Technical Overview

Under the hood, NFDs use smart contracts to associate your wallet address with a readable name, like "silvio.algo", allowing you to send and receive crypto using an identity that is easy to type and remember. NFDs are owned not leased. This makes it possible to permanently own your identity without fear of forgetting to register it.

NFDs support forward and reverse lookups, meaning that a name ("silvio.algo") can be used to find its associated wallet addresses, and vice versa. This opens up a host of discoverability and transparency features for blockchain explorers, NFT marketplaces, DAOs, and other web3 services that integrate with NFDs. There are already over 60 platforms using NFDs in place of addresses. Check out our integrators page to find them all.

Since every NFD is a distinct contract instance, up to 8KB of metadata (the maximum allowed by Algorand) can be stored in the contract's global state. This enables users to associate profile information, social media, and other data with their NFD.

Each NFD mints its own ARC19 NFT, or "identity token", that represents your NFD's contract state, including all metadata you set. This feature is what enables NFDs to "live" in your wallet, giving you full visibility and ownership of your digital identity. Thanks to the mutable ARC19 standard, the NFT can update its own metadata so that it stays up-to-date. When you sell your NFD all metadata is wiped from both the NFD and NFT.

The maximum length of an NFD is 27 characters. Emoji's, and 1- & 2-character names will be auctioned in reverse auctions, along with some other curated words. Allowed characters are A-Z, 0-9 & an Emoji library. No special characters are allowed. The amount of ALGO will fluctuate based on the ALGO/USD conversion at the time of purchase. There will be no renewal fees for an NFD.

Forward and Reverse Name Resolution

Thanks to the innovative smart contract architecture that underpins NFDs, both forward and reverse lookups are supported. In other words, "silvio.algo" can be used to find a wallet address, and a wallet address can be used to find "silvio.algo".

That might not seem like a big deal, but it unlocks exciting features and usability improvements across a wide range of services.

For example, using reverse lookups, blockchain explorers can display readable names of exchanges and other services in their tables of transactions, DAOs can provide more transparency by showing information about individual participants in governance votes, and NFT artists can display their name, profile and information about their project in any marketplace that integrates with NFDs.

Those are just some of the possibilities. Using our public APIs and smart contracts, we expect developers to discover new and exciting ways to use this powerful combination of bidirectional lookups, unique identity, and user-driven metadata.

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