Solana Name Service: How to Create Your Own .SOL Domain
Solana Name Service (SNS) is a decentralized domain name service that allows users to create their own “.sol” domains. Launched in June 2021 Solana Name Service is an affordable and easy-to-use alternative to the Ethereum Name Service, which allows users to acquire “.eth” domains.
Solana Name Service is useful as it provides a decentralized, censorship-resistant, fast, and scalable way to register and manage domains on the Solana network. In addition, SNS domains can be easily integrated with other Solana-based services, including wallets, NFT platforms, and dApps.
For the creation of your unique “.sol” domain, you will only need a Solana wallet, around $20 worth of USDC, and a few minutes of your time.
In this article, we will explain the ins and outs of Solana Name Service in greater detail and teach you how to register your own .sol domain through a short step-by-step guide. We will proceed by listing the benefits of using Solana domains and then wrap up the article by pointing you to other Solana resources.
What is Solana Name Service?
Solana Name Service (SNS) is a decentralized naming system that allows users to register human-readable names that can be associated with Solana wallet addresses or other on-chain data.
SNS works in a similar way as the Domain Name System (DNS), which is the key domain system used for the internet, but with some unique features specific to Solana. By allowing users to create domains such as “coincodex.sol” or “johndoe.sol” and to associate them with their wallets, for example, SNS is making the Solana ecosystem a more convenient and user-friendly space.
In fact, long wallet addresses that are difficult to read and very easy to mistype have been identified as an important factor that is hindering cryptocurrency adoption. Hence by making Solana's environment less complex, the SNS could actually boost Solana adoption among less tech-savvy users and contribute to SOL being a good long-term investment.
As the name suggests, the SNS is built on top of Solana blockchain, which is associated with low gas fees, impressive scalability, and industry-leading TPS. In addition, Solana (and thereby also SNS) is governed by a decentralized community, making the service less prone to censorship and other single points of failure.
How to create .sol domain using Solana Name Service? A step-by-step guide
Creating a .sol domain through SNS is as easy as following a couple of easy steps. We’ll outline what you need to do to get your own .sol domain in the following sections.
1. Go to the Bonfida SNS homepage
To begin creating a Solana-based domain, you need to go to /naming.bonfida.org or simply search for “Solana Name Service” in your favorite search engine.
2. Connect your cryptocurrency wallet
Continue by clicking the “Connect Wallet” button in the top right corner of the website. The website should automatically detect available wallets. Continue to input your password and thus authorize the SNS to interact with your wallet.
3. Find your desired .sol domain
You can search for domains through the search bar that appears on the homepage.
Bonfida Solana Name Service homepage with the .sol domain search tool. (Image source: Bonfida)
For the purpose of this guide, we have selected a domain that is still free. In an optimal scenario, you will find out that your desired domain has not been claimed by another user yet. In case the domain of your choice has already been claimed, you can either immediately buy it from the current owner (only available if the owner has put the domain on sale) or make an offer to the owner of the domain.
In the latter case, you will have to wait until the owner decides to either accept or reject your offer. While the process takes a bit more time, it allows you to make an offer on any of the already claimed domains, even those not currently on sale.
4. Add your domain to the cart
Once you find a domain that you like and is available for purchase, click on the “Add to cart” button. Click “Continue to cart” to view items in your cart.
You can add more domains to your cart, as one can have an infinite number of domains registered to one wallet address.
5. Select account size
You should now be able to see the domain in your cart and underneath it will write “Storage 1kB'' with an “Edit” next to it. Clicking on “Edit” allows you to increase the maximum amount of data you can store on your domain up to 10kB. While 1kB is enough for most non-advanced users, make sure to do your research now as you will not be able to increase the data limit afterward.
In general, 10kB is suggested for advanced users who have a specific advanced use case in mind (such as IPFS website hosting, for example). Beware that increasing the size will slightly increase the costs of registration and could even incur rent in the future.
6. Checkout and complete your purchase
Currently, the price to purchase an unclaimed Solana domain is 20 USDC plus gas cost paid in SOL, which at the time of writing accounts for 0.008 SOL for the 1kB domain. In case you do not hold enough of these cryptocurrencies in your wallet, you should transfer crypto, conduct a token swap, or buy it with fiat.
The option to pay for the domain using other coins and tokens under "Choose token to pay with" is going to be made available soon. Review your order for the last time and click "Complete Purchase" to initiate a wallet transaction.
Congratulations, you are now an owner of your own Solana domain, and you should be able to see your address listed as the owner on the Bonfida webpage. In addition, you should be able to see the domain on the Solana Explorer when searching for your wallet address and clicking on the tab “Domains” – you can also use Solscan or any other top Solana explorers.
What are the benefits of using .sol domains?
There are numerous benefits of using .sol domains – we are going to outline the most important ones in the following sections.
No need to remember complex blockchain addresses
The biggest advantage of using a .sol domain is that a domain is usually significantly more memorable and intuitive to use than the string of 32 to 44 characters that you are currently using to identify your Solana wallet. This allows your friends, business partners, and others to send transactions, NFTs, or smart contracts your way much faster and with more reliability.
Furthermore, using a Solana domain as a Solana wallet identification is just one of the possible use cases. A domain can also point to other types of data, such as IPFS websites, images, text, and more.
Improved resistance to censorship
Decentralized and on-chain managed domains such as those on Solana are also much tougher to censor, which gives dApps a simple way to eliminate one of their most common single points of failure – their centralized and easily censorable domain. If Solana domains become supported by crucial domain registrars, a company (or an individual) that would use a domain ending with .sol will stand out among its competition.
Inexpensive to register
Perhaps also because Solana Domain Service is not recognized by most internet domain registrars yet, the entry price is currently very low – in fact, it is as low as $20. Nevertheless, this does not limit the usability of Solana domains inside the cryptocurrency sphere, let alone the Solana ecosystem, where these domains are natively supported.
A wide range of avalaiable domain names
Although some of the shortest and most popular domains have already been purchased, there is still an abundance of Solana domains left to be claimed. This comes in stark contracts to .com, .net, and other traditional domains, making it very difficult to register a new domain name that's unique or easy to remember.
The bottom line: Solana Name Service streamlines blockchain transactions
To conclude, Solana Name Service provides an affordable and easy-to-use solution to mapping on-chain data using “.sol” domain names. Creating a domain is as easy as following six simple steps in our how-to guide above.
To create or buy a domain, you will need a compatible cryptocurrency wallet, so this might be a good time to check the list of the best Solana wallets. For those who want to try out Solana on the testnet before dipping their toes in Solana’s mainnet applications, Solana faucets are a great starting point. In addition, you can check the pros and cons of investing in Solana if you are thinking about investing in the digital currency.
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