What Is The Nextcoin (NXT) Alias System?

In this 3rd video from a two-hour long interview that Leon Fu and I had with one of the most popular Nextcoin (NXT) ambassador in the crypto currency world, we speak with Aaron who goes by the display name “Anon136” on BitcoinTalk.org.

In this video, we will discuss another revolutionary feature of the Nextcoin (NXT) protocol known as the NXT Alias System which allows one series of text to be replaced with another series of more user friendly text.

Understanding The NXT Alias System
By “Utopianfuture”

I also want to include a re-formatted description of how the Nextcoin (NXT) Alias System can be used in the real world by Nextcoin.org forum moderator & Nextcoin (NXT) Ambassador, utopianfuture, below:

The Nextcoin (NXT) Alias System allows one piece of text to be substituted for another, so that keywords or key phrases
can be used to represent other things – names, telephone numbers, physical addresses, web sites, account numbers,
email addresses, product SKU codes… almost anything you can think of.  (quoted from Nxt Wiki)

To me, the Nextcoin (NXT) Alias System can be used in a number of ways, including:

First, it could be used to name your account.

So when a person wants to send you Nxt, you may not need to tell him your full account number, you just need to let him know your cool alias for that account.

This feature can be incorporated into the Nxt soft client when we have a full feature Nxt client.  Furthermore, when the Nextcoin (NXT) Arbitrary Messaging System is being implemented, you can send secure arbitrary text directly to other aliases.

Second, a potentially more interesting use is that the Nextcoin (NXT) Alias System can act as a gateway to the Internet.

In the future instead of typing www.google.com into the browser, you can type nxt:google and it could lead you to the Google search engine if the owner of Google alias decides to point the destination of the Google alias to the Google homepage.

Being a gateway to internet could bring a lot of value to the Nxt Alias System.

Furthermore, here are five 5 ways the Nextcoin (NXT) Alias System will provide real world monetary value:

1. A Nxt alias could be an easy gateway to a more obscure website on the Internet.

Good domain names in internet aren’t cheap. If you want to own “insure.com”, it would cost you 16 millions. There are more than 50 domain names that cost more than 1 millions dollar and if you want just a decent domain name for your business, you can expect to spend at least several thousand dollars on it.

Now you can have a very nice Nxt alias for 1 Nxt such as “BeefJerky”.  This Nxt alias could lead directly to your “thebestbeefjerkyintheword.com”.

Furthermore, Nxt users searching for the term “beef jerky” would be more likely to search and stumble upon your alias and go to your “BeefJerky” website.

2. A Nxt alias can have a value since you own the right to produce information for that particular alias.

For example, if you own the alias “ObamaCare”.

You can auction the alias and there are at least two groups of people (such as supporters and distractors of ObamaCare) who want to control that alias so they can produce different type of information for the destination of alias ObamaCare.

Similarly if you own the Google alias, there is a non-zero chance Google would like to buy that alias from you in the future because Google does not want people to see
all kinds of garbage you can put there when people search for “nxt:google” in their browser.

3.  I believe Nxt aliases can have collectible value.

People hunt, trad exotic stamps, baseball cards, magic gathering,  etc. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Batman alias ? I think so. I think people would pay to have a nice and desirable alias (perhaps) for bragging rights and/or speculation purposes.

And again, you control the right to put information into the alias, so the collectible value is definitely
there because the aliases are a scarce resource.

4.  A Nxt alias can also be used to express a personal identity or a personal business which can be used to name your account or to point it to your personal picture, telephone.

Some simple aliases such as “SweetJenny” can have a value and perhaps it will not be a $10,000 alias, but it still has some value due to scarcity.

5.  A small case can be made to incorporate Nxt payments into some aliases. For example if you own
the alias “Amazon”, you can create a payment system so that if users who want to shop at Amazon and pay in Nxt
can go to your “nxt:amazon” and do that.   This will also work for other retailers such as Ebay, Target etc.,

So I definitely think the Nextcoin (NXT) Alias System is a very interesting feature and the Nxt alias market will be booming when the alias transfer function is implemented.

At this time you cannot do much with your Nxt aliases.  You can’t really go to your browser typing “nxt:news” and expect to see something yet.

However, the feature will come gradually in stages including:

  • At first the alias destination will be accessed via the Nxt client.
  • Then plugins for popular browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer will be introduced so that you can type the search term, “nxt:news” directly there.
  • Lastly, when the Nxt network becomes popular. The browsers can incorporate these plugins natively so even the least tech savvy person can still access the Nextcoin (NXT) Alias System.

At this point a nice Nxt alias can fetch a huge value. I would expect some of the most expensive Nxt aliases to easily reach the range of $10,000.

So why dont we login to the Nxt client and start buying some more aliases?

NXT Alias System – FAQ

Here are some common questions about the Nextcoin (NXT) Alias System:

1. Where are aliases stored? The blockchain?

Yes

2. What happens when some bad guy wants to create 1 terrabyte of aliases? Do we end up with a massive blockchain being passed around?

A couple of things here:

  • The number of aliases is technically limited because you have to pay 1 Nxt to create one.  With that said, the size of a blockchain containing that many would be significant.
  • The fact that there is a cost to creating an alias is an inhibitor.  To create 500,000 aliases, you need 500,000Nxt to spend, which would cost you (at current rates) at least $25,000.   Why would someone spend tens of thousands to bloat a blockchain?
  • About a year from now, one of the “secret sauce” features being added to Nxt is called “Blockchain Shrinking“.  It is designed to reduce the blockchain size by (I think) having pieces of it (perhaps made up of all-spent transactions?) stored on “Service Provider” nodes.

3) If aliases are stored on a central server, what security measures are taken to prevent that alias from being hacked? For instance, someone changing a URL to a malware URL?

They aren’t centralized.  In fact, the Nxt developers are rabid about making sure NOTHING in Nxt is centralized.  Including the management and development.

4)  I don’t understand the name=value approach with aliases. I mean, if it were me, I’d make it such that I can take my receive ID and alias it with an easy-to-type phrase like “nxtmeup”. So, someone could send money to “nxtmeup” instead of me having to recall my receive ID. Instead, aliases appear to be just a translation of name=value, where name can be anything, and value can be anything, and somehow it has no bearing against your receive ID — what’s the point of that?

Nxt aliases are ideally set up as URIs.  There is even some debate in the community about using aliases to store JSON objects, since those are just text structures.  The implications of this are massive.  Only at the most basic level lies the notion of mapping an account number to a nice readable username.

Use of URIs means you can specify a protocol associated with any string of text.  Currently-used URIs include methods for specifying web addresses, file transfer methods, email addresses, etc.

Using a JSON structure means that you could store all kinds of structured data — everything from full “contact information” to a list of multiple addresses for file mirrors, to full DNS records that don’t rely on any central naming authority….well, the possibilities are endless.

The developers were SMART to specify only that the Nextcoin (NXT) Alias System consists of an alias and an associated string of text.

What gets built on top is up to the community, and several developers are already salivating at the prospects.

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2.  If you would like to donate to Aaron’s (aka – Anon136) research efforts in the crypto currency world, you are welcome to send him donations directly at the following addresses:

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