2024 And Beyond

NFDomains
4 min readJan 11, 2024

Edit: The article has been updated to reflect our revised plan for renewals in response to community feedback (6:01pm ET 1/11/24)

We are committed to making the NFD protocol sustainable, interoperable, and decentralized. In pursuit of this vision for 2024 and beyond we’re planning some significant changes.

Direct and Permissionless Minting: Minting directly from the registry contract will be possible without TxnLab needing to be involved.

Flexible Royalties on Secondary Sales: We will not enforce royalties in the contracts for secondary sales, leaving the fee decision to clients.

Yearly Renewals: Transitioning from a one-time purchase to yearly renewals to establish a sustainable economic model. Current owners will be grandfathered into the lifetime ownership model with the option to upgrade to Renewals.

Direct Messaging, Group Chat & Push Notifications: A communication network and notification system based around NFDs.

Authentication & Onboarding: A new authentication and onboarding flow to allow more cross-chain users to benefit from NFDs.

Decentralized Governance System: Developing a governance system where voting power is derived from NFD ownership, not tokens.

Permissionless Minting

When NFDomains was launched nearly two years ago, we had to design around certain constraints of the AVM. One such constraint was the requirement for TxnLab to sign some of the transactions in the minting process, effectively limiting access to minting. We are now able to remove this constraint, allowing anyone to mint NFDs directly from the registry contract without needing permission.

Royalties

The topic of enforced royalties has been widely debated in recent years. We have decided not to enforce secondary royalties in the contracts, aiming to make NFDs more neutral and interoperable. This will allow marketplaces to set their own fees for secondary trading. NFDomains will continue enforcing a 5% royalty, but only through the front-end. This approach also allows the clean transfer of NFDs between accounts, eliminating the need to sell an NFD to transfer it.

Renewal Model

The most significant change for users is the shift from a one-time purchase to a yearly renewal model. NFDs will move to fixed pricing per year with a minimum of 1-year purchase or renewal.

  • All existing NFDs will be considered “Legacy” NFDs (no renewal fees).
  • Once the protocol is switched to Renewals, all newly minted NFDs, including segments, will be Renewals, even if you are minting from a Legacy root.
  • Legacy NFDs can be upgraded into Renewals but it will never be forced.
  • Renewals can not be downgraded to Legacy.
  • Renewals will receive new advanced features while Legacy NFDs will receive only core features & security updates going forward.

This change helps ensure that NFDomains can operate as a self-sustaining protocol indefinitely, independent of alternative revenue sources, while maintaining a robust level of user experience. This model also helps address the issue of name squatting in a credibly neutral way.

Direct Messaging, Group Chats & Push Notifications

DMs, group chats, and notifications will finally be arriving. While we wanted to implement these features using Nostr, in our minds, it’s not yet a viable platform. We will continue evaluating decentralized messaging networks, but currently a web2 infrastructure allows us to provide the best possible user experience, while fully utilizing NFDs. Each root will have its own unique group chat, and owning a segment connected to that root will provide the owner with access. We’re excited to see how communities use these flexible spaces. With the new renewal model, segments could be used as a subscription or membership to a project.

Authentication and Onboarding

We’ll be adding an authentication flow that allows users to connect with Algorand accounts, accounts from other chains, or even email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. This new flow will make it easier for a non-Algorand user to utilize NFDs.

Governance

We aim to design a governance system that empowers NFD owners to make decisions for the protocol in a decentralized manner, without relying on a token. We are proceeding cautiously, exploring every possible implementation detail. Governance changes, once implemented, are difficult to reverse, hence our deliberate pace. But the important thing is: no token!

Final Thoughts

NFDomains is one of the best naming services on any chain. We’re excited to work on these changes that make the NFD protocol stronger and more useful to more people. Features are important, but to be competitive and grow, they must be built on a sound economic and governance structure, and be inclusive to more than just Algorand users. We want NFDs to be around forever as a free-standing decentralized protocol, and this is just the first step in making that possible. Thank you all so much for the unwavering support you’ve shown us. We would not be here without you!

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NFDomains

Non-Fungible Domains, Algorand’s name service and marketplace for .algo domains. Built by TxnLab. https://nf.domains