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Name Service on Hedera! Ken Anderson of Kabuto / King Solomon (Part 2)

This interview was originally published by Genfinity.

King Solomon interviews Kabuto Name Service as part of the Hedera Corner in the LightHouse by Genfinity! Brought to you by LightHouse Report sponsor Hedera Hashgraph and in collaboration with our partner and Hedera wallet provider HashPack.


Genfinity - King Solomon – Founder & CEO
Yeah, and I would love to kind of move into allowing you to speak on Kabuto and the name service that you guys are working towards right now. Kind of what you're excited about in 2023, maybe an overview of how you envision the name service interacting with the ecosystem as a whole, and what services it could potentially represent for community or projects or developers or whatever that may be.

LaunchBadge & Kabuto Name Service – Ken Anderson - CEO
Yeah, so Kabuto started out as just a loss leader for Launch Badge. To be fair, when it launched, my business partner at Launch Badge came up with this idea and said, "Hey, we're about to launch this mainnet thing. Why don't we launch a mirror node that has a cool API and is really accessible to developers?" I said, "Hey, if you think that's going to be useful go for it”, and he did that. And we did that for a while. Turns out that keeping all of that transition, all that transaction history for years and years is very expensive. And, you know that wasn't a surprise. We, we knew that as Hedera grew in size, that would happen. Our goal was, though, to say, "Hey, Kabuto is gonna have to build out a business model and it's going to have to generate some revenue, and we'll have to figure out what that looks like." You know, we, after I left Hedera, I put in a proposal to the Hbar Foundation to get funding to help do that. And we kind of wanted to become maybe the Alchemy of Hedera, this kind of Dev stack, similar to what our Arkhia is doing. We wanted to do that as well. And so we, we requested funding, got approved. It just was a timing thing, like, right when we were about to get our first payment contracts, the entire market crashed. And so, Hbar Foundation was, obviously reevaluating what their strategy was for investment. And so it just wasn't a good time. And so we, we put the pause on that. It's still technically approved. It's still ready to be funded whenever, HBAR Foundation prioritizes that again. But that being said, we were sitting there in the middle of the summer, going, "Well, listen, we can either continue spending ten thousand dollars a month to keep this Kabuto thing going, or we can pivot Kabuto as a whole." Because Kabuto, as a vision, is much larger than an explorer in a mirror node, right? Our vision was to be all the dev tooling necessary for developers to be successful on Hedera. And so we thought, "Well, what is a use case that is meaningful to developers that can still be part of the Kabuto family, that will help bootstrap the rest of it?" Something that would generate revenue quickly, that's kind of low-hanging fruit. You know, we saw web 23 and we saw pop out, and they did relatively okay on their launch. But we had a little bit of an advantage in that we knew that smart contracts were going to evolve in October, and this is something they had been building for a year already, right. They already kind of locked into the HCS, the consensus service model, and we're looking at it going well. There's a way we could do this strictly with smart contracts come October. So, October launched what are called pre-compiles which allows our smart contracts to call native objects in Hedera. So, we were able to do things like introspect NFTs. So, if you held an NFT, the smart contract you'd say, "Do you own this NFT?" So, it could ask those types of questions which wasn't possible before October 15th. And so, we knew that was coming because guess what, we built the SDKs, so we know we know it's come in a few months before it comes, and it's open source right? Everybody can see in preview net in the in the in the notes, it's just we're actively involved in the SDK, so we know it's coming. So, we built Kabuto name service to be a hundred percent decentralized. Everything is done through smart contracts. There's no oracles nothing like that necessary. We did build a caching service called Kabuto, a KNS resolver. So, the KNS resolver is a caching service, but if you don't want to trust our caching service, or you don't want to run your own caching service, you can always just call the smart contract to query and resolve names. So, we built it that way to be 100% decentralized, 100% smart contract driven, which was unique, but not because it because it wasn't technically available before October. So, I don't want to say that Web23 or didn't do it right. They did what they could do with the tools they had, right? They did a commendable job with what they had. And then what we built was just a smart contract base because it was available now. So, that all being said, right now I'm actually talking to the people who built, the pie-fi group, about their new product which I'm happy to promote as well, but it's their uh Upside Co-op, and you know, discussing with them how do we make Kabuto a co-op because ultimately what we want is we want Kabuto to be the Community Driven, open source mechanism. We want to be able to fund open source projects built by launch badge or not built by community members as well, but also satisfy the vision that we have with Kabuto, you know, three years ago, which was to become the developer.

Tooling and instrument instrumentation tool set, but can we do it all through utility so as people are using KNS, they're generating revenue for Kabuto that then gets divided into various treasuries. It can be used for different budgets. And so that's the vision. We're still doing our due diligence on that. So that's the, I'll say that's the Kabuto vision. And if we just kind of come into KNS itself over the next year, you know KNS is just like DNS. You can add as many records as you want to your domain name. It's just like you can in DNS. We kind of break the records into two categories: one is address, and the other one is text. The address record, we support all the SLIP 44 blockchains. So, if you wanted to store your Bitcoin address in there or your Solana address or Algorithm address, you can. You can store that all in there. Sub domains are just it's just changing the key or adding a key to your record. So, if I have 10.hh for example, I don't know if I own, but if we had 10.h maybe that was a missed opportunity. But if I had ken.hh, I could have 10.hh at Hedera pointed to my default address. But maybe I'm a streamer as well, and I say I also want to have streaming.ken.hh pointed to a different Hedera address. And I can have streaming.ken.hh my Bitcoin address pointed to a Bitcoin address. And now I can just go into my twitch stream and just say, "Hey, whichever if you want to donate an H bar or Bitcoin or whatever, just send it to ken.h streaming.ken.hh and it'll resolve to the correct address because I can change those addresses if I need to." That's kind of the vision with addressing. And again, our goal is not to be addressing for Hedera. Our goal is to be web 3 hat addressing that just happens to live on Hedera. I think that's kind of a shift in how Hedera is going to fit in the world ecosystem in the entire blockchain space. Is Hedera ideal for specific use cases? And those use cases can be part of a development stack. It can be part of a technology stack, just like we don't ask the question of you know which database is running my mobile app. Right? Is behind my mobile app. It could be SQL Lite, it could be Postgres, it could be MongoDB. We don't know what is enabling the data storage or persistence of our mobile app. We just know that when I open up my mobile app, my data is there. Right? Same thing with KNS. I want KNS to be web 3, um, living on Hedera, but blockchain agnostic from an addressing perspective.

Genfinity - King Solomon – Founder & CEO
Yeah, and that's kind of you know, looking into the naming service. Real use cases. I think there's a lot of aspects that could tie in you know, we always talk about what's going to drive real mass adoption in this space and there's a lot of interesting opportunities from a user experience standpoint or an interoperability standpoint where you can really start. It's almost like a one-stop shop for a user where, and I think you touched on it briefly, where you open up your mobile app and it just works, and all the data's there. Is that kind of the overall vision of what these naming services would represent from a user-friendly point of view? I can point to tons of different ecosystems, say whether it be Bitcoin or whatever else. If I hold Bitcoin, into kind of this one aspect that I own from a naming convention, what's your opinion on the way that looks like or what that looks like moving forward? Where do we get to the point from a user journey where they don't even necessarily have to worry about implementing and inputting everything and managing it all because it all just kind of works and it's tied into that one naming convention? I know it's kind of a bloated question, but it's yeah, I mean it's down into layman's terms a little bit for people that may not understand exactly what we're talking about by combining these aspects with the naming service.

LaunchBadge & Kabuto Name Service – Ken Anderson - CEO
And I suspect most people in the world don't have hands-on experience with DNS either. Right, so we're taking a leap in a few different directions. One of them is an ecosystem uphill battle, and another one is a consumer adoption uphill battle. Right, so most people aren't familiar with exactly how DNS works, domain name services, how we're able to type in words on the web. When I type in or, like when I type those names in, there's a naming server somewhere that's saying equals this IP address and it tells your browser to go to that IP address and retrieve whatever is available at It's a little more complicated than that, but that's fundamentally what we're doing is we’re

Saying, "How do we create these aliases that are human-readable for things that are machine-readable? Right. How do we take a human-readable address and turn it into a machine-readable address? And that's fundamentally what DNS does. Now, let's talk about the web 2 to web 3 shift. Web 2 shift is, I interact with online assets and online resources, and I pay somebody else basically to manage those resources. I technically am the owner through contract, but part of that contract is that whoever's hosting the services for me can do a lot of things that I don't want them to do with it. They can turn off my website if they don't like what's on my website. They can change the pointer on that human-readable address to some other machine-readable address that I didn't approve. So there's lots of things they can do that I don't I'm not involved with that I don't have control over. The whole movement of web 3 is, how do I take ownership of my online present, my online resources and assets? Sure. How do I have ownership of that? And the answer to that is, "you know, not my keys, not my resources. Not my keys, not my domain name." Right. So if it is my keys that manage this domain name, it is my resource, it is my domain name. And that's what we basically have done is we said, "Listen, in the smart contract space, you own the one NFT that controls that domain name. And by holding that NFT, which is controlled by your cryptographic keys, you now also are the only one authorized in that smart contract to edit, add, update, remove, record files or record, address and text records from that domain." So there's kind of the two battles here is one, why do consumers care about this? Right? Because they don't currently care as much about domain names unless you're setting up a business or doing your own thing, which I think we can take a different spin on that as well. And, two, how do we climb the Steep Hill of making Hedera the de facto location for that resource? Because you're going to fight kind of political boundaries as well. If we go out to Bitcoin or Solana, they're all going to say, "Well, we can do the same thing on our technology." And the answer is, "They can't really do it with the same level of trust and performance and cost." I mean, that's just with all of that. It's not going to happen. And so, all I'm saying is, "Let KNS operate on the best technology for this use case." But that's still going to be an uphill battle. So, but from a consumer perspective, I think we can take a spin on that. I think we can say, "You know, the reason why people don't get involved in DNS is because most people don't have a reason to host a second-level domain that they control." Most people can have a hashtag or an "at" on Twitter or Facebook or whatever. I think this is more of an identity play though. I think in the web 3 space, we're gonna have a fundamental shift in what domain names mean. Yeah, fundamentally, if I want to own ken.hh and I want to have Twitter, my Twitter handle, uh, kind of consolidated in one place, I can create twitter.ken.hh as a text record in KNS and point that to my current Twitter handle. And if that changes, I just change it in my KNS record. So, it becomes kind of like the central source of truth that I control that exists on a decentralized network, that nobody else can manipulate. That's what it becomes.

We can even take it a step further. People are looking at decentralized identifiers as being, you know, the next wave of identity on the web from a decentralized perspective. So DIDs, DIDs and verifiable credentials, so VCS. I could totally see in KNS, you storing a pointer to your DID. You could totally say, "You know, my launch badge DID is launch badge did.ken.hh" right in your KNS record. So you can do that. I think there's a lot of identity plays that we haven't even thought about that are possible on what we're building. But ultimately, we're trying to build a protocol that, you know, even if launch badge were to disappear tomorrow, could

Continue on, and the Kabuto Community can keep carrying it on. There'd be funding, there'd be a proposal mechanism, and there'd be a way for allocating those funds to continue that project even without launch batch. And that's ultimately the goal we want. Now granted, launch batch is the first to build it, we're inventing it, so we're going to reap the benefits early on, but in the long run, you know, we don't even have royalties for us built into it. It's one of those things of like, we truly want this to be a Community Driven, Community developed, and maintained project. And that's a challenge in itself, that's a separate challenge in itself, but yeah.

Genfinity - King Solomon – Founder & CEO
And I'm imagining that's one of the reasons that you're exploring the co-op. Route to an extent, obviously. And then you touched base a lot on kind of the digital sovereignty aspect of what web3 could you know, truly represent. And it sounds to me like you guys are really focused on building out that middle ground of web 2.5 that will take us from a user experience and from you know, everything else into what really web3 represents. One of the things that's interesting that you brought up to me prior to me hitting the record button up here is, I think to get us from web 2.5 to web 3, there has to be clear-cut regulatory discussions around how we're to move forward from web 2.5 to web3. So I would love to hear about some of the initiatives that you're working on right now from even from the regulatory standpoint, because you brought that up, which I think is great.

LaunchBadge & Kabuto Name Service – Ken Anderson - CEO
Yeah, I mean, so I'm always trying to actively be engaged in a good cause as much as possible. And I think you know it, the way I look at it is like I want Launch Badges to be successful, successful as a company. I want to make sure that you know I've got stability for my family, so I'm not purely altruistic in my motives. But at the same time, I want everything I do to be something I can go to bed and sleep well at night and know that I did something good that day.

If I can make money doing it, great. So a couple of those initiatives that I'm working on is like, you know, I'll just talk about the Sacramento region. We're like in the perfect spot right now. I would say, Launch Badge because we're in the Sacramento area. Two things one, a lot of that Bay Area, start-up funding and money, Angels, VCs are moving out to Sacramento region, like El Dorado Hills, Woodland. So, we've got a lot of that money moving out and the problem is, Sacramento doesn't have a good pipeline for startups, and so a lot of what I've been working on is, okay, how do we facilitate that pipeline? We've got, you know, regulatory concerns, we've got legal concerns, accounting and financial concerns, funding concerns, technology concerns. So, I've been working a lot with Northern California Innovation District, GSEC, which is the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, a few accelerators like Growth Factory, and what we're trying to do is build this pipeline for startups in Sacramento, where people who have good ideas and talent can find coaching and funding and support, and legal support, accounting support, to take them from idea through their series funding. So, one thing that I'm working on, very heavily is not just helping define that process and pipeline in the Sacramento region but also, Launch Badge becoming the technical partner for that. And then, anytime the word blockchain or crypto comes up, we're like the first one on all these accelerators and Angel Investors' tongues. Right, they're all saying our name. So, that's one thing we're working on in that process. I also met up with a number of groups, there's one in particular, the DCTA, and I won't get into too much of their details, but you can look at check them out at I think it's But, but they're looking at advocating for digital currencies, and trading on digital currencies, and they actually have a number of lobbyists as part of their founding groups. They have um, compliance consultants that are part of the group, and they've brought me in as kind of a technical resource. And what we're trying to do is we're trying to kind of help California navigate the crypto and blockchain space, so that as California is making legislation, they're doing it with all the information that's necessary. Because, I think there's a lot of misunderstanding. I mean, I can't tell you how many times we went over the words custodial, non-custodial wallets, and what the difference is, and there are some legal ways to say that that are very convoluted, and there are some technical ways to say that are very easy. So, I kept trying to reinforce these technical things, and then we look at precedence around the U.S or other states that have already tried to define what these terms mean. And I look at it and I think, "Well, that's a really unsophisticated way to describe that technology and could lead to a misunderstanding or inappropriate legislation around that technology." And so, so being in Sacramento is great for two reasons. One, we've got all this all the Bay Area money moving out here, so I get to be part of that whole evolution, and two, this is where the capital of California is, so I get to go meet with legislators if I need to and help with that education process and participate in that. So, and at the same time, we're building the credibility and reputation of launch badge and, and hopefully creating more projects and activity, specifically in a Hedera space. I mean, there, there have been times where we've talked about, you know, how do you select a distributed ledger and a lot of the properties that I suggest clearly point to Hedera being the right answer and not because I'm trying to feed hedera into it but just because I'm saying these are the properties every public ledger should be measured against, and Hedera just happens to meet them. If there's another public ledger that meets them as well as Hedera, then great, let's consider that I'm open to that, but being part of the Hedera development and growth, I've realized the inadequacies of a lot of the other technologies out there, and especially how that could impact major adoption in the public space, for things like DMV adoption. I know California actually has a mandate to adopt blockchain technology, but they've got no guys.

Genfinity - King Solomon – Founder & CEO
What was,, was it the California DMV? That is it, Tezos. I think they mentioned that one of the DMVs just said that they're integrating Tezos for something. This was probably over a few days ago, but it's fantastic to hear that you're really trying to work hand in hand with, you know, whether that be growth, innovative, or growth incubators or regulatory standpoints. Because I think one thing that we most of us that have been here for a little while are kind of sick of is this boom and bust aspect of the space and you know, having kind of at least a foundational layer of some sort of regulation that actually fosters innovation is massively important to take us out of the boom and bust cycles and to create some levels of sustainability as these ecosystems really grow out. I did want to say, Ken, it's been an absolute pleasure to meet with you and discuss with you this morning. Certainly going to push this out and for you guys listening, go follow Launch Badge on Twitter. We'll make sure that we tag you guys whenever we post out the content, and definitely looking forward to having another discussion with you guys in the near future again. And then the same thing with Kabuto and the name service. Go check out that. We'll drive traffic towards that for you guys also. It's been such a pleasure to talk to somebody who's really kind of been in the dairy ecosystem since very, very, very early on, so I look forward to doing this again in the near future, Ken.

LaunchBadge & Kabuto Name Service – Ken Anderson - CEO
Likewise, thank you. It was a pleasure.

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