Thibault Meunier

Author Archives: Thibault Meunier

Humanity wastes about 500 years per day on CAPTCHAs. It’s time to end this madness

Humanity wastes about 500 years per day on CAPTCHAs. It’s time to end this madness
Humanity wastes about 500 years per day on CAPTCHAs. It’s time to end this madness

Select all the buses. Click on bikes. Does this photo have traffic lights? As ridiculous as these questions are, you’re almost guaranteed to have seen one recently. They are a way for online services to separate humans from bots, and they’re called CAPTCHAs. CAPTCHAs strengthen the security of online services. But while they do that, there’s a very real cost associated with them.

Based on our data, it takes a user on average 32 seconds to complete a CAPTCHA challenge. There are 4.6 billion global Internet users. We assume a typical Internet user sees approximately one CAPTCHA every 10 days.

This very simple back of the envelope math equates to somewhere in the order of 500 human years wasted every single day — just for us to prove our humanity.

Today, we are launching an experiment to end this madness. We want to get rid of CAPTCHAs completely. The idea is rather simple: a real human should be able to touch or look at their device to prove they are human, without revealing their identity. We want you to be able to prove that you are human without revealing which human you are! You may ask if this is Continue reading

A Name Resolver for the Distributed Web

A Name Resolver for the Distributed Web
A Name Resolver for the Distributed Web

The Domain Name System (DNS) matches names to resources. Instead of typing 104.18.26.46 to access the Cloudflare Blog, you type blog.cloudflare.com and, using DNS, the domain name resolves to 104.18.26.46, the Cloudflare Blog IP address.

Similarly, distributed systems such as Ethereum and IPFS rely on a naming system to be usable. DNS could be used, but its resolvers’ attributes run contrary to properties valued in distributed Web (dWeb) systems. Namely, dWeb resolvers ideally provide (i) locally verifiable data, (ii) built-in history, and (iii) have no single trust anchor.

At Cloudflare Research, we have been exploring alternative ways to resolve queries to responses that align with these attributes. We are proud to announce a new resolver for the Distributed Web, where IPFS content indexed by the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) can be accessed.

To discover how it has been built, and how you can use it today, read on.

Welcome to the Distributed Web

IPFS and its addressing system

The InterPlanetary FileSystem (IPFS) is a peer-to-peer network for storing content on a distributed file system. It is composed of a set of computers called nodes that store and relay content using a common Continue reading