Bitcoin, the pioneering cryptocurrency, has undeniably become a global financial asset of significance. Nonetheless, for many, especially newcomers to the crypto realm, dealing with Bitcoin transactions can be quite intimidating. The daunting aspect often lies in the long, intricate wallet addresses that Bitcoin employs. This is where the Bitcoin Naming Service (BNS) emerges as a solution.
What is BNS?
BNS, or Bitcoin Naming Service, essentially transforms your Bitcoin wallet address, typically a lengthy sequence of random characters, into a user-friendly URL appended with a playful suffix, often “.BTC.” This concept closely resembles Ethereum’s ENS (Ethereum Naming Service) but operates within the Bitcoin network.
How Does BNS Function?
To address the challenges posed by the Bitcoin network’s high costs and scalability limitations, the BNS protocol is built on a Layer 2 solution called Stacks, designed to introduce smart contracts to the Bitcoin network.
Through a smart contract executed on Stacks, users can register their .BTC domains. Ownership of each .BTC name is recorded within a hash on the Bitcoin blockchain. However, rather than overwhelming the Bitcoin blockchain with numerous name registrations, Stacks streamlines thousands of transactions into a single transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain.
At present, only a limited number of Bitcoin wallets support transactions to BNS addresses. As of the time of writing, Hiro and Xverse are among the confirmed supporters.
Furthermore, users have the flexibility to register domains with various suffixes, such as .id, .mining, and more. Each suffix carries distinct expiration periods, ensuring versatility:
- .btc = 5 years
- .id = 1 year
- .graphite = 1 year
- .app = no expiration
- .stx = no expiration
- .stacks = no expiration
- .mining = no expiration
- .miner = no expiration
- .blockstack = no expiration
- .helloworld = no expiration
- .podcast = no expiration
- .stacking = no expiration
- Ryder handles (e.g., bitcoinmonkey) = 1 year
It’s worth noting that BNS names operate on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no mechanism for claiming a name that has already been registered, even if it infringes on copyright. The only way to acquire a taken domain name is by purchasing it on the secondary market or awaiting its expiration.
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