NameHash Labs - Accelerating Decentralized Identity for Everyone

Project Name

NameHash Labs (

Public Goods Context

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.

Project Description

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.

The problem and opportunity

ENS has achieved a special milestone in its growth: the majority of ENS names are now issued through “Frontend Registrar” apps other than 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).

  • Client SDKs.

  • UI Kits.

  • Figma Design Templates.

  • Rich documentation.

  • Ability to integrate with ENS Name Issuance strategies built by other teams on L1, L2, or Offchain.

  • … and more!

“Frontend Registrar” UX - Challenges & Opportunities

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.

Why it’s classified as a public good

1. Our Principles

2. Our Mission & Direction

“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.

Today, we believe the best opportunity to “Help ENS Grow” is achieved through NameKit and the ENS Referral Program proposal that we are advancing.

3. Protecting the Web3 Community

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.

What we have built

Here’s a high level summary of our main development efforts:

Product Summary Current Dev Status
NameKit Enable every app to easily build amazing ENS onboarding and profile management. v0.1 alpha
NameGuard Guard your users from heartbreak and encourage best practice usage of ENS. v0.8 beta
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 ! :heart: The following are additional products we’ve open sourced.

Product Summary
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.
NameKit Contracts 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.

About us

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.

To date project funding sources

Funding Type Source Status
~$3,000 Small Grants ENS DAO Received
$20,000 Large Grants ENS DAO Received
$600,000 / year Service Provider Stream ENS DAO 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.

Measures of Success

Metric Description Service
Reach How many people are receiving the benefits of owning a decentralized identity? NameKit, ENS Referral Program
Engagement For people who have a decentralized identity, how deeply are they making use of it? NameKit
Protection How much are innocent people being scammed or experiencing (potentially large) losses due to hidden risks or limitations associated with decentralized identities? NameKit, NameGuard

Links & Resources

Our team:

Our key projects:

Funding Request

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. :sunrise::heart:

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Did you know there can be hidden risks and limitations in ENS names? These risks are widespread and can have severe consequences. Let’s protect the web3 community from devastating heartbreak. Learn more about these risks and our work to eliminate them at

Impersonation Attack Example

Imagine you receive a message that appears to be from someone you trust in your favorite messaging app, for example: XMTP or Farcaster. The app says the message is from vitalik.eth, coinbase.eth, octant.eth, or yourclosefriend.eth.

Except it’s not who you think it is.

Your trust was just exploited. Now you’ve just clicked a link or made a transaction that might do terrible things, such as completely draining your wallet.

For background: ENS makes no technical limitation on the unicode characters that may exist inside an ENS name. You’ve probably seen some ENS names with emojis in them, for example. Unicode is massive and quite complex. Some unicode characters are quite nasty from a confusability perspective. An easy example of this are unicode characters that are completely invisible from a visual perspective. Confusability cannot be objectively defined. It’s subjective. But NameGuard is designed with this in mind and already contains a lot of advanced protections to help mitigate potential points of confusion.

Let’s make a really specific example. We’re in talks with the team at XMTP. So let’s use them to illustrate a few example cases.

Imagine you receive an inbound message in XMTP from 888.eth.

Currently, in XMTP and a ton of other apps, this account visually appears as “888.eth”. However, that name is NOT actually “888.eth”. There’s two completely invisible characters in this name. NameGuard includes an SDK and a React UI kit for a bunch of things. An example of how they can be used is on the NameGuard website. Here you can see the truth of what this name really is.

Learn More

The example above is only one (relatively trivial) example out of many possible cases of decentralized identity attacks that can cause serious harm. NameGuard offers protections from other more advanced cases too. More details on all the ways NameGuard serves as a public good may be found at the NameGuard website.

Eligibility Criteria

We are in compliance with all of Octant’s eligibility criteria.

Eligibility Criteria Response
Do you have a commitment to open-source (i.e. any open-source license accepted by the Open-Source Initiative) technology and sharing results publicly? :white_check_mark: YES. All the work we do will be open sourced and released under the MIT license.
Have you provided transparency about how exactly funding will be used? :white_check_mark: YES. 100% of any funding we might be so fortunate to receive will be used to support salaries for our development team to continue advancing their work.
Are you advancing values of freedom and privacy (no surveillance and handling of personal data)? :white_check_mark: YES. Our work helps everyone in the world to gain access to the benefits of owning a decentralized identity. Decentralized identity is key to advancing the values of freedom and privacy. All the work we do will be open sourced under the MIT license. All of this work can be self-hosted such that there is zero tracking of any personal data. We provide example implementations of our libraries on our official websites. These example app implementations make use of tools such as Sentry to help our development team diagnose any issues in our code. These code diagnoses tools are not included in any of the libraries we build and are only used in our example apps for code refinement.
Are you supporting decentralization in various fields (for example building Web3 projects)? :white_check_mark: YES. All the work we do supports the advancement of decentralized identity across web3.
Have you provided social media channels to the extent that we can confirm social proof of your project? :white_check_mark: YES. Some examples of our social proof are shared in the section below.

Social Credibility

One quick way to demonstrate our credibility is to refer to some of the specific people and organizations who have reviewed our work and voted to approve our funding request to become an official “ENS Service Provider”. You might be familiar with some of these names (in no particular order):

We’ve also received a number of positive public endorsements. Some examples can be found in this forum thread.

The above is just a summary of broad support we’ve received from the web3 community.

Discord Contact