A unique feature of EOS compared to other blockchains is that it allows a user to create a unique, human-readable account name. This helps to alleviate issues that arise through the use of public keys or public key hashes as the main identifier of an account, i.e. the long strings of characters seen on the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks.
Why Are There Namespace Auctions?
By default, account names on EOS need to be exactly 12 characters long, made up of only lowercase letters a-z, and the numbers 1-5. An added feature is that, through an on-chain auction, users have the ability to obtain a shorter account name, which would also allow a user to be the owner of a new namespace of accounts -- namely those suffixed with the shorter name purchased in the auction. This is similar to the Top-Level Domains used on the Internet, such as .com and .cn.
For example, if someone were to win the namespace auction for “com”, then they would be able to create any name within that namespace, such as blockone.com, google.com, or name.com. The new account name could not exceed 12 characters - including the period and suffix, using all lowercase characters, and only use numbers 1-5.
For those unaware of the namespace auction system, a brief overview is that auctions for many namespaces can run concurrently, but at most one is awarded in each 24 hour period. Specifically, the highest bid of all the concurrent namespace auctions will be successful if it has held that position for at least 24 hours.
Some of the earliest namespaces to be awarded on the EOS mainnet were won by a single Block Producer entity, StartEOS. EOS Canada was intrigued by their investment in the namespace auctions and made a point to sit down with them to understand their motivations and their goals in purchasing these namespaces.
Which Auctions Have They Won?
StartEOS currently owns the namespace .com, for which it spent 150000 EOS; .io, for which it spent 90088 EOS; .eos, for which it spent 50000 EOS; and .bank. for which it spent 15886 EOS. That equates to an investment of over 300000 EOS into the community.
What’s Their Plan?
To understand the reasoning behind this, it is important to learn about the application that StartEOS has built. They have created a mobile app that will act as wallet that works in conjunction with their hardware wallet. Users of their app will be able to bid on their own unique account names using rules similar to the EOS-wide auction system. The main difference is that they will award the top 3 bids, every 12 hours.
StartEOS has explained that the proceeds that they raise from these auctions will not be kept as profits, rather they will be reinvested into the community through funding projects that their team will help to incubate.
Through these investments into the EOS community, StartEOS is showing their commitment to seeing the EOS ecosystem grow.