Identity is something that everyone requires in the real world, right? But what happens to it once you step into the virtual world? Let's find out!!
‘Blockchain-based Name Service’ defined
/blɒktʃeɪn-beɪsd neɪm sɪstəm/
Blockchain-based addresses that represent wallets of users.
What exactly is the purpose of a BNS?
It should not be news to you that you require a wallet to store your currency (if it is unknown to you then check out theses articles to understand what a wallet is - Wallet: Your Crypto Storage, Is My Wallet 100% Secure?). This also applies to cryptocurrency. The crypto wallet is protected by public keys and private keys, which should be remembered and written down somewhere 📝 because without entering the keys, you cannot proceed with your transactions ☹.
There's a slight problem here in the sense that if you mess with even one letter or number in a key, you might send the coin or token to a total stranger. So, how are you supposed to avoid such a mistake?
💡The solution is to have a name service of your choice instead of a complicated decentralized blockchain address. One can then easily remember a shorter phrase rather than a big collection of letters and numbers. (remembering ‘abc.sol’ is easier than 42 element long address 😖)
So, the main purpose of a name service is to convert machine-readable addresses to unique, human-readable names by using the smart contracts to all your wallet addresses 💁🏻♀️. If you own a .eth or .sol domain then you can use smart contracts to have your own sub-domains.
😶How do you set up a BNS?
Now that you got the gist of name service in web3, you might as well proceed further to see how you are supposed to set up one for yourself. Don’t think that you require some complicated machines or software for the same. 💻 The set-up can be done just with a few clicks on your computer (or your 📱).
Lets take an example for you to understand better. Suppose you wish to set up a ‘Solana Name Service’ for yourself. For this, you can access something like ‘bonfida’ which will help you throughout the process.
Firstly, you need to have a digital wallet 👝 on Solana, like Phantom, Sollet, Taurus, etc. and link it to the name service website or app. Next, you can go ahead to type in a desired name in the 🔍search box and check for its availability.
One option is for you to make an offer to purchase the registered domain from its owner by negotiating an amount and the other option is to buy the alternative offered to you by the website itself 💰. If you go for the second option, you will have to pay the required costs to checkout and the domain will be registered in your name.
In the above example, you can see that ‘jenny.sol’ is already registered to someone’s wallet address. But there are alternatives✨.
Apart from that, you can also place a bid for any domain that has been put up for auction by its owners 🏷.
You need to have sufficient Solana or related amount in your wallet before proceeding with the registration to pay the registration and gas fees. Also keep in mind that the longer your domain name, the higher will be the cost.
And there you have it, your personalized domain name using which people can send you various cryptocurrencies and there won’t be any need to enter those long blockchain hex strings for the transactions 😎.
🧐 What are the options available in this system?
The name service is not just limited to a blockchain like Solana, but comprises of other alternatives too like for Ethereum, Bitcoin, etc.
For creating an Ethereum Name Service (ENS), you need to follow the same steps mentioned above - create an Ethereum wallet, link it to the website, search for an available domain name, if the desired name is non-registered then pay the fees and have it for yourself or purchase through an alternative method. Instead of a ‘.sol’ you will see ‘.eth’ after your name (that’s more or less the only difference).
Wait, you want a BTC domain name? No issues 😌! Just have a Bitcoin connected and funded wallet and follow the steps in the correct manner, and you are good to go! Most preferably, use btc.us for getting a Bitcoin Name Service.
👮♀️ Is my security ensured?
😐 This is a question that haunts every web user and understandably so. There might be a few security concerns and security advantages that you should be aware of.
Unlike the web2 DNS, the blockchain name services, like ENS, are not vulnerable to hackings because they are native to their blockchains and protected by them.
However, one concern is that once an ENS or SNS record is written on a blockchain, it can't be removed. This might enable criminal activitiy.
Another drawback is that only you are responsible for the protection of your keys here. If you lose your private key, you are deprived of your domain because there is no ‘’forgot password “ option.
One more concern arising here is that using a ‘name’ instead of a hex-string defeats the anonymity purpose of the crypto system.
Prevention can only be ensured through proper cybersecurity laws and with the users remaining vigilant in the virtual realm.
✋ Almost done!
So, now we know how to have an actual, readable name for yourself in web3 space instead of big IP address kind of thing, and the points that should be kept in mind regarding the set-up.
That being said, lets move on to the next topic- are my digital transactions free of any charges?