NameHash Labs (namehashlabs.org)
We’re working to accelerate the adoption of decentralized identity.
We believe the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is the best protocol to deliver decentralized identity to the world. Our work is therefore exclusively devoted to advancing the broader ENS ecosystem. This ecosystem spans across web3 because decentralized identity spans across web3.
The people we are devoted to helping are therefore the whole web3 ecosystem.
We help ENS grow by working to integrate ENS onboarding into web3 wallets, apps, and games where millions of people already are. To advance these goals we’re building NameKit, NameGuard, and advancing a (proposed) ENS Referral Program.
ENS has achieved a special milestone in its growth: the majority of ENS names are now issued through “Frontend Registrar” apps other than app.ens.domains. For example, Coinbase Wallet alone has issued more than 4 million ENS names. Rainbow Wallet is another example.
The future of ENS growth will predominantly be driven by this trend. Our biggest growth opportunity is persuading more “Frontend Registrar” apps to issue ENS names directly to their audiences. Persuading apps that already have millions of users is especially valuable.
We have a problem though. The current incentives for an app to become a “Frontend Registrar” for ENS aren’t so good.
Let’s take a technology perspective. Where does NameKit fit in?
There’s a lot of great focus by other teams in the ENS ecosystem at the smart contract layer. For example, with name issuance strategies on L2 or offchain. Some helpful libraries also exist. These are awesome !
However, from the perspective of an app that’s considering becoming an ENS “Frontend Registrar”, there’s still a big hole in the middle of their ENS Tech Stack. “ENS Frontend Registrars” have to build all of the “Advanced ENS User Journeys’’ mostly from scratch themselves.
Some might ask if it is truly a lot of work to build these “Advanced ENS User Journeys”? Well let’s consider the official ENS Manager app. This is how big? Approximately 100,000 lines of code? All written by the most experienced ENS dev team (ENS Labs) over the course of years ! Should each “Frontend Registrar” build and maintain their own version of all this logic?
The analogy above of course isn’t perfect, but the point is that if an app wants to become a “Frontend Registrar” with a great UX that handles all the edge cases and continuously keeps up with all the innovation in the ENS ecosystem there’s a lot of work to do it well!
NameKit will include:
Open source libraries that anyone can run in their own app / infrastructure.
Public hosted cloud services (for those who don’t want to run their own infrastructure).
Figma Design Templates.
Ability to integrate with ENS Name Issuance strategies built by other teams on L1, L2, or Offchain.
… and more!
When the majority of ENS names are being registered on 3rd party apps it’s important that we make it easy for these 3rd parties to do an amazing job with all these UX details.
“Help ENS Grow” is the mission that fills our minds each day.
To this end, we do not define ourselves in terms of advancing a specific technical feature. We aren’t interested in building technologies that might be fun as an engineer, but have little market impact. We are focused on working backwards from the goal of “Help ENS Grow” and then doing our best to build the technologies we believe will best advance that.
Our NameGuard library will protect the entire Web3 community from a number of attacks and risks associated with decentralized identities. The vulnerabilities today impact many of the largest web3 apps.
Most people don’t even know these risks exist, but they can potentially cause severe losses to innocent people. These risks can be fairly technical to explain. A proposal like this isn’t the best place to go deep into many technical details, but we’ll share one of many examples in the next message in this thread.
Here’s a high level summary of our main development efforts:
|Current Dev Status
|Enable every app to easily build amazing ENS onboarding and profile management.
|Guard your users from heartbreak and encourage best practice usage of ENS.
|ENS Referral Program (proposed)
|Provide financial incentive to businesses, builders, and storytellers to invest their efforts into the growth of ENS.
|Preliminary temp check
We’ve put a big effort into these products already, but there’s still a big journey ahead. It will take a lot of resources to get there.
With your support for NameHash Labs we will bring these innovations to life and make big impacts to help ENS grow !
Our team has been working for more than 2 years to build big things for ENS ! The following are additional products we’ve open sourced.
|ENS Normalize Python & contributions to the ENSIP-15 standard
|Python implementation of the ENS name normalization standard.
|ENS Label Inspector
|A detailed X-ray into the attributes of labels in ENS names.
|ENS Font Data
|Metadata for graphemes that may appear in ENS names.
|Contracts that help “Registrar Frontends” earn additional revenue for helping ENS grow.
|NameGuard Client SDK
|TypeScript client SDK for making API calls to NameGuard.
|NameGuard React UI Kit
|React components for creating great UX with NameGuard data.
|NameGuard Figma UI Kit
|Customize NameKit user experiences to match your unique app.
|ENS Name Parser
|Utilities for parsing ENS names from user input.
|NameGuard Cloud Deployment Automations
|Easily deploy your own instance of NameGuard into the cloud.
NameHash Labs is represented by a team of 15 working day and night to help ENS grow.
Backgrounds in our team range from experienced technology entrepreneurs to Computer Science PhDs who are at the cutting edge of their fields.
We look forward to a long future as dedicated members of the Ethereum community.
|$600,000 / year
|Service Provider Stream
|Scheduled to begin Jan 2024
On December 1st, 2023 our team submitted a budget request of $600,000 / year to the ENS DAO under a competitive bidding process where only a select number of teams might qualify. As of December 15th, 2023 NameHash Labs is honored to have received broad approval from the ENS DAO to become an official ENS Service Provider. This funding stream is anticipated to begin in Jan 2024.
We are very grateful to the ENS DAO for their support.
To date the majority of all expenses to support our 15 person team have come at the personal expense of our two founders. It adds up to a lot.
With such a large team, the funding we have received still falls short of covering all our costs.
Our mission aims to benefit the entire web3 ecosystem. We are therefore seeking supplementary funding support as a public good for all of web3.
|How many people are receiving the benefits of owning a decentralized identity?
|NameKit, ENS Referral Program
|For people who have a decentralized identity, how deeply are they making use of it?
|How much are innocent people being scammed or experiencing (potentially large) losses due to hidden risks or limitations associated with decentralized identities?
Our key projects:
We are seeking funding for general operations. Any funding we might be so fortunate to receive via Octant will be devoted 100% to funding salaries of our development team.
Thank you for your heartfelt support.