“The .luxe [addresses] will also allow names to resolve over the internet in the normal way for email or web-based traffic. Users will therefore be able to complement those .luxe addresses that they use for traditional internet activity with those that they use for their Ethereum related items or services.”
Like most cryptocurrencies, Ethereum uses a hash as for each address. To the human eye, this is just a string of garbled text. In 2017, the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) enabled users to create human-readable addresses such as walletname.eth, and this feature has been adopted by wallets such as MyEtherWallet.
Now, ENS has partnered with the Minds + Machines Group (MMX)—a company which acquires and holds top-level domains—to introduce .luxe:
“We already know from Ethereum’s test in its non-ICANN authorised .eth zone that there is a real proven demand for word-based identifiers that are blockchain enabled.”
The 300,000 current holders of .eth addresses will be given a chance to obtain the equivalent .luxe address before addresses are sold to the public.
Although this solution can potentially facilitate transactions, there are still points of failure. Despite the fact that .luxe looks like a traditional web address, it isn’t one. MMX handles top-level domains that operate on the DNS, and .luxe will be ICANN-authorised, but there is no indication that .luxe will actually be listed in the DNS—merely “integrated” with it. Presumably, it is up to web browsers and wallets to redirect .luxe users and launch their wallet app.
Many previous attempts have been made to make wallet addresses easy to read. IOV has attempted to create a Bitcoin name service, much like the Ethereum Name Service. Some cryptocurrencies, such as NXT, simply have human-readable ‘aliases’ to begin with.
The trend toward human-readable addresses is also creating a divide between those who want crypto to become widely adopted and convenient, and those who want it to remain decentralized and secure. Critics note that this type of solution risks name spoofing and attacks similar to DNS hijacking.
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