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Zooko’s triangle – Wikipedia

Zooko’s triangle – Wikipedia

2022-08-17 18:31:34

Trilemma in pc science regarding community naming schemes

Zooko’s triangle defines three traits of a community protocol identifier as Human-meaningful, Decentralized and Safe.

Zooko’s triangle is a trilemma of three properties that some individuals take into account fascinating for names of members in a network protocol:[1]

  • Human-meaningful: Significant and memorable (low-entropy) names are offered to the customers.
  • Safe: The quantity of harm a malicious entity can inflict on the system needs to be as little as potential.
  • Decentralized: Names appropriately resolve to their respective entities with out using a government or service.


Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn conjectured that no single sort of identify can obtain greater than two. For instance: DNSSec gives a human-meaningful, safe naming scheme, however shouldn’t be decentralized because it depends on trusted root-servers; .onion addresses and bitcoin addresses are safe and decentralized however not human-meaningful; and I2P makes use of identify translation companies that are safe (as they run regionally) and supply human-meaningful names – however fail to offer distinctive entities when used globally in a decentralised community with out authorities.


A number of techniques that exhibit all three properties of Zooko’s triangle embrace:

See Also

  • Laptop scientist Nick Szabo‘s paper “Safe Property Titles with Proprietor Authority” illustrated that each one three properties could be achieved up to the boundaries of Byzantine fault tolerance.[2]
  • Activist Aaron Swartz described a naming system based mostly on Bitcoin using Bitcoin’s distributed blockchain as a proof-of-work to ascertain consensus of area identify possession.[3] These techniques stay weak to Sybil attack,[4] however are safe beneath Byzantine assumptions.
  • Theoretician Curtis Yarvin carried out a decentralized model of IP addresses in Urbit that hash to four-syllable, human-readable names.[5]

A number of platforms implement refutations of Zooko’s conjecture, together with: Twister (which use Swartz’ system with a bitcoin-like system), Blockstack (separate blockchain), Namecoin (separate blockchain), LBRY (separate blockchain – content material discovery, possession, and peer-to-peer file-sharing),[citation needed] Monero, OpenAlias,[6] Ethereum Name Service, and the Handshake Protocol.[7]

See additionally[edit]


  1. ^ Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn. “Names: Decentralized, Secure, Human-Meaningful: Choose Two”. Archived from the original on 20 October 2001.
  2. ^ Nick Szabo, Secure Property Titles Archived 24 November 2017 on the Wayback Machine, 1998
  3. ^ Aaron Swartz, Squaring the Triangle: Secure, Decentralized, Human-Readable Names Archived 15 January 2011 on the Wayback Machine, Aaron Swartz, 6 January 2011
  4. ^ Dan Kaminsky, Spelunking the Triangle: Exploring Aaron Swartz’s Take On Zooko’s Triangle Archived 16 January 2013 on the Wayback Machine, 13 January 2011
  5. ^ Curtis Yarvin: Urbit- A Clean Slate Functional Operating Stack – λC 2016, retrieved 9 July 2022
  6. ^ Monero core staff (19 September 2014). “OpenAlias”. Archived from the unique on 11 February 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  7. ^ Director of The Handshake Mission (12 July 2021). “Handshake”. Archived from the unique on 25 August 2021. Retrieved 2 September 2021.

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