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Make a “.algo” name for yourself with NFDomains

Have you ever copy-and-pasted your wallet address into a self-addressed email, just to send or receive Algo on a different device? Frustrating, right?

The long hashes used by blockchains to denote account addresses and send and receive cryptocurrency are hard to type and even harder to memorize, causing friction for newcomers and seasoned crypto users alike.

Attempts to fix this problem have been made by services that provide short, readable aliases for wallet addresses. But these services are hampered by the same shortcomings of the technologies they are built on — slow, unreliable processing, extended outages, and eye-popping fees.

At TxnLab, we’re aiming to solve this problem once and for all by building NFDomains, a fast, affordable name service and marketplace that is built on a robust and reliable blockchain network — Algorand.

In addition to enabling users to send and receive cryptocurency using a name that is easy to type and remember, NFDomains will empower users to carry their profile, avatar, and social clout with them as they traverse the ecosystem by attaching their metadata to a Non-Fungible Domain (NFD), that acts like a native Non-Fungible Token (NFT) by leveraging Algorand’s Standard Assets (ASA).

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.

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A screenshot of the NFDomains user interface for viewing an NFD

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”.

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Mock up of the Algorand Wallet showing native integration with NFDs

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. Our current launch target is early Q2.

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.

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