Nokia gets Blockchain DNS Patent

Company gets US patent for a way to secure DNS with blockchain technology.

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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted patent number 11,196,573 (pdf) to Nokia Technologies (NYSE: NOK) for “Secure de-centralized domain name system”.

A lot of companies have applied for blockchain-related patents for domain names. This one is quite broad and seems to skirt the traditional “let’s replace the traditional DNS with blockchain” mentality. The patent states:

Some alternative decentralized Domain Name System (DNS) solutions based on blockchain technology have been proposed. Such blockchain-based solutions may be more immune to Man-in-the Middle (MITM) attacks. However, such systems have still numerous limitations. First, they are not fully compatible with current Internet infrastructure for how Domain Name System (DNS) and security service are operated, requiring additional browsing software such as plugins or even independent browsers. Second, they require a local copy of the blockchain. Third, only some new top-level domains are supported.

The patent’s authors believe a big issue with the current DNS and how we use the web is that certificate providers can be hacked or coerced, and they act as a single point of failure in the trust chain of the web.

Nokia’s proposed solution records domain registrations to the blockchain to add a trust layer. The patent also explains how this could be applied to the Internet of Things and how a household could use a private blockchain for added security.

Nokia applied for the patent in 2017 and it was issued today.

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