The NEO Name Service (NNS) has gone live as of Tuesday, October 9th. Users are now able to bid on domain names ending in .neo. These names can be used to create custom wallet addresses, email addresses, smart contract hashes, and much more:

[Source: NNS]

The current bidding process is described as “mining”: users who successfully bid on NEO domain names will receive a number of NNC tokens as a reward. The mining stage will last for two weeks and will end on October 23rd.

2000 names have been auctioned over the first six hours of the platform’s launch. Domain name prices start at 0.1 CGAS (~$0.60), but some bids have gone as high as 100 CGAS (~$600). Of course, each name’s price depends on whether it is in demand or not.

Various features and changes are in the pipeline: the O3 wallet will support domain name transfers by October 15th, and by the end of October users will be able to bid on domain names directly from the O3 wallet. At the moment, domain name bidding must be done from the NNS website.

The NNC Token

Currently, users must pay for domain names with GAS instead of the NEO Name Service’s custom NNC token. The NNC token offers certain privileges to holders: it permits them to vote on root domain names, and allows them to receive a cut of auction proceeds.

However, the NNC token will not be accepted as a payment method until users begin buying established domain names, according to the developers:

“Bidding on .neo domains needs GAS, but in the future, if you buy and sell pre-owned domains, only NNC is accepted. We are developing the .neo domain name exchange.
At this stage, NNC is more like a security. There is no need for large portion of NNC [to be] circulated…NNC has its utility side. Anyway, NNC will be circulated over time as its use cases expand.”

Users have criticized the NEO Name Service for allocating a large proportion of tokens to itself and its partners. Of the one billion existing NNC tokens, only 10% were sold to private investors — namely exchanges. The remaining 89% of the tokens have gone to the NNS team, its partners, and the NEO Foundation. The team did not run a public token sale at all, although 1% of the tokens were given to the community via an airdrop.

A User-Friendly Feature

Despite the controversial allocation scheme, the NEO Name Service will likely become an indispensable feature of the NEO blockchain. It follows in the footsteps of the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), which was launched in late 2017, and quickly gained adoption across several Ethereum clients.

Name services are a major step forward in making cryptocurrency a user-friendly technology. However, human-readable names do carry a risk, as they facilitate phishing and spoofing.

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