[RFC for Lima change] Bidding and rent for AENS

This is Work-In-Progress PR to protocol repository describing bidding and rent changes.

Please express your input, especially regarding rent extension. As you can see in the PR comments we don’t have clear idea what would be the best for ae users. One option is to keep it as is and extend every X blocks (currently roughly every ~100 days), the other is to do it closer to DNS and extend once a year, for the whole next year.

We will land in the PR more information about upcoming changes.


Great thank you very much for sharing I will comment here or on GitHub or both and I hope we get some additional voices from within the developer and user community here too.

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I have a question that was asked in one of the channels yesterday - what will the bidding proceeds be used for? Who will manage them?

Moreover, I see that the .test names will be removed? I am not sure this makes sense -> what are user able to reserve those name then? It is also a functionality in the Base aepp. I would suggest to not remove the .test names immediately, and leave them for a period of time, coexisting with the .aet names.

Also, I think the topic name is a bit misleading - shouldn’t it be “[proposal] Bidding and rent for AENS names”?

  1. Bidding fees will be burned. We implement that by locking them in lock account. We have it to be able to audit amount of created tokens. There are no keys to lock account, it’s not spendable, changes are under consensus.

  2. Do we have aepps people around? I think they were on board regarding removal. The rationale for removal is that during the test phase getting the name was super cheap and we have hundreds of megs dragging in the database of mainnet. It would be a good cleanup, purge of trees and database.

Mind there is still an option for very cheap name (when it is over 32 characters = no bidding)

  1. Whats better topic? Request for comments?
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this is what I proposed - I see the name changed to “Bidding and rent” - again -> doesn’t this concern only the AENS?

@ae-vlad right, this is why I posted with “Naming System” label

Ah, OK. Now I see. I thought you refer to not too strong commitment in the title.
Sure will add AENS.

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Hi, Emin Mahht
Every time you see you will bring a good mood. Can you tell Yanni that he often appears in telegraph groups or forums? AE needs to maintain good heat. The founders often speak to help the community’s enthusiasm.

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I am currently updating the blockchain-providers of ArkaneNetwork so that they will be able to integrate Smart Contract support.

will there be breaking changes that require changes in the SDKs in the upcoming hardfork regarding the naming system?

  • currently I think so and therefore I would wait for that with the AENS integration into Arkane

can someone of the team please answer that?


  • if the SDKs need to implemented changes, can you already tell us what needs to be changed?
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I will try to motivate him to do that!

You can ask here and follow the breaking changes closely. @michalzee is leading the AENS together with Karol. The specs should be quite fixed but of course some changes can still pop up. There will be quite some breaking changes but they will end around mid August. From this time on there will most likely be no more API changes and therefore less updates in the SDKs.

SDK master is @noandrea but he’s in holiday right now.

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What do you mean renting? so not onky have to win it I would have to rent my name on a period of time? and then I may lose it? I don’t like this idea.

Please do not make the mistake of releasing this without first testing it. this should be either set to work on test names right away or implemented in testnet and let it work for a bit before moving to mainnet. just releasing it in mainnet for no good measure is not what we need.

Also, if you are just gonna burn the tokens then make a proposal to add it to the BRI. I would rather have the tokens be used than being burned.

if you are gonna TL:DR the short version is this: Do not release this directly to mainnet before first testing it.

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There will be breaking changes. One example is bid fee in claim transaction.
A lot more is going on underneath, in order to support auctions.

Yes, domain owner shall pay for owning a name. However, this cost is related to the tree maintenance. So, it will be orders of magnitude lower than price for winning an auction.

We assume this will be similar to DNS domain sell. E.g. insurance.com costs $10M to own, but later on it’s $10 to maintain.

Regarding the release to the mainnet: well, this is the plan. We have experience with test namespace and it will lower the risk of failure a bit.

BTW. Auctions are envisioned to last for long weeks, in order to have all interested parties informed and available to act (here I have in mind similar great name, like insurance.aet). Names longer than 32 will fall back to non-auction protocol path.

No this shall not be it.

There is no Dns in place, this can’t be resolved or used in any way right now. and this does not help with the fact that there is no easy way to link a username to an address. I wanted to use the aens to have a simple and easy way to share my address on the network. It makes no sense to have to pay for it monthly or yearly. You don’t pay your bank to keep your checking account number, nor do you pay the phone company to keep your number. you pay for the service used.

If you want to use it to point to an ip address and replace a dns entry with the aens then you may charge for that service, but you charge for the a es dns service! not for the name registration. But charging for the name when it points to a wallet address makes no sense whatsoever.

Basically if you want to go this route you effectively want to charge for wallet addresses and charge a rent to keep the address tree then? Cause that makes as much sense as this does. That means it makes no sense at all.

Also, if an oracle responds a message then the oracle may charge for the service. But renting a name? No. that makes no sense.

you know insurance.com does not really cost 10m to own, right? and it is called premium names and its basically down to names with 4 letters or less. anything above 4 letters can be purchased for the same fee. And also domain names are released on batches. day 0 names cost 1000 usd. then 30days name cost 500usd, until the price is the base price. but again, you pay the domain renewal because they provide a service to you, they keep the record updated and have a reason to update. We don’t have this service, we don’t have a dns responder and we don’t have any re ord update.

next you will tell me you want to charge for updates to the records too. now I will dare you to find a single dns provider that charges you for making changes to ns registrant data changes or ip changes. no one does this, it makes absolutely zero sense.

please stop making things based on irrational fears. we need to use the technology to be used, to give users a simpler and faster way to share wallet names. not to try to profit in a dumb way (yeah, charging for services to burn the tokens is a really dumb way).


Let me divide it into separate issues:

Rent for the name
Actually, the rationale that you present is the one we had, just with exactly opposite conclusion. It takes resources to maintain the tree and that’s why we want to introduce the rent.
Please don’t extrapolate, we want to charge only for name rent.

That said, it was very viable option just couple years ago in blockchain design sphere to charge rent for an account as well.

On completely side note, as it may depend on the vendor, bank or telco, you do pay for account and for the number. Easy to proof, by suspending the service and still paying fraction of the cost.

To say it again, rent fees will be very small, just to prevent massive acquisitions.
Also, I don’t get why you are OK with service payment, but not OK with the rent.
We do provide the service. Just like DNS. And as it is build in the protocol, it’s free.
You don’t pay for DNS resolution, it is transparent.

Premium name cost.
The price for insurance.com (which was 39mil, btw.) expresses high demand for the name as it brings business and revenue. We are trying to design honest way of distributing valueable names.

It seems that english-like auction is the most viable way for early stage blockchain. Auctions may take weeks, so it will let have more time to bring it to attention of interested parties. The initial fee will be value of function we design. We can look at DNS here and be similar - and have pretty high fees on sub 5 characters. I think that it can be much much cheaper to acquire 5+ char names that $1000.

Again, we do have records to maintain and an owner can update them. Can you explain what you mean?

One reason to go for auctions is current situation with .test namespace. 100k names got squatted over two weekends by single party. How you will “use the technology” if it’s acquired by 3rd party without any moderation mechanism?

For proprietary names, we want to have claim blacklist, so they can go to the rightful owner (say, ibm goes to IBM). It’s not trivial to get the good list, tho.

What name distribution mechanism do you propose?

EDIT: of course I am asking for permissionless mechanism.

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couple of points:

  • “Insurance” is not a trademarked name. which excludes it from the no bid rule
    but for example you can’t purchase some domains names right now without proving ownership of the trademark, which aeternity doesn’t even provide.

  • While I am happy to hear you discussed this at some point, I am not at all happy this conversation has not be referenced or even listed publicly. shouldn’t this be a RFC for the community?

  • What is so complicated of keeping the tree? Why do we need to charge a fee? Why can’t the fee we incorporated into the protocol? oh wait, but you already rised the TX fees by 200000x so i guess it can be paid from there? -_-

What name distribution mechanism do you propose?

I was thinking something like if you have the name used in your email, and twitter, and telegram, and a domain name registered with it then you may have a weigthed claim to it. a simple 2FA verification on a couple of networks would make sense (a twitter message from the account, a txt record on a domain, a verification link on the email, etc). Sure would seem a bit complex, but it would be a starting point/idea.

What do you mean permissionless mechanism?

  • Yes. It doesn’t qualify for no bid rule. You elaborate on the ownership proof in the last paragraph. It’s interesting, it would go well with oracle and contract combination. It would require writing gateways to each of those services. Also which of them are “the” services. I am from Facebook/Twitter era, but I hear that like ten another products are hot now. Many outcompete Twitter. And what about Asia? Completely different landscape (China vs India vs Japan, each with its own ecosystem). Finally, while it is intuitive that for individual’s name or nickname it is justified mechanism, for the “insurance.com”, I am not sure that it is OK to be allowed to grab all top domain “insurances” in the world. Does Twitter give it to Facebook’s owner?

To conclude, we both agree on proprietary names should be protected. Easy to implement, hard to obtain complete list upfront. Maybe each hardfork should act as a checkpoint and an organization could reclaim names for owners? We can do it in similar fashion as accounts.json and build via Pull Requests with significant approvals.

Regarding your ownership proof, it is vast project. Also it would cause endless maintenance - APIs change, new top services surface. I don’t see it feasible to implement it in short term. I see auction as the available mechanism that will both moderate and enable domains for all interested parties.

  • We don’t have really good format to discuss it. It was part of original promise from aeternity, so it is not subject to extension discussion. PRs to protocol repository are where the team highlights issues. Forum became vibrant community place, so we got your attention here

  • Lets not mix topics. We increased fees because it was possible to spam the chain with Petabytes of data for $2

  • Permissionless - so it’s not a special contract that can be called by special account and modify trees. It would be the easiest, but since we put so much effort to make the platform permissionless, lets have aens as well like that.

I think its totally ok if domains expire. just imagine how many owners will lose their private keys and freeze those AENS domains forever.

IMO it just needs to be ensured that the owner of a domain always has the possibility to extend the ownership for a certain period of time.

@marc0olo I lean on the opposite side - a revoke request, where if you do not reply withing a reasonable amount of time (say 1 year) the domain can be repossessed

@michalzee Regarding the fees, Yeah, and it is possible a car can kill 1000 people. Yet they do not charge you 20000x more for that single fact, do they? I call this the paranoia effect. I understand placing a secure door at your house, but placing people in jail because they have the possibility of robbing you is ludicrous.

Yeah, we agree that we really want to avoid people to over register domains. which did happen already (unlike the flooding of tx with PetaBytes of data, which did not happen) so I agree this is a problem. But I am scared normal people would need to pay a lot of AE just to get a simple name, and I am even more affraid people will not be able to get a simple name to increase the user friendliness of the coin exponentially unles you pay a high fee.

Imaging AE was worth the same as 1 bitcoin, the fee for a domain would be high and the bidding for a premium name would be higher yet. makes me wonder why do we have 19 significant decimals after the floating separator if we don’t have anything that uses that precision?

Also, I would like to propose the resulting of the bidding goes to the BRI, it makes no sense to lock the coins in a burning account when it can be recycled into the ecosystem in exchange for services or development.

Writing gateways, connecting apis and having orcales that return a weight to say if you have more or less claim to a name according to the number of networks you have it on. I do believe twitter gives it to facebook’s ownder and he is also verified on twitter. sure, but also this could be part of the BRI or, even better, result from the money used to bid on the domains so there is an incentive to renew the code for the oracles.

There are many things part from the original promise from aeternity that were/are discarded with no explanation or publication. I’m really hurt from that -_-

This solves the permissionless, the forever updates, the addition of new oracles, the payment for the creationg of this and elaborates more on the bidding.

how about that?

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