The Cardano network gets a boost thanks to ADA Handle and its human-readable wallet address function. Rather than interact using a random-looking string of alphanumeric characters, ADA Handle facilitates custom addresses that are easy to remember and user-friendly to boot.
The firm launched its “NFT-powered” naming service earlier this week, and user feedback has been positive. However, as of yet, centralized exchanges do not recognize the custom addresses.
Cardano gets a naming service
Custom addresses offer a simple and elegant solution to transacting. ADA Handle co-founder Calvin Koepke says centralized legacy payment providers, such as Venmo and Cashapp, offer this via @ usernames, making it easy to identify a user.
But Koepke points out that users do not own that username or associated data. The ADA Handle system is different; it uses non-fungible tokens (NFTs) secured by an in-house PolicyID, allowing standardization and portability across dApps.
“A major downside of centralized platforms is that they own your data. While you may achieve a unique username on Venmo, you do not truly own that valuable username.”
The data is stored on-chain, meaning anyone with a Cardano node can query it. However, the team is working on a public API system to simplify the query lookup process.
Users can choose a handle of up to 15 characters, including three special characters: a dash, underscore, and full stop. Pricing follows a one-off payment based on a five-tiered system, depending on the length of the handle:
- Legendary (1 character, 39 total): Auction Only
- Ultra Rare (2 characters, 1,521 total): 500 $ADA
- Rare (3 characters, 59,319 total): 100 $ADA
- Common (4–7 characters, 140,842,288,080 total): 50 $ADA
- Basic (8–15 characters, 753,789,555,901,817,000,000,000 total): 10 $ADA
More information is available at this link if you’re interested in minting your own handle.
How does this differ from Ethereum Naming Service?
Ethereum pioneered the concept of naming addresses with the Ethereum Naming Service (ENS). It also operates using NFTs, but because the smart contracts on which they run expire, a yearly charge is payable to retain the name.
“The cost, as of this writing, is $5 in ETH per year for 5+-character .eth names—more for scarcer three- or four-character .eth names—plus Ethereum gas fees.”
ADA Handle says its handles run as native assets on the Cardano mainchain. This means it operates without smart contracts, offering a secure and reliable service without renewal fees.
“This means we don’t require smart contracts for address routing, ensuring that even in the event of an unlikely smart contract bug, routing will always be accurate — 100% of the time.”
What’s more, ADA Handle is keen to point out that its service is future-proof and will evolve as the Cardano ecosystem expands. This takes the form of metadata functionality built in to accommodate future innovations.
Although handles are not compatible with centralized exchanges, Bitrue teased the possibility of adopting the technology on Tuesday.
— Bitrue (@BitrueOfficial) March 15, 2022