Blockchain refresher

A refresher on blockchain

Blockchains enable us to store information on millions of devices globally. With the right consensus models, naming protocols can avoid the need to trust back-end servers to resolve queries, which helps avoid DNS censorship attacks and ensure that internet users land on the web pages they intended to visit.


What is a block?

Block time

1 Handshake block time is = 10 minutes, which is the average amount of time it takes to mine the next Handshake block. That being said, in reality it's more likely for blocks to be mined in less than 10 minutes because a block that takes particularly long would need to be balanced by many "fast" blocks. For example if we assume "fast" blocks take 9 minutes to mine (in reality it's totally random), a single "slow" block that takes 1 hour to mine would need to be balanced by fifty "fast" blocks to average out to 10 minutes.

Block limits

Each Handshake block has the following limits:

  • 600 "updates" which are OPEN, UPDATE, TRANSFER and REVOKE covenants

    • a sub-limit of 300 opens, which are just OPENs. Note that these 300 opens are a subset of the 600 updates

  • 600 "renewals", which are FINALIZE, REGISTER, and RENEW covenants


Mining fee

Currently Handshake mining fees are ~0.1 HNS — at an exchange rate of 1 HNS = $0.10, this will cost about penny.


What are full nodes?


What are private and public keys?

Private Wallet

What's a private wallet and why do they matter?