Foundations For The Internet Of Value via The Elrond Distributed Name Service

Beniamin Mincu
·
Jan 19, 2021
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3 min read

Blockchain technology will soon enable simple integration of money, financial instruments, titles of ownership, or any value exchange for that matter, into the world wide web. This is what the Elrond Distributed Name Service was built for.

As its most basic function, DNS allows associating complex pieces of information, such as a wallet address, to a human-readable name. This means that instead of sending money to erd1hmlnypa0c9x7canxgdsue86ckla0zekv0258f2q40ady50v8yxc92y5k2y you can just send it to @AliceJohnson.

This kind of mapping has played a critical role in communications technology adoption. Looking up “Alice” in your contacts list is easier than remembering her phone number, just as typing in google.com is easier than memorizing 216.58.212.174.

Elrond DNS will therefore play a critical role when it comes to embedding blockchain transactions into the core of the internet. This uniquely designed feature opens a massive adoption space.

Blueprint for the internet-scale naming system

The Elrond Smart Accounts allow any address on our mainnet to have additional data associated with it. One of those pieces of data is username. Another could be a social media handle, a Bitcoin address, an email, website, phone number, location, supply chain ID, industrial facility, public record number, or any kind of similar information.

If metadata would be verifiable, for instance, your Twitter account could be verified by tweeting a message signed with your wallet, attesting the authenticity and ownership of that account. Thus, Elrond Smart Accounts and eDNS could be used as the building blocks of a lightweight identity powered by the Elrond blockchain.

The eDNS will start with one generalized top level domain: “username.elrond”. In the future dApps, brands and users will be able to register their own top level domains so they can have more flexibility and customization when it's needed. Still, those looking for easy onboarding will be able to use the existing usernames on the .elrond top domain, very similar to how Facebook connect works, but without the privacy and tracking implications.

The first application of the eDNS & Smart Accounts combination is done in Maiar, where users can interact with one another using their @herotags.elrond, or the username associated with every Maiar account.

Elrond’s take on a decentralized naming system draws inspiration from existing ones running on other networks such as Ethereum. Thanks to our innovations in sharding, smart contracts and smart accounts, the applicability of a distributed name system is expanded, while the interaction times and costs are reduced.

eDNS will be able to function at an internet-scale by utilizing the same mechanisms we use in our Adaptive State Sharding, where the allocation of accounts to shards is determined by the last two bytes of their public key.

By employing 256 independent smart contracts, each responsible for its own namespace, the Elrond DNS is able to scale with our mainnet even in a scenario where the overall throughput of the network would exceed 1.3 MILLION transactions per second.

The significance of the Elrond Distributed Naming Service

The unique combination of smart contracts and smart accounts is about to become a fundamental part of the network technology stack. Weaving value transfer into the fabric of the web gives the internet the additional super power of relaying value in ways that are indistinguishable from how it relays information today.

Blurring the line between value and information transfer will make it possible to pay for information as it is being requested or receive payment for it as it is being broadcast. This radical new approach will have profound implications for everything from surfing the web to accelerating interoperability between microservices networks.

Drastically reducing the interaction time and cost between providers and consumers of digitally enabled services will pave the way for smarter cities, businesses, industries and planets.

The Elrond DNS & smart account features are live on our public devnet. The eDNS smart contract is available here: https://github.com/ElrondNetwork/sc-dns-rs


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Written by
Beniamin Mincu
CEO, Elrond Network