SOL domains as ubiquitous service

Hello everyone

This is an idea that i’ve had on my mind for quite a while now, i think that crypto domains should be for everyone, that anyone with a wallet should be able to have an address that can be memorable and short, that sending assets should be as simple and convenient as sending an email.

I believe that the ubiquity of traditional domains was inevitable given that the first apps (web, email, ftp) required a convenient method of sharing an ID offline, and a domain served thousands or even millions of users.

It was common to see a TV ad promoting a website that everyone could access in their PC via a domain, some domains were being sold for million of dollars with that premise.

But crypto domains has been optional in this space except in some blockchains, they are also convenient but people adoption has been lukewarm, of an estimated 2 million Phantom users only 51k users have a SOL domain (that’s only 2.5%), and most of them has been registered speculatively.

I think that this is not the fault of the users, they use a product/service intuitively, it is the responsability of developers/UX designers to make accessible this kind of features so the user adopts it.

I like the approach of this problem that NEAR has, they request to the user to choice an ID for their account and it is “free” as long as you fund your account with a little bit of coins, your ID is your public address and is used everywhere, from exchanges to all the apps in the ecosystem.

I know that the current architecture of Solana make it impossible to use this model but we can improve the adoption of SOL domains. I have some ideas to meet this objetive:

  • Make a partnership with the leading wallet apps to giveaway a domain to every device that create a wallet (limited to one domain for device), premium domains could be sell inapp using funds in imported wallets or payments can be processed with Apple Store/Play Store inapp payment systems.

  • Give credit to wallet apps so they can manage a “credit account” in which they can offer the domain to the users in a scheme of “pay it later”, as a suggestion it would be great to reduce the price of the domain, .COMs can currently be bought for as low as $5.

  • Again, partnering with wallet apps to offer free to try domains, in this scheme the user could reserve a domain that would be free to try, the domain will be assigned to the user for a short period of time (3-6 months), after that the user need to pay for it in order to keep it, in case of the payment misses the deadline, the domain return to @bonfida and is released to be registered by another person.

  • Encourage wallet apps to giveaway subdomains to their users, this would be the equivalent to give an email address to every user.

This options would require the promotional domain to be non-tradeable/non-wrappable to avoid abuse of bad actors. In all partnerships @bonfida could negotiate a cut with the wallet apps to incentivize the integration of the service.
Well that is basically my ideas to accelerate the adoption of SOL domains, if anyone want to contribute with their own ideas please reply to this thread.

Hi @jose

Trust you are well!

Thanks for your suggestion. We will try to discuss with wallets that we are working with and evaluate your proposals accordingly.

Thank you Cynthia
I think that we need to optimize for adoption, rather than burning $FIDA, if the community grows that will push the value of the service, network effects are powerful.

First of all, thanks for writing this message and sharing your thoughts :pray:

I agree with you that better wallet support is important. We are working with wallets to make this happen. We are also working on a complete rebuild and redesign of the website to improve and facilitate the onboarding. However regarding the other things you are suggesting you are omitting a lot of technical details that are crucial for their implementation:

  • Non-tradeable/non-wrappable domains do not exist. Once you give a domain to someone he can use it as he wants. There is no such thing as “permissioned” domains.
  • You compare .com to .sol but a .com costs 5 USD for 1 year only. You can own a .sol for life, so in practice .sol domains are way cheaper than .com
  • You cannot give a domain for 3 - 6 months and then claim it back. The user owns it once he has the domain. In the same way you cannot force a wallet to send you SPL tokens.
  • A .sol domain name requires two Solana accounts (direct and reverse lookup accounts). The direct lookup account has a size of size = header_length + data_length. Let’s say we only consider domain names with a data of 10MB (the header has a fixed length), then size = 96 + 1000 = 1096 bytes which requires 0.0085 SOL to be rent exempt. Then you have the reverse look up account, it’s length is the length of the domain, let’s assume the average domain is ~ 5 characters, the length is going to be 4 + domain_length = 9 bytes. This requires ~ 0.00095352 SOL to be rent exempt. So in total for each 10MB domain you would have to pay ~ 0.072 SOL for account allocation, which represent in USD value ~7.2 USD per domain given away for its initialisation. So I don’t think this would be viable or scalable.

I think that the best things to do to achieve the objective you are describing are:

  • Work closely with wallets so they can onboard user directly with a .sol domain. We are working on it but obviously there are a lot of things that are out of our reach
  • Complete revamp of the website to improve the UX/UI with a better onboarding. We have already started working on it. We will post updates about this on the forum and also probably make test groups with users so they can try the new interface and give feedback.
  • Fiat on-ramp, we want people who are new to crypto and don’t have SOL or any token to be able to purchase a domain. We are working on it and it will likely be released at the same time (or shortly after) the redesign.
  • Subdomains: I agree 100% with you. This is clearly underrated and wallets could giveaway subdomains (allocation cost would have to be passed to the end user to make it viable though). This is likely something we will do and publish the open-source code on Github so wallets can implement it on their end as well.

I will never stress this enough, but feedback are always more powerful when coming directly from users, so if you want to help us have wallets integrate domain names, we need the community to let them know about this!

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Thanks @bonfida it’s good to know you are working to improve the UX of the site, i haven’t considered the allocation cost of the domain, is there a growth fund on Solana that can be used for this purpose?
I suggested the “free to try” option because I read in the forum that one user got his domains frozen after he exploited a vulnerability on the system so I supposed you have total control of the domains.
I agree that the price of sol domains are cheap if you take into account that there are no renewal fees but I think that the upfront cost is too high for the common user (imagine email providers asking that just to set up an address), may be offer the option to pay $5 yearly for the first 4 years? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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