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As you may be aware there has been a prolonged spambot attack directed at freenode (and other IRC networks) in recent weeks, targeting a number of individuals involved with freenode and the wider IRC communities. The freenode team, and people involved with the wider IRC communities, are working hard to mitigate and reduce the spam that hits your community channels.

The spam content has changed in the last few days and while I am extremely glad that the attacks appear to no longer focus on members of the volunteer team and no longer involve libellous and false statements relating to these volunteers, we feel we should provide some clarification on some of the claims that are being made in the current spamwave relating to freenode and its involvement in Handshake.

The current spambot attacks state that freenode is involved with an 'ICO scam' relating to the Handshake project. Most freenode volunteers have involvement with one or several FOSS projects, often projects that use the freenode network as part of their communications toolbox. Handshake is no different in this regard, as it is a project that I have been involved with. I am deeply sorry to those affected by the spam, to freenode and to Handshake that spammers have chosen to use my involvement as a further platform to attack the freenode communities, and now also Handshake.

Prior to announcement, the Handshake project raised USD 10.2 million in funding from project supporters and the project made the decision to not only give a substantial amount of its coin supply to people and projects within the FOSS sphere but to also donate the USD 10.2 million (FIAT) to projects whose work the initial project contributors admire and/or rely upon. Like many projects within the FOSS world, Handshake has extensively used other free and open source software to build its codebase, and FOSS also lies at the foundations of the internet architecture that we rely upon day to day.

One of the projects Handshake identified as useful is indeed also freenode, which is on the pledgee list to receive a FIAT donation from the project. This donation will, among other things, contribute towards making the freenode #live conference bigger and better, and also to focus on some development work that has otherwise been on the back-burner. freenode is happy to be included as a list of recipients and honoured to be appreciated in this way.

  • Handshake is a FOSS project, and like many FOSS projects it has a channel on the freenode network.
  • Handshake is an experimental peer-to-peer DNS for which one aim is to be more resistant to censorhip than existing systems.
  • Handshake is doing a faucet distribution to a number of FOSS contributors and projects, many of which are freenode users.
  • Handshake is making a fairly hefty (USD 10.2 million) overall financial contribution to projects within the FOSS sphere in addition to its faucet allocation of HNS coins and freenode is one of many projects within the FOSS sphere that is receiving a contribution.

As such, any link between freenode and Handshake is tenuous at best and the current wave of spam would appear to be designed to do little bar discredit freenode and the Handshake project both.

I am sure you will appreciate that the freenode volunteer team is not in a position to answer questions relating to the Handshake project any more than they are in a position to answer questions relating to any other new FOSS project that starts to use the freenode network.

But I also understand that some of you may have additional questions relating to Handshake, I am sure you will appreciate that the freenode website is not the platform for such a discussion, and would suggest that you visit the Handshake website, Handshake Github Repository and Handshake Documentation if you are interested in learning more about the project and that you direct any questions to the Handshake project via the appropriate communication channels for the project.