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Taking Accountability for My Vanity .onion Address

2023-09-06 - [52] 6:20

Some folks probably already know that my website, gopherhole, gemini capsule, and finger server can be accessed over the tor network at the following .onion address:


Heck, if you are reading this blog post using the Tor Browser, you likely would have been redirected to that .onion address. The first 6 characters are "vigrey", just like the first 10 characters of the DuckDuckGo .onion address are "duckduckgo" and the first 8 characters of the Facebook .onion address are "facebook". I am currently of the opinion that making a vanity .onion address was a morally wrong choice for me to make, even if it was a mindless choice at the time.

Generating a vanity .onion address is essentially the same process as Proof-of-Work systems like Bitcoin use or trying to crack a hashed and salted password. In all of those cases, you make a random guess, see that your guess was likely horribly wrong, throw that guess away, and guess again. Do that over and over again until luck is on your side. All you had to do was waste a bunch of electricity on the way. In the case of my vanity .onion address, I statistically would have generated about 32^6 (1073741824) .onion addresses, likely throwing away over 1 billion addresses that didn't start with "vigrey". I did that once before and lost that .onion address's private key, so I did this twice in total... I also did this when .onion addresses were only 16 characters in length, so I likely threw away at least 3 billion .onion addresses needlessly.

I tend to define luxury as something along the lines of "something that is made more tedius or difficult to take care of for no purpose other than to show that you have the resources to take care of it". A shiny new expensive car compared to a practical cheaper car, a nice green lawn in an area that hits excessive drought yearly, or an expensive white jacket to wear while going out... things like that. My .onion address fits that definition, especially in a "look how much electricity I used" sense.

Soon I will be throwing away my vanity .onion address and using a randomly generated .onion address instead. Unfortunately, this means I will be using a little bit of extra electricity to generate 1 more address private key. With that said, the reason I will be throwing away my vanity .onion address is to not contribute to someone visiting my site's homepage and thinking "Wow, that's a cool .onion address. I want one like that." and generating their own vanity .onion address. This should happen sometime this month. I already generated the new address, which will end up being the following .onion address:


With that said, it won't be up and running until I get Bergelmir 0.1.0 made and running my website / gopherhole / gemini capsule / finger server.

Blanket Fort Webring

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