Neo Name Service or NNS mainnet is finally live after months of testing, to allow users to assign a .neo domain as an alias for their public keys. This means you can send funds or tokens to an NNS domain name instead of a blockchain wallet address. In other words, you just type the domain name instead of the wallet address.
These domain names can also be mapped to any blockchain identifier or resource such as contract hash, content hash, public key, and so forth.
Users interested in using that service can now bid and buy a domain name to use as an alias of their public key. And after one week of launch, the platform has now attracted well over 10,000 domains registered as well as an additional 4000+ auctions still ongoing according to media reports.
The domains are sold for as little as 0.1 GAS to as much as 1035 GAS. This is in a primary market which features domains from different users. However, there is an upcoming secondary market to be available soon and which will allow the buying and selling of pre-owned domains that have previously been purchased in the primary market. NNC tokens will be used in the secondary market and since these tokens are available on exchanges then users can acquire the tokens to buy domains in a secondary market.
What does this mean and why would anyone want to use a domain name as an alias for public key?
A public key, for starters, are long and complicated mixture of letters and numbers that are associated with a wallet address used when sending and receiving funds. The wallet address to where cryptocurrencies are sent when doing a transaction, is a hashed version of the public key. The public key is used to ensure you are the owner of an address that can receive funds. The public key is derived from the private key and are both used to secure a blockchain wallet address.
But there is a catch to using these long bitcoin address of 160 characters: the first is that they are hard to memorize and you probably need to use one for several months or years before getting it into your head to be able to write it off your head next time. Who would want to do that anyway?
Another problem with the difficulty of memorizing these addresses is that you could lose money easily if you forgot or enter a wrong digit or letter or two when writing them in to send money. And that might be it because these transactions are irreversible. This one is noteworthy because, for the paranoid out there, it is no longer advisable to use the cursor and keyboard to copy and paste the wallet address when planning to send cryptocurrencies because -- and if this is not another FBI hoax -- some malware have been reported to intersect that operation and even replace the wallet address so you end up copy pasting the wrong address and sending to the wrong wallet as you paste in the address. So many people might prefer to actually write it and this presents the possibility of making a error, typo etc.
Although this should be a minor issue in crypto mass adoption, users would find it harder to use the long and complicated public keys when compared to a simple domain name. But again, using a domain name this way would definitely add an issue of cost and a process of purchasing it and using NEO.
Enter NNS. NNS is designed to not really replace the public key but to point it to a smart contracts and associate it with that public key. It runs on NEO blockchain and as said, the domain will have a .neo extension so that, for instance, if there was a david.neo to use as an alias for my public key, then it would be very easy to remember and use.
The platform has a token known as Neo Name Credit’s (NNC) which is used as GAS for transactions including buying the domain name. The project is developed by New Econo Lab (New Economy Laboratory) or NEL.
Domain name mining
There will also be domain name mining where users who bid and win a domain on the primary and secondary markets can be rewarded with some NNC in proportion to GAS they spend winning the domain. For instance, if a domain auction starts between Oct. 9th at launch to 16th 2018, users will earn 70NNC for each 1 GAS they spend and 50 NNC for each 1 GAS they spend if the domain auction start time is between Oct. 16th-23rd 2018 (GMT+8).
In other words, users on the platform will be able to receive domain name auction income in proportion to their holdings.
In total, more than 100 million NNC or 10 percent of NNC supply, will be spent in domain name mining.