Have you ever copy-and-pasted your wallet address into a self-addressed email, just to make a transaction on a different device?
Wallet addresses are hard to type and even harder to memorize, causing friction that irritates seasoned crypto users and perplexes newcomers. In our view, this creates a significant barrier to adoption. This is crypto’s biggest User Experience (UX) problem.
Attempts to fix this have been made by services that associate wallet addresses with short, readable names. But these services are hampered by the same shortcomings of the blockchains they are built on — slow, unreliable processing, extended outages, and eye-popping gas fees.
What if there was a better way?
What if you could send and receive cryptocurrency using a name of your choosing — like, “silvio.algo” — with a service that is fast, affordable and backed by a robust and reliable blockchain network?
This would solve the UX problem once and for all.
But what if it was more than just a name? What if it was like a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) that you own and hold in your wallet?
What if this NFT could store data about you or your brand, empowering you to carry your profile, avatar, and social clout with you as you traverse the ecosystem? What if this data could be optionally verified using a trustless system?
We believe all this and more is possible.
Our team at TxnLab is working to open new frontiers in identity, user experience, authentication and verification with a service called NFDomains, a platform and marketplace to buy, trade, showcase, and manage Non-Fungible Domains (NFDs).
NFDomains will be built on Algorand, for Algorand, and is launching with the “.algo” suffix.
Stick around. We’d love to tell you more.
What is an NFD?
An NFD is a Non-Fungible Domain — a token that contains a unique, readable identity for your wallet.
NFDs allow you to send and receive cryptocurrency using a name like “silvio.algo” instead of the long, random series of letters and numbers in a traditional wallet address.
As the name implies, NFDs leverage Algorand’s financial primitives known as Algorand Standard Assets (ASAs) to enable similar features provided by NFTs and other financial assets on the blockchain.
NFDs can be traded on secondary markets or showcased in a gallery. Most importantly, NFDs live in your wallet alongside your other assets and NFTs, giving you full control and ownership of your digital identity.
Furthermore, every NFD is guaranteed to be unique. They are wrapped and protected by smart contracts that ensure there are no conflicting domain names associated with any addresses.
Every NFD you own is 100% uniquely yours. We will never charge any renewal fees.
Carry Your Identity in Your Wallet
NFDs are identity tokens that you carry in your wallet as you travel through the ecosystem. You can attach metadata to your NFD like your profile, social media links, a collection of NFTs, almost anything you want… Get creative and surprise us!
The metadata features of NFDs enable applications and services on the blockchain to query this data and surface it, breaking down walled gardens in the ecosystem. This has the added benefit of decentralization, as applications do not need to rely on their own databases to provide basic profile and social features.
Imagine an NFT artist who has diligently cultivated a social following through their work. They could store their logo, portfolio and social credentials in an NFD that travels with them as they build their brand on a range of marketplaces.
Furthermore, metadata can be optionally verified using an automated and decentralized system. This provides trust and reassurance that collectors are buying from real NFT projects, donations are going to legitimate non-profits, and so on.
While these features provide powerful means for discoverability and presence, we recognize that in crypto, anonymity is a virtue. It is advisable, for example, to shield your cold storage address from prying eyes. For that reason, all metadata fields are optional, and we will provide a comprehensive set of privacy tools that give you full control over your identity and visibility.
Forward and Reverse Name Resolution
Thanks to the innovative smart contract architecture that wraps NFDs (we’ll talk more about that in a future post), they support both forward and reverse lookups. In other words, “silvio.algo” can be used to find a wallet address, and a wallet address can be used to find “silvio.algo”.
That might not seem like a big deal. But it unlocks exciting features and usability improvements across a wide range of services.
Using reverse lookups, blockchain explorers can display readable names of exchanges and other services in their tables of transactions. DAOs can provide more transparency by showing information about individual participants in governance votes. NFT artists can display their name, profile and information about their project in any marketplace that integrates with NFDs.
Those are just some of the possibilities. Using our public APIs and smart contracts, we expect developers to discover new and exciting ways to use this powerful combination of bidirectional lookups, unique identity, and user-driven metadata.
Algorand Native with First-Class Integration
NFDomains is built on the Algorand blockchain, for the Algorand community. The ASA primitives, fast transaction speeds, and near-zero fees of Algorand are what empowers us to provide a robust, flexible, and speedy service for our users.
Our team will be laser-focused on providing a first-class experience for Algorand users. That entails native integrations with official and third party wallets, blockchain explorers, and other dApps. Our tooling and APIs will be custom-built for Algorand developers, enabling them to integrate easily and seamlessly.
That is why we are launching with “.algo” NFD names first and aim to be the premiere name service for Algorand.
As we grow and expand our use cases, NFDs will provide identity primitives for more cryptocurrencies, bringing the speed and flexibility enjoyed by Algorand users to other blockchains.
That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and happy new year!