make sure we get to everybody’s question um i think we can we can just start off uh with why aren’t you active in the handshake community that much sure um yeah so i think we i mean we’ve

(02:16) been active just in in our own ways i think it’s been different from maybe like what maybe the like a lot of other projects kind of like look like these days but um we were generally modeled or i mean i think after the projects that we admire and things like that and some of them have anonymous projects or anonymous founders and um i mean yeah i mean that there is a i mean there’s some degree of intentionality behind it but it doesn’t mean that we’re not involved i think we are like definitely working on on on

(02:50) things and we can elaborate on what those are kind of like later but yeah i mean i think i’m just like a pretty private person like i don’t i don’t like to like participate in social media or telegram or anything like that i mean the most i that would ever do is like irc but um irc’s been kind of hectic um but yeah that’s what andrew was saying i think i think we modeled this after after projects we admired we didn’t we didn’t want the project to get too centralized around the founders like

(03:29) that’s a big part of it i mean there’s a lot of projects where like the founders are seen to be god-like in some sense and we wanted this thing to be decentralized so it’s it’s not about us basically all right and for our next question uh if you could go back to planning stages you guys are you guys want to read the next question or i mean i i see the questions here so i can i can i can repeat as well yeah i think fistful we can just maybe we just get we just go let them yeah yeah i’ll just put them on i’ll put them

(04:07) on stage i think we’ll let them uh i think we’ll just back off and let them take care of it oh no no either way i think it’s really cool that you guys are like listing it like like the way it is right now but yeah here’s a question if you could go back in the planning stages and make some changes what would they be and why um that’s an interesting question i always get this question um there i mean there there’s like little things i would fix and there’s little things i think we would maybe consider more um

(04:39) maybe maybe a lot of things surrounding like the auction system in various ways to improve that because we i mean we originally thought that the the blind second price auctions you know where you lock up money to mask the price was foolproof but you know there’s obviously like various ways to gain that so that would that would probably be one thing that we would cover more um maybe another thing would be uh considering reconsidering like dos limits um just because like we but now it’s written in c so it is a lot

(05:29) faster it can handle a lot more throughput um so like maybe maybe those documents could have been increased a bit more there’s there’s a lot of little things like that where it’s just it’s not it’s not perfectly to my liking like it could have been improved a little bit more there’s no there’s no like real major things um i would have changed or done differently um i think i got this question last year too it took me a while to think of things um that’s all i can think of right now i’ll

(06:04) probably think of more things throughout this and maybe i’ll bring them up hey can you guys hear us okay i got i got a message saying that maybe um some parts of that were hard to hear everything’s good okay cool yeah i mean i know from my part from my perspective i don’t necessarily have any um like like regrets or things that we could have changed i mean the handshake was you know designed to be experimental and and part of what you know what’s experimentals or just like you know trying things out and seeing seeing

(06:33) how seeing how things work um you know like so so i mean like maybe kind of like learning lessons or things like that i mean um maybe there’s something that could have been done differently related to like the way we kind of uh you know like allocated there or you know did the fundraising or something maybe we could have concentrated um concentrated it more amongst a few funds rather than you know um um doing you know like you know trying to optimize for all the funds or something or something of that sort um

(07:07) but uh yeah i mean but you know i mean in the long run you know with that really made a difference you know i’m not i’m not really sure um so yeah i mean i i don’t i don’t really have any grits i mean bonk is smooth and everything seemed to be right i thought of something i thought of something it’s not necessarily something we would have done differently well it’s just something i wish were different which is um like i wish maybe um like really early on like maybe like during the announcement when there was

(07:42) like a lot of momentum is put more pressure on verisign and affiliates to upgrade their dns keys because those like the dns keys they use right now are rsa 1024 and the whole thing with sub domains is on handshake is they use traditional dns sec so it’s like you know you could be using like an n25519 key for your zone like if it’s under com or something but it’s like that 255.

(08:14) 9 key is only protected by verisign’s rsa 1024 key and it’s like rsa 1024 even though nobody has been able to crack it it’s like people have come close and it’s you know it’s generally considered insecure and presumably eventually verisign will upgrade their q because they just have to like it it’s absurd that it’s still 10 24 like they they could i mean maybe they have size concerns but my real thoughts on this is is that the reason they used rsa 1024 is because that’s the bind default like the like the dns set keygen for bind that

(08:53) software creates rsa 1024 keys by default and so i guess that’s why they they use it i like i i haven’t heard any other good theories as to why we’re assigned an affiliate and you know all these other tld owners um on the legacy dns still use still use rsa 1024 but that that that’s a major concern still today um hopefully eventually they upgrade those keys so things are more secure but i think maybe that’s something i wish we like pushed harder on in the early days when um maybe like right after announcement

(09:32) when there’s like a lot of momentum just like just like push on those guys to be like hey like hey this thing is insecure like what are you doing you mean and verisign they kind of created dns so they they should really care about this they should they should care that whether dns tech is secure or not and they should prove to people that it’s secure and they should want to do that so i don’t know what they’re doing i mean i haven’t checked recently last time i checked was maybe like a few

(09:59) weeks ago or like one or two months ago but it’s like yeah they’re still using rsa 1024s it’s absurd cool next question what are we all working on these days whether related to handshake or not um you wanna start well you just published uh lcdv yeah yeah so i’m working on a project called mako which is a full node written in c it is a bitcoin node but uh a lot of you might know handshake started as a bitcoin fork of b coin which was a bitcoin implementation written in javascript um and so i wanted to do it again this

(10:40) time in c uh just because i like c contrary to a lot of public opinion i think c is a really good small elegant language and i i i like the aesthetic aspects of it i i really like writing code in it it takes a long time to write code and see but i think it’s it’s i mean you can make it the most portable language in existence like that’s why the linux kernel runs on everything right um so yeah i implemented mako in c which is a bitcoin full node once that’s fully implemented i intend to fork that into a handshake node

(11:22) just like a four b coin into a handshake node um and then recently i was working on porting level db to c because i don’t want people to have to have a c plus compiler or link to live stp sequel c plus which is the c plus runtime i i wanted to be you know i wanted to build on everything and i sort of jokingly say like half jokingly half seriously that my goal is um i want a full node a handshake full node to be able to run on windows 95 because it’s just sort of like a it’s like a fun proof of concept right

(12:04) like if you could send the code back in time you could have decentralized naming you could have decent quality money you could have all of this in the 90s and most people don’t you know fuss about portability like the most was like crypto projects and most projects in general don’t fuss about portability like this you know they just write like a zillion lines of golang like pulling all these dependencies and then it only runs on like three different systems and you don’t actually get portability

(12:30) you don’t actually it’s it’s not small it’s not optimized it’s this big bloated thing um and then the other aspect to this is like um i think once we have mako ported to handshake it should make for like a really good um like handshake sgv node like a new spe resolver which is which i think might be more maintainable um you know it’s not all that’s cool um yeah from my perspective you know so purse i mean we started we started the company in 2014 you know kind of like really bitcoin focus but

(13:13) you know with with the idea of um making cryptocurrency useful and building use cases around it um i mean over the years we’ve done lots of different things you know in terms of uh versailles the marketplace um um bitcoin um handshake and uh and we kind of ran this the company like a lot more like like kind of like a studio um of sorts and um and so so yeah i mean i guess we’ve just been kind of like you know kind of regrouping and trying to figure out like you know where you know kind of what we’re going to do next

(13:48) but um but yeah definitely handshake will be a focus and uh and uh you know i think we’ll be working on some we’ll continue working on cool things really it’s a community any opinion on the recent discussions extend the claim period for the alexa 100k and i can tlds yeah i think that’s a that’s a reasonable puzzle like i think that’s a reasonable idea um i mean maybe maybe another design decision we could have done differently was somehow try to make that soft workable or um make that allow the miners to vote on that in some

(14:38) way i’m not sure is it a hard fork to extend it i mean it is now um but if we went back to the planning stage um yeah my opinion is is yeah i think i think it’s a reasonable idea like i i wouldn’t be opposed to it i think i don’t think it’s up to me though so what was your reaction to the recent uh hms adoption with name cheat and pop pro browser um we’re both excited about both projects um um with both namecheap and in our browser we’ve had a chance i guess to talk a little bit to the um

(15:28) to the uh to the name chief folks uh and maybe through proxy through some of the opera folks but yeah i’m very excited about more and more companies and the internet’s internet space adopting handshake i think it makes a lot of sense for them too yeah it’s exciting to get integrations um it’s interesting too because they’re it’s both sides of the coin like namecheap it’s really interesting actually like namecheap is gonna be hitting the full nose and opera is gonna be hitting spv notes

(16:01) right they need the spd’s or a hauler to actually resolve the name so it’s like both sides of the coin um and this i think like the spd resolver is is gonna be very important very integral to all of these integrations because um it’s more likely there would be more opera like integrations you know where it’s actually resolving names rather than um well actually i don’t know like there might be like more major registrars who jump on board i have no idea um but yeah that’s that’s why i hope to

(16:38) continue work on mako and and make it a handshake note and hopefully um just just make this stuff really stable and durable and resilient and safe enough that people people feel people feel safe you know running um running an spv node as a demon just like as a core os service like as a system b service or whatever operating system you’re running so yeah that no that put the firearm for me to actually to actually like really want to work on this stuff more yeah there are like really good examples of like you know kind of like web 3

(17:24) adoption kind of thing like it’s been it’s something somewhat like unclear what what they even like really means um but and and um you know like whether it’s like nfts or what have you um but to see you know like current you know browsers and um domain registrars and things like that like for handshake to be a technology that they can kind of integrate with and um and kind of be a part of it may be like some of the most real things that and within kind of like the um the internet plus like crypto kind of

(17:55) integrations um space um and so we’re pretty excited about it i think it’s probably underreported too in the media you know how much people are talking about those those two those two integrations what would it take to take added native support for slds i’ll take that from you uh i mean that really i mean we we’ve kind of explored this and probably haven’t given this that much stuff or maybe jj hasn’t i mean i’ve been on i mean i i don’t know like my opinion is with we i mean we designed the system to be a

(18:38) replacement for the root zone the root zone doesn’t handle sub domains so it’s like you’re kind of stepping on a can i feel like you’re kind of stepping on camp worms with that because it’s like okay well why not third level domains why not fourth level domains and all of a sudden you’re just packing everything into into one zone and it’s just that’s it’s unscalable like you can’t do things that way and that’s that’s why dns has the architecture it has you know it was like designed in the 80s

(19:12) and but even today with with modern hardware you’re not gonna you’re not gonna be able to scale that up like putting hundreds of millions of domain names into one zone so i don’t know that that’s sort of my opinion is that i i like the simplicity and elegance of handshake that there’s only tlds and handshake is the root zone and but you know other other people might have other opinions about that and that’s fine like i um it’s not it’s not like it’s like it’s not like it’s

(19:47) um completely ridiculous to like want second level domains it’s just yeah i’m i’m sort of uh partial to like the elegance of the protocol and simplicity and everything so i don’t think second level domains belong in the root zone i don’t have strong opinions on this um are there any alternatives to proof of work that have caught your interest um i think not really no i think there’s somewhat opinion on this um i mean it’s especially considering that handshake is supposed to be like um kind of like you

(20:27) know uncensorable and um i mean it’s supposed to have the maximum censorship resistant properties um i think there are definitely um other i mean there may be other ways to take steak or you know kind of other consistent mechanisms and apply for other other projects but for the further i mean i think i think for handshake it makes a lot of sense to be proof of work yeah i don’t know i mean if you can find another proof that’s just as permissionless and just as i don’t see any reason why you would not

(21:05) want to use proof of work other than it is hard to bootstrap map approval warp networks that is the downside to proof of work i don’t see any other downside in comparison to other proofs like proof of stake what the main use case are you most excited to see experimented with excluding identities and websites domain related like use case i mean um are we excited about um yeah i mean i mean i think there’s like there’s well okay if you consider like one handshake was launched and like and where we are today

(21:54) um and kind of like the general state of the internet um and state of maybe you know a little degree further like free speech on the internet or censorship or however you want to kind of phrase it um i mean it definitely seems more the handshake and some of these kind of fundamental protocols that you know build kind of um censorship resistant properties definitely seem more relevant um um uh you know but um you know in terms of like getting to the point where these people that are censored on um on like twitter or

(22:27) youtube um could you know could could use a handshake based system or domain name based system as an alternative um or a fully decentralized kind of like social network or this kind of thing i mean i think this doesn’t say excluding identities excluding identities so are like social networks excluded in this that’s kind of an identity all right okay um yeah okay well excluding identities oh and okay yeah if that well i think social networks and censorship resistant based content or something until that’s

(23:01) of those two of us or maybe maybe interesting space to explore it’s possible they didn’t mean identities in the sense of like authentication maybe or human identities or like can we see them identities or something like that i don’t know um excluding identities i mean i think the exciting use cases outside of that would be like um the notion of using handshake as like a base layer for other projects you know people projects that need some sort of provable decentralized distributed key value store like that’s

(23:37) essentially that’s essentially what handshake is and it’s protected by approval work it’s um it’s a very useful thing the only downside to using that using it that way is like the auction system to actually insert a key into the key value store you need to you know win an auction and go through all the all the all the intervals and all the covenants to actually register a name and it’s like again that goes back to the planning thing like maybe that’s something that could have been done better if we had considered

(24:09) that use case more that people might want to use this as a base layer for other things and there there’s a lot of uses for like a decentralized key value store other than just domain names and identities and stuff like that do you already consider handshake a success if not what what would what would you consider it a success i mean i i consider it a success in the sense that um it hasn’t broken we haven’t done any hard forks or soft works well we did have one covert software to fix the inflation bug but

(24:55) uh it works and we didn’t require a hard fork and we managed to get it done but other than that like i yeah i can sit from a technical perspective which is my main thing like i consider it a success just because it’s nobody’s been able to break it yet that’s very uncommon for like a crypto project like i can’t remember what it was i think i think like yo or something like broke the first day like somebody found like some kind of assertion failure or something you know it was literally like the first

(25:28) few hours after launch it’s like that that hasn’t happened with patrick it’s been running for two years now and nobody’s been nobody’s been able to break it there’s been there’s been a few close calls but like the not the way you available that that was imagined um and uh and to that effect um you know yeah i i definitely think we were successful um you know but but and you know in terms of like building community and everything else on top you know i think there are other you know

(26:11) people people do you know attach you know different expectations and things like that and um you know i think you know that time will kind of prove you know success in those kinds of metrics but yeah in terms of you know what we what we set out to do how much hms do we have all right so i won’t mention all right so i think um out of the entire initial supply was it five percent or seven and a half percent um where was someone well actually somebody should correct me on this i’m not entirely sure if it was five or seven and a half but

(26:51) but five of the same amount was sold to uh investors all of this is public by the way it’s all in the github repos yeah you guys should connect went to sponsors and project creators and all of that oh i know what it is so so out of the initial allocation i believe it was 79 maybe it’s like five percent diluted or something but anyway um um you know the the uh the investors and and and uh and project creators had had kind of like the same kind of symmetric amount um and that they’re oh yeah okay johnny

(27:22) who says it was five percent um uh yeah so five percent each and um and uh i think there were about a hundred hundreds or so like invest on the investor side and maybe at 140 different contributors um on the project creator side um and i think um and then in terms of like you know how you guys want to take a look at like how that was all split up and you could look it up it’s all public like jj said um but that’s kind of like the higher level overview i don’t think we’re going to dispose exact amounts

(27:51) here yeah all the numbers are in each of them well they’re in i think they’re in the hs tree data repository they’re part of the hs airdrop and all that’s public of all the merkle tree data is actually public because it actually has to because we had to prove non-inflation because like this the the coins weren’t going to be claimed right away so it’s like we needed to prove you know you could run into a case where like somebody didn’t claim and then you know you have no idea whether they would

(28:25) inflate the currency when they did claim so like all of the all of the actual values of the problem what are the most important things that the community should be doing more of to help handshake grow which would be the community i mean i don’t know how to make it grow but i think like having maybe just like a general having maybe like a general community philosophy about so many crypto communities get toxic really quick like this sort of happened on i mean bitcoin is the one i’m most familiar with it’s just it’s it’s not friendly to

(29:03) newcomers and so i think just sort of like maintaining a philosophy of being friendly i guess i don’t as far as what to make it grow i mean i’m not like a gross hacker expert that type of person but um yeah i think i think generally just being a welcoming community because there’s a lot of purple communities that aren’t like that yeah i mean i i tend to think like yeah on this regard i mean you’re building things that are useful um you know i think there’s been lots of lots of projects that have been showcased here

(29:40) have been been a huge fan of like miami and hms chad and um um and and some several other new projects that have been kind of coming out and um yeah things that i mean i think that’s what will like basically help uh we can grow grows people building useful things that other people also find useful um all right in response to no no reason not to use proof of work what about excessive electricity and semiconductor usage i mean i’m not all that convinced that it is excessive i don’t know i mean my general i don’t know maybe

(30:20) maybe it’s perceived as controversial but i mean in general like if you if you just look at like humanity so far you know like the quality of life which i think is the thing that you know we should be you know individually trying to maximize for um it has correlated strongly with you know like how much energy we consume as a society and and and to kind of like i mean maybe bitcoin is even a good example of that i mean i i i don’t think it’s consumers or handshake or any of these cryptocurrencies are actually consuming

(30:49) as much as you know value as it’s creating in terms of energy but uh but uh you know i mean i don’t think this is something that’s like something that should be first and foremost the reason people think proof of work uses excessive energy is because proof of work can be reduced down to one quantifiable metric of energy use of electricity whereas other things that use every day like the federal reserve for example how much energy do you think that how much how much electricity how many how much paper how much office supplies

(31:24) how many paychecks they have to send out every month how many office buildings they have to light up how many printing presses they have to run how many coin minting things they have to run how many how much aluminum they have to mine like all all of this is probably more than bitcoin i would i would argue a lot of like cryptocurrencies combined but it’s it’s not you can’t reduce it down to one quantifiable metric so it seems like proof of work is using excess electricity i don’t agree that it is and

(31:54) i i think that the electricity that it does use is very valuable like it’s not like it’s being wasted it it’s it’s protecting the network and it’s giving the coin value yeah and most most of most of the you know electricity being consumed by people work systems are used by you know excess electricity and like you know at least or from renewable energies and things like that and from that perspective it’s like furthering renewable technologies um and so like yeah i mean i generally think i i think

(32:27) problems and and yeah i tend to think it’s just sort of like proof-of-stake propaganda like it’s i’m i’m very anti-proof-of-stake if you’ve never had a conversation with me before if you did have a conversation with me very quickly you would learn that i do not like proof of stake it’s a different security model from sorry i’ll take that back i don’t like proof of stake when people act like it’s a drop-in replacement for proof-of-work it’s not it’s a different security model

(32:57) it has different security properties it is useful it does have its uses but you’re not just going to replace proof of work with group of state and get the same security model so saying well proof of stake has all the benefits of proof of work and it doesn’t hurt the environment i think i think that’s untrue i think i think the the whole narrative surrounding surrounding proof of stake and how it uses less energy like i really just think that’s pro proof of stake propaganda who is asian is biggest threat right now

(33:32) who’s the biggest threat to hms i think biggest threat to hms i mean i i don’t know i don’t know i mean i think i think a lot of people would say it’s icann or you know all the ssl cert companies or something like that i don’t know if i want to think about that right now next question what was the next question how’s makeup running i mean it’s going well i touched on this a little bit it’s just um i hit sort of a bump in the road and that there was no good database library and cdu there are good databases and seats

(34:24) just none of them are like well suited for utxo sets or or any of the kind of data we need to store in handshake so level db is is actually uniquely suited to that purpose and importing that to c was i mean it wasn’t technically necessary because you can link to the c plus version but yeah i don’t like c plus plus like i don’t like proof-of-stake so but yeah it’s going well like new database it should be like the first full node that’s like completely written from scratch and you know every aspect of it can be

(35:05) completely controlled by the project maintainers why can i supply and having is different from bitcoin supply and habit there’s a bigger supply uh um any reason why we didn’t like choose 21 and stuff like that i mean i think i don’t know like it switched around so much because like we had different block times originally and we switched back to 10 minutes but i i mean i think a lot of it was just we we wanted there to be more coins for the airdrop and all the different allocations and stuff like that

(35:49) we wanted to be sure to like give exactly you know like a third to the miners and eighty percent of the airdrop and then uh i mean i i can’t tell you i can’t tell you the exact mechanics of it but it was something like that like we we played around with it a lot or i did until we until we found like a number and a halfing interval that seemed to work out why was a bitcoin implementation forked instead of a narrow to afford an enemy [Music] i mean from my understanding i’m not a monero expert so don’t quote me on it

(36:30) but from my understanding monero has similar issues to like zcash and that it’s unscalable in the sense that you need to store like these once only use nonces that need to be indexed a lot of these privacy coins have these like scalability issues and i don’t know we were we were more familiar with bitcoin and more familiar with how to make it secure and um yeah i mean you i mean you could make a a naming thing that has more privacy built into it but i don’t know privacy is not everything and privacy coins have their own issues

(37:14) and now a lot of privacy coins are being delisted from exchanges so let’s see how that goes um but yeah privacy coins from my understanding don’t quote me i’m not an expert on monero i’m not an expert on z cash but they do have their own set of scalability issues that i i wouldn’t want to figure out how to like route around or or how to fix i mean at the end of the day like handshake is not about fancy cryptography or privacy it’s it’s about making a decentralized name it’s about something that just that just

(37:50) works like i i feel like a lot of crypto projects get like too involved in the crypto and they just want to do fancy crypto things just for the hell of it and that that’s not really what that’s not really what handshake is about all right well thank you guys for being here it looks like we’re coming up on time for our next session uh i wish we had more we have a ton more questions here but i i don’t think there would ever be enough time um but again thank you guys for giving your time answering questions uh from the

(38:22) community um and then really quick we’re going to play or mike did you want to say anything let me know is it i mean thanks again for coming back this year i it’s always a big highlight and uh we really appreciate that yeah thanks for having us yeah it’s good to be here awesome yeah we’re gonna play a quick video uh we’re gonna play a quick video and we’re gonna switch into a networking break all right all right thank you guys thanks bye guys [Music] [Applause] [Music] so [Music] kinetic

(39:40) is a blockchain crypto investment firm based in hong kong and puerto rico [Music] founded in 2016 they were the first fund in hong kong and one of the earliest in asia with a portfolio of over 220 companies they were seed investors in such projects as ethereum parity and polka dot solana ftx and of course handshake in name base [Music] founder johan chu was an active investor and supporter of the handshake ecosystem over one hundred thousand domains co-founder of d-web foundation co-founder of handicon and sponsor of

(40:19) the handshake house at miami hack week 2022 [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Music] so [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Music] [Applause]