What is a name?
An influential playwright once wrote
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet
However, I think we all agree rose looks nicer than xxxrosexxx12. But what about rose.com, or flower.rose, or rose.flower, or rose.io? Blockchains to date have avoided the great name wars by using random hashes instead - bitcoin and ethereum addresses for example generate a random hash that is mathematically proven to be unique.
EOS wanted to do things differently.
Names in EOS
EOS still has random hashes in the form of public and private keys, however EOS introduces the concept of an account. Accounts can be controlled by the owners of a public key, or by other accounts. (Check out our multisig tutorial)
The important thing about EOS accounts is that they have a unique human readable name. At this point in time account names must be 12 characters long and may only include the characters
12345abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz. Part of the reason for this is to prevent "name-squatting" from occurring in the early stages of the EOS mainnet launch. Unfortunately these limitations don't make for the prettiest names - no sweet.rose allowed.
With the recent release of Dawn 4.2 the concept of premium names and name bidding comes into play. The current idea is that premium names will be available in the form of "suffixes". This is essentially the same idea as the Top Level Domain (TLD) used for website addresses:
The owner of these premium names would then be able to generate new accounts that can be shorter (but not longer) than the 12 character limit, and may include a "dot". The owner of .mydapp could create user1.mydapp, iam.mydapp, whatever they wish. These accounts are unable to be deleted and may be given away at the discretion (or for the correct price) of the owner of the premium name.
There is ongoing discussion regarding the premium naming conventions; the hottest topic being whether the premium name should be a suffix, a prefix, or both. That discussion (now closed) can be found at the official eosio github.
How do I get a premium name?
Mechanisms are being developed starting from Dawn 4.2 that will allow anyone to begin bidding for a name they feel will be valuable as a premium name through a built-in auction. The important notes at this time are:
- Premium name bidding does not begin until 14 days after the mainnet unlocks. (The mainnet will unlock and officially reward block production once 15% of the total EOS supply has been staked and voted for block producers).
- Any name may receive bids by anyone
- Each consecutive bid must increase by 10%
- Only one name will be awarded each day - the name awarded is the one that has the highest bid of all names as of that day.
What does this mean?
In addition to the competition by block producers to receive votes, for EOS to be used to stake for Bandwidth and CPU, to purchase RAM on a Bancor market, a whole new world of name auctions and name market places will appear. It is anticipated that the first several days after the name auctions become active we will see Top Level Domains bid on rapidly. Early adopters will be rewarded by bidding on names early in the first days before competition becomes even more fierce. Name market places will arise to sell specialized account names.
While remaining subject to change the current model would indicate that niche and specialized Dapp names may have to wait significant time before their preferred premium names will be the "highest bid" while fierce bidding is occurring. We may see cases where certain groups may place very large bids on personal premium names just to force them to the top of the highest bid rankings out of impatience or as an attempt to secure their premium name.
Where does the EOS go?
The EOS paid for premium names will go into a shared eosio.savings pool that includes unallocated inflation from the inflation model. These savings are intended to be used to fund and incubate various community initiatives and projects based on voting of the governance model and community. This means that the fight for a premium name should ultimately benefit the community by giving back to it.
What do you think?
We would love to hear everyone's opinions on what the premium name auction system will mean for EOS and what sort of community involvement and interactions will arise from this mechanism. Please comment and start some discussion.
Check Out Nathan's Video on this topic:
GenerEOS is a social enterprise block producing candidate with a mission of promoting and supporting scalable and highly reliable block production whilst giving back block rewards to charities.
Based out of Sydney, Australia, GenerEOS is founded by a team of like minded blockchain enthusiasts with diverse backgrounds and a passion to make a difference in the world and fostering the spirit of generosity by giving back.