Domains, as we know them today like Google.com and Reddit.com, are easy to read because they are a byproduct of the Domain Name System (DNS), however, that’s not how it was at the beginning. Similarly, crypto addresses in their current state are long, alphanumeric text strings that are complicated to write down without quintuple checking and next to impossible to remember. Additionally, there is no correlation between a recipient’s wallet address and the person or entity’s name.
The work Accumulate is doing for identity-first, human-readable crypto addresses will usher in the next era of ease into the crypto adoption process. That identity-based address that Accumulate offers is a registry similar to the one that DNS created for the internet.
Topics covered in this post include:
- What is DNS?
- How crypto addresses have a similar issue to the one IP addresses faced
- Accumulate identity-based addresses
What is DNS?
Before DNS, domains were long and not easily readable by humans. Then when the Domain Name System arrived, IP addresses of the world wide web were translated into Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) like Google and Reddit.
Every single device that is internet-connected has an associated Internet Protocol (IP) address. Then, another machine utilizes the IP address to identify the device that is being searched for. The DNS takes away what was previously a requirement – knowing the complex IP address. For example, 18.104.22.168.
The DNS has acted like the Internet’s Yellow Pages and has included domain names that we use to get to the places we want to visit on the web. As a result of the DNS, people are able to do things like access their beloved social media channels, post questions on Reddit, and check the score of sports games.
Any time that the internet browser interacts with the IP, the DNS translates the string of numbers associated with the IP into a URL.
The work Accumulate is doing with blockchain addresses is parallel to what the DNS did and still does for IP addresses… makes crypto addresses human-readable.
Problems with Today’s Crypto Addresses
There are several problems with the state of long alphanumeric blockchain addresses that we use to make crypto transactions. Primarily, blockchain addresses are not user-friendly and they lack easy recovery methods. While proponents argue that this is a built-in security feature, there are ways to achieve a proportionate amount of security without all of the hassles that the current state of blockchain domains cause.
Blockchain addresses are not user-friendly: A BlockCAT survey asked participants to self-assess their anxiety when sending a crypto payment. Over 94% of respondents admitted that they worried about making a mistake when sending crypto and an additional 11% admitted to sending money to the wrong address (Forbes). Besides someone with savant-like abilities, who has the capability (or time) to remember these long alphanumeric crypto addresses that are used today? Short answer: no one. Instead, the world needs solutions that can be used more easily.
Accumulate’s user-friendly, human-readable identities address this issue by being derived from names we are familiar with.
Lack of recovery: Many stories have circulated about the number of people who have lost access to their crypto accounts which has resulted in a loss of funds. For crypto payment’s adoption level to evolve further into the mainstream, account recovery needs to be a focus. It produces a lot of anxiety to store crypto with the chance that the custody could be gone if the person or entity loses access to the private key. While this system has been great for security, it’s almost too good in the sense that an estimated 20% of Bitcoin, or $140 billion, is inaccessible due to lost private keys.
Accumulate offers a hierarchical alternative where the master key for identity can reset the keys that are lower on the hierarchy list. Imagine a corporation on the blockchain in which the company’s chairman, president, or CEO is able to reset corporate keys for a new hire that hasn’t fully earned the time-tested trust of the company yet.
Accumulate Identity-Based Crypto Addresses
Said in a different way, Accumulate acts similarly to a human-readable, Web 3.0 version of a URL. While Web2 and its associated companies had the DNS, Web3 has Accumulate identities. Through Accumulate identities, blockchain addresses become:
- Readable: Accumulate identities are strings of readable texts like Acc://BlueOrg.
- Secure and Owned: An identity’s owner, whether that be an organization, person, or even a building, has the capability to manage with best-in-class security functions and key privileges.
- Managed: Within a corporation, ADIs can be assigned to different departments, and each department has the ability to create a permissioned identity hierarchy with a range of security levels.
Essentially, Accumulate takes the long public crypto addresses that we all know and detest, then replaces it with a simple identity that’s easy to see and understand. The once complicated 1BvBMSEYstWetqTFn5Au4m4GFg7xJaNVN2 now becomes Acc://BlueOrg.
Accumulate vs Ethereum Name Service
Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is an Ethereum-based domain solution that provides a URL similar to a name or email that is substituted for a crypto address. Essentially, ENS translates and simplifies the long, alphanumeric text string that people are used to. With the ENS, 0xb764f5ea0ba39494ce839613fffba94229579261 is simplified to Drew.ETH.
Accumulate identities are similar to ENS addresses in that you can send and receive tokens to a simplified blockchain address. However, Accumulate identities have a much more robust range of native features which include readability, security, and management (as previously mentioned). While ENS is a strong candidate for personal accounts, Accumulate’s enterprise-grade security is strong enough for some of the most complex entities in the world like governments and major corporations.