Æternity Naming System (AENS) enables human-readable names for any account, smart contract, oracle, state channel, hash or value
æternity, a next-generation, open-source blockchain for building decentralized applications, announced the launch of .chain, the official Æternity Naming System (AENS) which enables æternity app (æpp) users to register any blockchain entity, including account keys and wallet addresses, smart contracts, oracles, state channels and hashes, as human-readable names, creating an efficient and secure naming system for the decentralized web.
Much like the domain naming system for registering internet websites, AENS simplifies wallet IDs by enabling complex account keys to appear as readable names with a namespace and extension (e.g. “wallet.chain”) while maintaining the security of the account. Each account’s unique identifier or public key is linked to a human-readable name through a process similar to buying a domain from a registrar; however the name system in æternity is completely decentralized. Instead of buying the name from a registrar, a public auction is initiated to register new names. The fees collected through the auction then get burned. The system enables human-readable names for AE token accounts, including oracles, state channels, smart contracts, and even hashes and values thus contributing to an overall user friendly and secure æternity ecosystem. The .chain domain names will be integrated in the new stealth æternity blockchain browser.
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“With æternity’s naming system, we are destroying the myth that wallet addresses and other blockchain entities can’t have readable names without being decentralized and secure,” said Yanislav Malahov, Founder of æternity Blockchain. “We have been in test mode exploring the most efficient means to register names, and we are thrilled to finally launch this system for improving the user experience.”
During the test phase, over 500,000 names were registered, which gives a hint regarding the potential demand. Due to this demand, æpps within the æcosystem must secure names though the æternity auction system, which ensures fair distribution of names by determining their fair market price. The prices are partially determined by name length: the shorter a name is, the more expensive it will be. Auction prices for the most expensive one-letter names start at about 570 AE. Names live in a protocol-protected state, which makes them fully secure, and they are executed via Sophia smart contract. Auctions for names opened on October 30, 2019 when the scheduled LIMA hardfork was successfully performed and will be available through the Names functionality in the Base account manager.
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In addition to the naming system, the æternity protocol incorporates a number of essential technological features–– unlike other blockchain platforms. State channels for off-chain scaling, oracles for real-world information, and the naming system for increased user-friendliness are all implemented on Layer 1 and are accessible via the Sophia smart contract language which got specially designed for safety and efficiency. These features address issues such as scalability, cost-of-use, privacy, security, and decentralization all within the core protocol, making building æpps on æternity a more safe and efficient experience.