How autonomous/decentralized is blockstack network?

E.g. considering the basic scenario of US government deciding that some particular application that exists on blockstack is illegal, and trying to force the blockstack as company to remove that application?

The Blockstack Browser provides a curated directory of Blockstack-powered applications, but nothing stops you from using one that isn’t listed :slight_smile:

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Well, let me give you this example. They come and say to you, owners of “remove that app from your network, or we will take down and indict you for not cooperating”.

What would prevent you guys from removing the app from the network then?

All Blockstack could do is de-list the app from the Browser. Blockstack does not have the ability to take down apps since apps are hosted or run locally by the devs or companies that build them.

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Hmm I need to understand more about the “decentralized nature” of blockstack when you say

“apps are hosted or run locally by the devs or companies that build them”

I thought the whole premise of a decentralized network is that the whole network hosts my stuff…

Right now all Blockstack apps are hosted similarly to any other website, there is a server that sends out HTML/CSS/JS in response to someone asking for it.

Where things are different is how data is stored. Blockstack apps store data in a decentralized fashion using Gaia (also developed by the Blockstack team). This means that application owners do not hold any data for their users in a database or something similar, instead users hold full control over their data.

To answer your question, right now, if a government deemed a Blockstack application to be illegal it would just take it down like any other website, the difference is that they wouldn’t be able to seize any data from the application owners. I’m not sure how they would handle taking down data stored using Gaia however.


Are there any plans to list apps decentralized, and use some kind of decentralized name look up to load the app through peer-peer network? I believe the peer to peer loading of apps can be achieved through IPFS.

Nothing stops you from using ipfs.js from loading your application’s assets in Blockstack, since Blockstack apps are meant to run in the Web browser :wink: You can also have your Gaia node load and store data to IPFS if you prefer (but be sure to pin your data!).

Loading applications through Gaia is a long-term design goal, so loading data from $YOUR_FAVORITE_STORAGE_SYSTEM will be doable in a way that is transparent to the application.

yes, but is there a decentralized name look up and discovery of apps? IPFS addressing is worse compared to an IP address, not much usable. Looks like we need a decentralized google for discovery of content :slight_smile:, if we really want censorship resistant decentralized apps that are not hosted on central servers.

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