Handshake is a UTXO-based blockchain protocol which manages the registration, renewal and transfer of DNS top-level domains (TLDs). Our naming protocol differs from its predecessors in that it has no concept of namespacing or subdomains at the consensus layer. Its purpose is not to replace DNS, but to replace the root zone file and the root servers.
Handshake is public blockchain that will serve as a global list of top-level domain names. By pointing your browser to resolve requests via the Handshake network instead of at your local DNS resolving server, you’ll essentially be looking up websites’ IP addresses on the Handshake blockchain, instead of those maintained on DNS resolvers that are centralized. - The Case for Handshake A Compelling Bid to Decentralize Domain Names Steven McKie
Many fail to realize that DNS is already decentralized, with the exception of a single, critical component, of which trust is centralized: the root zone, or simply, a collection of top level domains (TLDs). And this trust anchor is kept by a small federation of authoritative bodies, where ICANN is currently the ultimate authority. - Everything You Didn’t Know About the Handshake Naming System
Certificate Authorities in the DNS network constructed the way it is today are the trusted stewards for the operation of the Internet. These stewards, as explained in the project paper, are profit-maximizing entities. Meaning, ICANN has no altruistic incentive to act honestly, yet has every incentive to maintain its natural monopoly over the riches that come with governing a critical layer of the Internet. And even if CAs intend to be good stewards, the premise of the decentralization movement posits that we should not ever need to rely on any single authority, especially one that acts as the gatekeeper to the highway of all human knowledge - Everything You Didn’t Know About the Handshake Naming System
Handshake: An experimental peer-to-peer root DNS (handshake.org) -news.ycombinator.com
This seems like a neat idea but the economics are that of a for profit business, and I think we learned that handing domains to a for profit (NetworkSolutions) was a bad idea.
7% going to contributors and 7% going to financial backers is a pretty big incentive. 
I’d rather see this set up as a non profit foundation or a community driven trust and run in an OSS way for the financial elements. As it is, I don’t think we should create a decentralized network with such significant financial incentives.
This is a formatted and annotated version of the original Handshake whitepaper hosted by Namebase, a Handshake registrar and exchange. Last updated November 29, 2018.
If you have questions about the whitepaper, message the Telegram group or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add a relevant annotation to the whitepaper.
- handshake-org/hsd - Handshake Daemon & Full Node
- handshake-org/hs-client - REST, websocket, and RPC client for hsd
- handshake-org/urkel - Cryptographically provable database (i.e. an urkel tree)
- handshake-org/goosig - Anonymous RSA signatures
- handshake-org/handshake-org.github.io - Handshake developer documentation site
- handshake-org/hnsd - Handshake SPV name resolver
- handshake-org/hs-miner - Mining infrastructure for handshake
- handshake-org/hs-airdrop - Decentralized airdrop to open source developers
- handshake-org/hs-names - Pre-reserved Handshake Names
- handshake-org/hdns - Handshake-capable DNS module for node.js
- handshake-org/blog - the Handshake project’s blog
- handshake-org/faucet-tool - A tool to generate mnemonic seeds, keys and addresses for the Handshake Faucet
- handshake-org/hndshkBot - IRC Bot for developer faucet
- handshake-org/libhns -C library for resolving handshake names (fork of c-ares)
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