Looking Forward — web3name
Making Web3 Accessible
Written by Majella Horan, Content Writer for KILT Protocol.
Since launching in April 2022, over 10,000 web3names have been claimed. In short, a web3name replaces a long string of numbers and letters (typical for blockchain) with an easily readable name. But it’s so much more! Welcome to the world of identity in Web3.
Identity on KILT
KILT allows you to generate your digital identity easily and safely. Identity on KILT begins with a decentralized identifier (DID). A DID is an industry standard developed by the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF) for standardization by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). In essence, a DID works as your digital fingerprint.
Using KILT, you can generate your own DID — a unique and cryptographically verifiable string of numbers and letters specific to you and entirely under your control — via the Sporran wallet on your laptop. Then you can build your digital identity around it by adding credentials — attributes, certificates, social media accounts, the things that make up who you are in the digital sphere. Your DID may also be registered on the KILT blockchain and represented by an easily-readable web3name such as w3n:majella.
Since your web3name is unique and secured by the KILT blockchain, no one else can claim it. Similar to the real world, the identity you build around it is not transferable and is a combination of your web3name and all the credentials and attributes that you connect with it. Just as in real life, it can grow and change. Likewise, anyone who just claims the web3name of a brand cannot replicate the brand’s identity without the brand’s added credentials.
web3name vs. existing name services
web3name is different from other naming services such as ENS (Ethereum Name Service) in several ways.
Like web3name, ENS allows users to represent a long series of letters and numbers with an easily readable name, such as majella.eth. However, in ENS this is a domain name URL, which represents an address, not a DID. So the name majella.eth could just work as a replacement for the Ethereum or Ethereum-compatible address. Searching Majella.eth on a blockchain explorer such as Etherscan would show the address and all transactions related to it.
In contrast, web3name is not limited to any chain or ecosystem. It is linked to a DID, a widely-accepted industry standard for decentralized identifiers. Web3name is not designed as a simple replacement for an address, as it may be linked to one or several account addresses even on different blockchains, to credentials that give more flavor to the identity behind it, as well as to service endpoints to show more details. All information shared through service endpoints can be deleted if you ever wish to change your public appearance. And it is entirely up to you if you link to any of these or not, and what information you want to share publicly.
Advantages of web3name
Once linked, searching a web3name such as “w3n:majella” on an app like w3n.id shows the associated DID and anything publicly connected to it. Just as Etherscan can be searched using either the ENS name or the linked address, w3n.id can be searched using either the web3name or the linked DID.
Multiple things may be connected with your web3name including:
- As many of your addresses as you want to make publicly available across any number of blockchains in the Kusama and Polkadot ecosystems. Ethereum and more blockchains will be added in the coming months
- As many of your credentials of any kind that you want to add, either privately or publicly
- Communication endpoints, e.g., linking to your website or marketplace
Being able to add several addresses across blockchains is especially useful for those providing on-chain services such as validating on different blockchains, and will become increasingly valuable as Web3 continues to mature and different chains gain interoperability.
Adding credentials to a web3name adds an extra layer of trust. All compatible digital credentials are supported, including free KILT credentials via SocialKYC proving your ownership of things like email addresses, GitHub accounts and social media handles. These can be kept private on your device, or made public by linking via service endpoints such as GitHub or IPFS (InterPlanetary File System). URLs with extra details such as your website may also be added to provide further information.
As Web3 matures, more real-world credentials will be available in the digital world. Already, real-world credentials could be verifiably and revocably replicated and represented in the digital world without heavy investment by the credential provider using the KILT open-source Software Development Kit (SDK).
Of course, since anything linked on the blockchain is public and, therefore, a permanent record, it’s important to only link addresses or credentials that you wish to make publicly identifiable with your name. What happens on the blockchain stays on the blockchain!
Creating your on-chain DID and web3name requires a refundable deposit and small transaction fees, so you need around 3 KILT in your wallet before your start. Once you have your web3name it’s yours forever, unless you later decide to give it up, or unless the KILT community decides otherwise via a public referendum. There are no more costs or charges.
Web3 is maturing, and there are several applications built on KILT already available and ready to be used. Try them for yourself now and start building your own decentralized digital identity, under your control. Just follow the guides below:
Set up your Sporran: How-to guide, Sporran
Get your on-chain DID: How-to guide, on-chain DID
Get your web3name: How-to guide, web3name
Get your SocialKYC credentials: How-to guide, SocialKYC credentials
Link your credentials publicly: How-to guide, linking credentials
KILT’s mission is to return control over personal data to its owner, restoring privacy to the individual. web3name is another step towards achieving this.
Discover more about KILT on its website and blog, brainstorm KILT use cases in Discord, or follow KILT on Twitter and Telegram to keep up with the latest news. Join the growing KILT community to be part of the unfolding internet revolution.
The applications Sporran, SocialKYC and w3n.id built on KILT were created by B.T.E. BOTLabs Trusted Entity GmbH, (BTE) a subsidiary of BOTLabs GmbH, the initial developer of KILT Protocol.