Dappy name system launches !

Dappy name system launches !

Dappy recently launched, with a unique no-token no-gas leaderless layer 1 system, that at the same time provides suffiscient levels of decentralization, free state changes for users (owners of domain names) and ultra-scalability.

Dappy is a name system and TLS certificate distribution solution that replaces both the DNS and the web PKI (or certificate authority system). It was built with a strong focus on security, privacy of communications and resistance to unilateral censorship.

Many things happened in 2022, one of them being the halting of RChain’s development in August. RChain is a layer 1 smart contract platform and historical technology partner of the dappy project. Dappy of course continued going forward on its own.

Another layer one ?

We chose not to immediately jump on another layer one or smart contract platform to deploy our name system onto, and took advantage of the turmoil to sit and think about blockchain technology vis-à-vis dappy project.

First, what dappy achieves and other projects don’t, is decentralizing (or turning into trustless mode) the resolution mechanism. In dappy, the client (often a browser) will always query many nodes of the blockchain to get the encryption certificate, or IP address to then reach the server. This really changes the deal and prevent entire families of attacks from ever occuring, other competitors (DNS being the main one) still rely on unique endpoints for about everything. Blockchain name systems don’t provide a solution for this issue, and require clients to either run a full node (99.9% of people or companies will not), or rely on Infura, Alchemy or other specialized private infrastructure services.

On the other hand, we chose to face the elephant-in-the-room issue that every blockchain project encounters : requiring users to have cryptocurrency to pay for gas or transaction fees. We recognize that this solution is great for preventing DDOS : users pay for every state change. On the other hand it’s a huge problem for adoption, companies don’t want to deal with tokens. From a UX perspective, many blockchain solutions in reality go a step backward, it’s more complicated than before.

What to do then ?

The dappy project is focused on domain names, TLS certificates and data related to public web services, by that we mean that the need of strict and unique ordering of the messages is less important than for smart contract platforms. Dappy also wants to display a technology that is attractive and easy to work with. That is why we chose to build an in-between solution.

The current dappy stack is a replicated and leaderless postgreSQL database, with digital signatures (private/public key pairs) used for messages authentication, and thus state change. This allows the protocol to :

  • Massively parallelize messages processing by not having a unique transaction queue (messages for chaging the IP address of apple.d will never touch same resources as messages that change the subdomains of amazon.d)
  • Stay true to the decentralization principles : all messages must be signed by the legitimate owners of the zone, the corruption of one member of the dappy network does not propagate.
  • Free updates !!! Updating a zone in the dappy name system, changing the TLS certificate or TXT records, all of this requires no gas. The purchasing plus renewal of domain names and equal distribution of rewards to the dappy network is the gas system. During the validity period of a domain, updates are free.
  • Currently the entry point is a managed in a centralized way, domains are obtained with credit card payment, after which they can be linked to a public key and enter the state-sharing network (dappy network). This layer may change in the favor of a smart-contract plus stable coin system, but for now it’s good, and simpler to use than all blockchain name systems.
  • Co-resolution works very naturally, service discovery stays 100% trustless as it did before.

If you want to test the performances, we encourage you to spam the gamma.dappy.tech/now/ page, get 10 or 20 domains, and update them following the documentation.

As always, no technical decision is definitive, we are constantly monitoring what’s going on in the blockchain space, and checking the new smart contract platforms.

The launch

So yeah, main point is that we launched, after few weeks of spamming the testnet and setting up the state-sharing system. Now it’s running and as advertised on the website, pathrocknetwork is the first network member other than FABCO, and runs a full node.

Test domain names can be obtained for free here, literraly in 5 seconds here.

Production domains can be purchased here.

And finally the documentation for managing a zone in the dappy name system, registering self-signed certificates is here.

See you around !