This week LNS launched on SmartBCH. Also known as the Layer 2 Name Service, it’s a fork of Ethereum Name Service that allows users to register .BCH domain names. In the first day of launch, over 3000 domains were purchased which clearly illustrates the hype and popularity of this service.
In order to get your BCH domain, head over to app.BCH.domains in your web browser. The registration fee varies depending on length, with the most exclusive 1-character domains being the most expensive at 100 BCH per year. The entirety of the registration funds are used to purchase the LNS token at market rate. It is then distributed to people who are staking their LNS tokens. You can read more about the tokenomics on their website.
While in some respects the LNS names are similar to DNS names, for example HaydenOtto.com, they serve a totally different purpose. DNS was created in order to make web server addresses more easily accessed by humans. Can you imagine trying to remember the IP addresses for all your favourite websites? It’s much easier to just remember a name like YouTube.com. LNS does this same thing but for SmartBCH wallet addresses. If you wanted to give me a tip, instead of me providing a long string of random letters and numbers, I could just say “send it to Otto.BCH”. But this isn’t all it can do; it serves a much wider role as your identity on the decentralized web.
By going to the My Account tab you’ll see a list of your registered domains and clicking onto one will bring up its settings. As the registrant of a domain, you have ultimate control over its associated records and the ability to transfer ownership to another address. The domain itself is basically a NFT and can be treated as such. You can even list them on NFT marketplaces like Oasis.Cash. The controller is an address which can modify the records associated with your domain but cannot transfer the ownership. This lets you rent it out to someone while retaining ownership or giving someone the ability to manage the domain on your behalf. Next is the records section, where you can add and edit various records which become immutable on the blockchain. As you can see on mine, I’ve listed a bunch of cryptocurrency addresses, my website, email and other accounts. You can even set an NFT as the avatar for your BCH domain, and further prove your ownership of it. Just copy the following text and swap out the Token Contract address and the token ID for the SmartBCH NFT you wish to display. This can easily be found when viewing your NFT on Oasis.Cash.
Given that LNS just launched, there are a whole bunch of features available on the Ethereum counterpart that we do not yet have. This is due to the fact that services will need to accept pull requests to integrate LNS in their products. Then we will be able to do things like paste the BCH domains into the Metamask wallet, or web browsers live Brave. But right now, here’s a list of things you can do:
- Type your domain into the web browser and add .is to the end. It will redirect to the URL record which you have set.
- If you want to go even further by redirecting to a decentralized website on IPFS. In your domain settings, just paste the IPFS hash into a content record.
- You can lookup the the address associated with a domain, by typing it into smartscan.cash.
- On the swap page of MistSwap DEX, toggle expert mode and it will allow you to swap a token and send the output the BCH domain of your choice.
On services that have integrated LNS, you will notice that it displays your domain name and even the avatar that you set. Basically, LNS opens a lot of possibilities to improve the user experience of services, and it will ultimately become more useful to users when it is ubiquitous.
One of my main concerns with using BCH domains is privacy, and this goes for owning NFTs in general. You should be very much aware of the fact that if you link your identity with an NFT, then it’s associated address and all your activity can easily be viewed on the blockchain. If you want to protect your privacy, then I recommend creating a fresh wallet address for any BCH domains that are linked to your identity. After this it’s important to not perform transactions between this wallet and any of your other wallets, otherwise it can be traced back to you.
I hope you all enjoyed this video, I’ll catch you guys next time.