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Blockchain Naming Services Have Arrived on Algorand!
Non-Fungible Domains - Unique, Readable Identities for your Wallet
Blockchain Naming Services (BNS) are one of the newer innovations to hit the blockchain industry. There is a proliferation of .eth wallet addresses and accounts visible across blockchain explorers and Twitter. The most popular examples of BNS are Unstoppable Domains and Ethereum Name Service (ENS). However, there is a new player in town, Non-Fungible Domains! Built on the Algorand blockchain, Non-Fungible Domains (or NFDs) turn machine readable addresses into human readable ones, such as jtinvestsinyou.algo. NFDs allow the Algorand community to start building their Web3/Blockchain identity, with human readable wallet addresses, personalized NFT galleries, blockchain profiles, and personalized web domain addresses. The NFD platform has already been used to mint nearly 18,000 domains and have generated nearly 3.5 million ALGO worth of volume between its primary and secondary markets.
In this article we will be covering:
What Non-Fungible Domains are.
What issues they solve.
Some of the use-cases for NFDs.
The team behind the project - including its partners and investors.
How to use it.
Where to learn more.
What are Non-Fungible Domains?
Non-Fungible Domains are a blockchain naming service built on top of the Algorand blockchain. Their platform allows you to mint .algo domain names for your wallet(s) AND your websites*. NFDomains will enable Algorand users to send and receive ALGO and other Algorand Standard Assets (ASAs) using readable domain names, such as “space.algo” or “charity.algo”. Non-Fungible Domains (NFDs), can be seen sort of like “identity tokens” that allow for a host of metadata and identity features, such as, allowing users to attach their avatar, social media links, and other metadata such as business websites or even birthdays to their NFD. The process to mint a .algo address is super seamless and the cost to mint is always uniform. The cost to mint a domain depends on the number of characters in your domain of choice as well as if its a “common” or “premium” name. There are also bi-weekly auctions, Dutch Auction style, of highly significant words or phrases. The great thing is, once you buy or mint your domain, it is YOURS indefinitely! Of course, you could choose to sell it or gift it to someone, but there aren’t ANY subscription fees. Once you own it, it is yours!
There is also a vibrant secondary marketplace built directly into their platform! This wonderful marketplace allows users to purchase sought after domain names, manage their own sales, reserve domains for specific addresses, and gift them to a friend! This secondary market has seen over a quarter of a million ALGO in volume ALREADY, in a bear market.
The Non-Fungible Domain platform provides a fantastic and fun set of analytics. Via their analytics tabs, users can see how many domains have been minted, how many unique owners there are, how many domains are currently for sale, the volume on both the primary and secondary markets, the sales history, and various leaderboards - including leaderboards for most valuable NFD, donation leaderboards, and influencer leaderboards. The donation and influencer leaderboards are absolutely brilliant ideas. Humans love to compete and play games. Gamifying donating is awesome! Currently users can donate to five different establishments:
The Electronic Frontier Foundation - The leading nonprofit defending digital privacy, free speech, and innovation.
Food for Life Global - FFLG's mission to address the root cause of hunger and other social issues.
Gilbert Goanna Tree Fund - The Gilbert Goanna Tree Planting Fund is Algorand’s first dedicated impact fund used to directly support conservation efforts and tree planting projects around the globe.
St. Jude Children’s Hospital - St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Victoria’s Promise - Empowering young women, and their families, through cancer and beyond.
The influencer leaderboard, from a business and community building standpoint, is also tremendously brilliant. To get onto this leaderboard, one must verify their NFD address against their Twitter username. Meaning, to be considered “verified”, your twitter name must match your .algo domain name. So, my NFD jtinvestsinyou.algo matches my Twitter profile jtinvestsinyou.algo, and that’s why I’ve made it onto this leaderboard. This is brilliant because it gamifies NFD adoption. This is one of the main reasons there has been a proliferation of .algo Twitter addresses in the Algorand Twitter ecosystem. The more influencers that verify their addresses, the more people online see .algo names and begin asking questions. This ends up, in a way, being free advertising for the company, but also a way to grow the Algorand ecosystem. As the .algo community grows online, their presence is felt more significantly across the broader blockchain ecosystems.
Building a web3 blockchain identity is the ultimate goal here. Users are able to build profiles behind their blockchain footprint. Not only can users send assets and NFTs to .algo addresses such as jtinvestsinyou.algo, but they can also build a profile around that identity. Users are able to upload avatars, banners, build a bio, enter personalized information about yourself including brand or company websites, personalized NFT galleries based on the NFD holders’ linked accounts, and so much more! Below is an example of my profile and NFT gallery linked to my Non-Fungible Domain
Each update to your profile is stored in the NFD’s metadata. NFDs are smart contracts, paired with an ARC19 ASA. The ASA is a representation of the current contract state, so whenever you update your NFD your NFT changes. NFDs created the ARC19 standard out of necessity so users could see their NFDs in their wallet, as contracts aren't currently displayed. This ARC19 standard allows the metadata within an NFT to be updated in real time. This creates a bunch of use-cases outside of NFDs, such as collectible NFT sports cards in which the data within can change each time a player scores a goal or gets an assist. I’d personally like to see FIFA use this technology for their FIFA/World Cup Algorand NFTs! This ARC-19 standard also gave rise to many new popular NFT projects on the Algorand blockchain, such as Mostly Frens, and Project R4V3N.
To learn more about the different ARC NFT standards on Algorand, follow this link: → ARC Standards ←
What Problems do Non-Fungible Domains Solve and What are the Use-Cases?
The primary problem this solves is turning machine readable addresses into human readable ones. For instance, PIFQZTXED5YVLDLVA2FYGEAONJZNR2M6BOHND4JW3JKOPAWEPXS7JYHSHE is the Algorand account I use in association with my NFD, jtinvestsinyou.algo. Before NFDs, users would have to copy the address, paste it into the field in their wallet, and hope they did not accidently copy one too few letters, or accidently pressed a button after they paste. In crypto, sending assets to an address that is off by even 1 character, could result in an irreversible loss of funds. This is a nightmare for many and a hurdle for blockchain adoption. Now users can have the peace of mind because instead of a hash of random numbers and letters, one can send assets to joeshmoe.algo or tesla.algo. This is fantastic because now you could easily tell someone over the phone or a zoom meeting where to send funds without the worry that they jotted down every single number and letter inappropriately.
“NFDomains will solve a major user experience issue for Crypto wallet holders. Wallet addresses are not user friendly, they are long, very hard to type and even more difficult to memorize which creates a challenging user experience. The ability to send and receive Crypto using a name you choose through NFDomains will provide Algorand users with a much improved user experience.” - Addie Wagenkneckt
Being able to build a blockchain identity, as we mentioned before, is also a crucial problem to solve. By creating a spot to add and verify social media accounts such as Twitter and Discord actually helps to prevent bots and allow for more fair airdrops! Discord communities across Algorand have been utilizing this feature to be sure their community members are not bots and that their identities can be matched from their Discord to their Non-Fungible Domain profile. With the proliferation of bots and scammers, this has helped many communities weed fake people out of their groups.
NFDs also provide more transparency to the blockchain and to individual projects. Public blockchains are just that, public ledgers, so all activity across them is already available to the public utilizing a whole host of blockchain explorers. However, if you’ve ever tried to look at some of these blockchain explorers, they still can be tough to read. The metadata features of NFDs give applications and companies the ability to query this data, do reverse lookups and more. For example, blockchain explorers can display readable names of services and other organizations in their transaction data, DAOs can provide more transparency by sharing info about individual participants in governance votes, and NFT artists can display their name, profile, and portfolio in marketplaces that integrate with NFDs.
“The Algorand Foundation’s support will enable us to tackle a major pain point for Algorand users by abstracting away the 58-character long wallet addresses in favor of readable domain names, in addition to opening up new possibilities for identity, authentication, and verification in the blockchain space,” — Patrick Bennett, CEO of TxnLab, Inc.
Whos Behind Non-Fungible Domains? Team, Investors, Partners, & Advisors
The Company behind the Non-Fungible Domains product is known as TxnLab
CEO & Cofounder - Patrick Bennett - an extremely experienced developer with a breadth of knowledge in many technologies, languages, platforms and business processes. Patrick has been programming and developing tech for over 30 years. Some of his experience includes nearly 18 years experience at Genesys | Interactive Intelligence as a Software Architect, working at Salesforce for nearly 5 years as a Lead Software and Principal Software Engineer, and nearing 3 years as a Developer Ambassador at the Algorand Foundation.
CFO & Cofounder - John Mizzoni - Graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in Finance and Financial Management Services. Worked for about 4.5 years at Elite Brothers LLC as a Financial Accountant and Supervisor. He co-founded Algodev Inc. a software development company for the Algorand blockchain.
Lead Front End Engineer & Cofounder - Doug Richar - Front-End Development and UI/UX Design for over 20 years. After nearly five years as the Senior Front-End Developer at Pixwel in 2021 he co-founded TxnLab.
CMO & Cofounder - Gabriel Keuttel - Former experience includes Software Engineer at the SANS Institute in Denver, Colorado, a Frontend Developer at Housing Data Systems, an Assistant Instructor at the University of Denver, and a Multimedia Developer and Graphic Designer at the Gold Standard in Geneva, Switzerland.
Partners, Investors, and Advisors
On January 21st of this year, the Algorand Foundation announced that TxnLab Inc was a recipient of an Algorand Foundation grant award. It was also announced on the same day that TxnLab closed a $1.25 million private round of financing led by Borderless Capital and GoldenTree Asset Management.
“We are excited to join NFDomains and support their vision of simplifying on-chain naming and identity. This core building block for on-chain transactional activity will reduce the users’ friction to participate in the ecosystem and will provide unique features, making the Algorand blockchain a much better social and friendly network.”
– David Garcia, CEO and Managing Partner of Borderless Capital
There is not a current roadmap available but, there have been hints at domain asset bundling, which would allow users to transfer a domain to someone that carries with it certain NFTs, assets, or other metadata. They have also hinted at a “segmenting” feature that would allow you to subdivide your domain into “segments” such as jtinvestsinyou.algo, defi.jtinvestsinyou.algo, vault.jtinvestsinyou.algo. From my understanding, this could be used in various ways to help organize and compartmentalize your holdings. One segment could be savings.jtinvestsinyou.algo and another be checking.jtinvestsinyou.algo and be treated as sort of a defacto Algorand checking and savings account. NFDs are CONSTANTLY pumping out new features, like the recently added donation badges and leaderboards, the influencer leaderboard, the ability to make offers on other people’s NFDs, ecosystem integrations, and so much more to come! Follow their → Twitter ← account and join their → Discord ← group to keep up with all of the news!
Non-Fungible Domains is taking the Algorand ecosystem by storm! Just about every reputable Algorand Wallet, including the Pera wallet and MyAlgo wallet, have integrated NFDs, as well as most DEFI protocols and NFT marketplaces! All the bluechip dapps on Algorand, such as Algofi, Folks Finance, Algo Gems, Algo Explorer, Coinbase Pay, and so many more have integrated. This graphic below shows many of the integrations, but tbh, it’s likely outdated, as new integrations happen every week and the Algorand ecosystem is growing at a pace that is getting hard to keep up with!
Here is the most up to date accounting of all Algorand ecosystem integrations: https://docs.nf.domains/fundamentals/integrations
How Do You Mint/Transfer/Use Your NFD and Where Can I Learn More?
How to mint, trade, and manage your NFD:
How to Videos by NFDomains: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdPzEzZhsc5vqLIRJLDClBQ
Non Fungible Domain Docs: https://docs.nf.domains/
Non Fungible Domains main page: https://nf.domains/
Non Fungible Domains App: https://app.nf.domains/
Non Fungible Domains is a fantastic project led by a talented and ambitious team. The innovations coming out of TxnLab have changed the Algorand landscape. From blockchain identities, to less friction regarding wallet addresses, to a new ARC standard that is changing the NFT landscape, the team is full steam ahead! Full disclosure, NFDs is one of my sponsors. However, this sponsorship arose because I see the value this team has created and will continue to create. All thoughts are my own.
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Lastly, consider donating ALGO or ALGO assets to jtinvestsinyou.algo / PIFQZTXED5YVLDLVA2FYGEAONJZNR2M6BOHND4JW3JKOPAWEPXS7JYHSHE