China wants to patent decentralized blockchain DNS – domain name wire

A Chinese government entity files a US patent application for blockchain-based DNS.

The Chinese government wants a US patent for a decentralized blockchain-based DNS that could compete with the existing domain name system overseen by ICANN.

The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the Internet division of the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, has filed a US patent application (pdf) for Multi-stakeholder system based on Blockchain shared governance to maintain domain name information.

In the app, CNNIC explains what it says is problematic with the current system:

However, at present, the Domain Name Root Service System is centrally managed and maintained by ICANN and its related agencies, resulting to some extent in inefficient administration, maintenance and use and impractical domain names. In addition, the hierarchical centralized management mode of the DNS system has shortcomings in fairness and stability, as well as the most important issue, namely security risks, such as DDoS pollution and DNS cache. Since all data is stored centrally on the central server, it is very likely that the registrant or even the whole system will suffer loss due to operational errors or attacks on the information of the domain name. domain name without the help or regulation of a second equivalent body. During the process of implementing the embodiments of the present application, the inventor has found that in the traditional DNS service system adopting a centralized maintenance method, the normal operation of the whole system will be affected and the system exhibits poor stability and security once the central system server is attacked or misused.

CNNIC’s solution is:

a root blockchain, formed by the first network nodes where the top level domain registries are located;

collect, by each authoritative node among the first network nodes, domain name operation information from each first network node, and aggregate the collected domain name operation information to obtain first network information block;

broadcasting, by a first authoritative node, the first block information to every second authoritative node, receiving the result of the check on the first block information sent by each second authoritative node, and broadcasting the first block information to each first network node to perform the information domain name operation in the first block information at each first network node in the root blockchain when the number of authoritative nodes through which the first block information verification passes exceeds a first predefined threshold;

wherein, each authoritative node among the first network nodes is examined and determined by a predefined review mechanism, and the authoritative nodes in the root blockchain include a first authoritative node and a plurality of second authoritative nodes.

The app explains the advantages of this approach:

… With such a decentralized method of maintaining domain name information, the end state will not be affected by an error or an attack on a network node, which will result in increased security and better stability of the network. ‘whole system compared to the centralized maintenance method. In addition, all domain name operating information is stored in every first network node of the root blockchain to prevent malicious tampering, and a reliable data source is provided for updating the domain name.

Most proponents of decentralized domain name systems argue that they make it difficult to censor domains and their associated websites. This probably defeats the objectives of CNNIC.

CNNIC filed the application in December, claiming priority for a patent filed in China in 2019.