Solid Q&A about BNS & Gaia


Hey all, I made a post a while back on Medium about Blockstack, and I received some good questions a couple of days ago. I figured I’d post the Q&A here as a general FYI for the community. Thanks to @muneeb for going over my answers to make sure I wasn’t getting it completely wrong :wink:


  1. I couldn’t understand what makes BNS reliable? how would it stop from people flooding it with false data?

  2. A system needs the ability to actually delete data — if the system constantly restores “lost”/Deleted data (self-healing), how can anyone delete data?

  3. Gaia — sounds like a great idea, but if I’m not mistaken, this is a by-product, it does not require a blockchain technology to upload encrypted data —moreover, why should I trust the encryption of blockstack and not Google’s or Dropbox’s one?


  1. The BNS is essentially a registry of everyone’s blockstack name. It’s reliable due to the network of nodes that can self heal. To register a blockstack name, you have to pay BTC. The BTC payment should keep people from flooding the network with false data.

  2. There’s a separation between the BNS records and the data the records point to. The BNS records are relatively small hashes, and if they expire they will get deleted. The stored data itself can be deleted by the owner of that data at any time. The self-healing comes into effect with the BNS records (pointers to the data storage).

  3. Correct, it doesn’t necessarily require a blockchain. For example Napster utilized decentralized storage. The part solved by the blockchain is decentralized discovery of the data. Napster had centralized discovery, so if Napster went down, you couldn’t find your files. With Blockstack’s decentralized discovery, you don’t have to worry about a central entity controlling access. Before the blockchain was invented, decentralized storage PLUS decentralized discovery was difficult and had drawbacks. The whitepaper goes into some depth on this, which I’d recommend checking out if you’re still looking for more!

And here’s the link to the original post if anyone is interested.



This is awesome @nickneuman! Thank you for sharing!