Understanding Handshake’s Asset Distribution

Handshake puts the world’s root zone on a blockchain, making it a public commons. And in order to bootstrap this commons into a valuable decentralized namespace, Handshake must seed ownership into the broadest and most intelligible stakeholder community it can. That’s why Handshake’s distribution was catalyzed by a series of gifts to various communities and stakeholders (more can be found in the Handshake whitepaper).

The best way to understand Handshake’s distribution is by asset and constituency. Consider a Cartesian coordinate system whose horizontal axis runs from new constituents to legacy constituents, and whose vertical axis runs from coins to names…

And the Interoperability of Handshake and Ethereum

Handshake, still less than a year old, is beginning to realize the virtues of the decentralized web in which anyone can own their own namespace free of gatekeepers or fear of censorship. Happening in parallel, Ethereum’s decentralized financial protocols are maturing from lofty experiments, to hardened primitives.

The opportunity for cross-chain collaboration is immense. As I’ve said, DeFi and DWeb are complementary revolutions. The budding symbiosis between Handshake and Ethereum is a powerful one worth continually exploring in detail.

Previously I touched on how the Handshake namespace strengthens decentralized finance through cryptographically secure frontends.

The decentralized finance (DeFi) movement contends…

When the Internet Becomes Money

The names our parents gives us, the ones we register with the State, those are fiat names. They matter to the government, they matter much less to the Internet. What matters to the Internet are the names of our websites, our emails, our profiles, our wallets. These names are useful — we can host stuff with them, share with them, and pay with them. These name are fluid — they can be pseudonyms, we can have multiple, and they can change on a whim.

The more our lives happen on the Internet, the more our Internet names take precedent. And…

Merging the Future of Finance with the DWeb

The Decentralized Finance (DeFi) movement contends to offer open and permission-less markets. But DeFi does not operate in a vacuum. In practice, frontend websites and applications remain centralized choke points to backend protocols. Decentralized finance is not truly decentralized until the whole stack is.

Censorship poses a real threat to DeFi frontends, especially as markets amass more funds and attention. Open financial tools impede on existing power structures and while protocols can be elusive targets, websites and applications can be more easily shut down. A different, but related threat is the lack of integrity assurances in our access points to…

Creating Liquidity for Hype and Merchandise

The first wave of Automated Market Makers (AMMs) are having a moment. From Uniswap to Balancer to Curve, these protocols have amassed billions in liquidity and consumed mindshare in equal proportion. But, it turns out that the creation of automated and programmable markets are good for more than just financial assets. Foundation represents a new class of AMM designed for e-commerce.

Foundation is a marketplace for creators to sell limited-edition goods like clothing and art. It diverges in structure from Uniswap and the like where markets are optimized for decentralized liquidity. Different assets require different design choices. On Foundation, markets…

Zach Brown

Don’t miss the forest for the urkel trees.

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