Namebase and its Blockchain Handshake have been officially put into operation so that their users can send funds to a simple name instead of a complicated address.
Handshake is a decentralized, permissionless naming protocol compatible with the DNS (Domain Name System, a hierarchical and decentralized naming system) and created by Namebase, a stock exchange, cloud wallet and registry for handshake names and native coin HNS. The startup claims that a total of $10.2 million was raised, with handshake investors Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital and SV Angel.
Namebase describes Handshake as “an experimental project to make DNA safer”. It claims that the centralized nature of Internet names can lead to censorship and loss of privacy, but also that top-level domains are limited. The FAQ goes on to explain that billions of dollars are “being moved around potentially unsafe sites”. If you can be personally identified as the owner of a valuable asset, there is a risk to your personal safety”.
The goal of Handshake is to simplify the entire transaction process and make it both easier and safer by allowing users to name domains instead of using complicated addresses that often need to be copied and pasted to complete a transaction. However, Handshake will use names, so users will only need to enter specific names to complete a transaction. These can be used like a traditional top-level domain (i.e. my.wallet/) or on their own (i.e. wallet/) as a standalone name. DNS entries can only be changed by the owner of a domain, claims Namebase.
The owners can do what they want with their handshake domains – get crypto, included. “They can use it for their own website or become a registrar selling sub-domains – i.e. thisis.cool or my.wallet – to other users,” Namebase explains.
In addition, these domain names are registered on Namebase’s own block chain, while the handshake HNS coine is used to transfer, register and update these domain names. The main network was launched on February 3rd and the miners were able to start mining HNS, but other transactions, namely transfers, claiming and bidding are not yet possible.
This will happen on February 17th, according to the timeline, when the first batch of handshake names will be released for bidding. The handshake domains will initially be offered through an auction and bidding will be done with HNS to ensure a fairer distribution, the website says. In addition, the use of HNS is intended to prevent Sybil attacks and one party claiming all names.
The first handshake name auctions will close on 1 March. Names will be released for bidding over 52 weeks, with a new batch of names being released each week.
In the meantime, this handshake option is similar to what the Ethereum Name Service offered in August 2019.