Interchain Name Service domain review

Blockchain name services are popular. Each blockchain has at least one service. However, the Cosmos ecosystem has the IBC, the Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol. Currently, it consists of 53 zones or blockchains.

The Interchain Name Service (ICNS) gives you one name for all IBC chains. So, let’s dive into this and see what the Interchain Name Service is all about.

What is Interchain Name Service?

The Interchain Name Service is a name service for the Cosmos ecosystem. The same way Ethereum has ENS, Cosmos now has ICNS. This is a good development, since ENS works for the whole Ethereum ecosystem. The Cosmos ecosystem didn’t have that yet. In other words, you would need a name service for each blockchain in the IBC. Currently, that are 53 blockchains.

A name service makes the blockchain addresses readable and user friendly. For instance, a Cosmos address can be cosmos1fc0sx78lgmh0hw8rrsyjssl9jhs7yvjs7hz7qy. Well, try remembering that or, let alone, spell it out to somebody over a bad phone connection. Instead, a name server would transfer this address into, ‘petersmith.cosmos’. That’s a lot easier and secure to remember and to share. So, the chances of sharing a wrong number that can send your funds to another wallet are drastically reduced.

The Interchain Name Service currently works for 24 IBC chains. You will have the option to add more chains later. However, you can’t pick your name, as with other name services. Instead, ICNS uses your Twitter handle. So, to clarify if your Twitter handle is ‘Rover15’, your Cosmos address is now Rover15.cosmos. Now you can replace the suffix if you change chains. For example, Rover15.osmo for Osmosis, Rover15.juno for Juno, and so on.

Although the ICNS is closing in on 30,000 registered users, in less than a week, it’s also full of controversy. So, let’s have a look at this controversy. The picture below shows the current number of registered accounts.

Interchain name service

Source: ICNS website

Why Is the Interchain Name Service Controversial?

The main reason why the Interchain name service is controversial, is privacy. Under their tweet, announcing that their service is live, there are loads of replies. Most of them have a negative sentiment, since potential users feel that their privacy is at risk. 

The blockchain is anonymous. This means that your cryptocurrency account is available on the blockchain. However, it is not linked to your identity. Twitter, on the other hand, links to your email address, date of birth, and full name. Some US citizens see the IRS now tracking you down through ICNS. Other nationalities may see similar issues.

Many comments hinted at not wanting to use their Twitter handle. Instead, they would like a handle to their own liking. Similar to what other name services offer. A solution to this may be to set up a new Twitter account, just for this service. 

On the other hand, after a year, ICNS plans to open their server to a more open system. Currently, the service is free, except for 0.5 OSMO in gas fees. Once the platform opens up, it will include fees. However, it appears that your registered name is lifetime free. It is also good to know that names are not tied to Twitter accounts after the mint.

The service is also new. This brings various technical issues along with it. For instance, currently, there’s no mobile wallet option available. Although, that seems to be in the making. At the moment, you can only connect your Keplr wallet. So, quite a few updates are in the pipeline.

Why You Would Want to Use ICNS

There are also a couple of good reasons why you would want to use ICNS. Foremost, of course, the fact that you can use one name inside the ICB ecosystem. It’s also free, at least for the first year. Furthermore, you don’t need to renew it, it’s a lifelong name.

So, choosing your Twitter handle as your ICNS name may not be the best choice. However, there are still valid reasons to get your ICNS name. There are also rumors about an ICNS token airdrop. To receive this potential airdrop, you will need to register an ICNS name.

If you’re interested in getting your ICNS name for the Cosmos ecosystem, here’s an ICNS article. It explains all the ins and outs in this guide.

Conclusion

We discussed the Interchain Name Service for the Cosmos ecosystem. Because they use your Twitter handle as your address name, it caused a lot of controversy. We looked at this, but also showed some reasons why ICNS is worth setting up.

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