Since launching Radix’s first-ever grants program in December, the projects participating in this round have made incredible progress along their journeys to becoming core builders in the Radix ecosystem.
Each week RDX Works will dive into the team behind the project, the journey to their Radix revelation, and what makes their project unique. So, without further ado, here’s all you need to know about XRD Domains: A Web3 domain registry.
What is XRD Domains?
XRD Domains is a project that aims to make the process of managing domains on the Radix network as simple and user-friendly as possible. Think of it as the GoDaddy for Web3. XRD Domains is the primary developer of the Radix Name Service (RNS), which is a domain registry and trust layer running on Radix.
The XRD Domains platform is designed with optimal user experience (UX) in mind so that even users new to Web3 can easily use their domains and integrations. The goal is to create a Web3 experience similar to Zapier, where users can easily add integrations to specific domains within the domain management panel.
In the medium term, XRD Domains plans to introduce community ownership and additional functionality to the platform. The team plans to avoid the structural mistakes made by other projects, such as the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), by setting up a Foundation that allows the community to have a say in the direction of the RNS from the beginning. Since a project layer of this size requires continuous development and management, the RNS plans to implement a DAO and sub-DAOs to ensure perpetual progress and adaptability in the changing Web3 space.
During this time, XRD Domains will also focus on developing new concepts and features, such as insignias, which will add a new layer of functionality and benefits to the Web3 address book. The addition of these features will incentivize integrations, increase user trust and safety for integrated projects, and ultimately lead to more opportunities and increased adoption of the RNS as a whole.
In addition, XRD Domains plans to add user-friendly layers to powerful features of the Radix Name Service, such as insignias, which provide a trusted gauge for the services that Web3 users are consuming and with which they are transacting. This will help Web3 users better understand the level of trust associated with their services without having to understand or disseminate the technicalities under the hood.
In the long term, XRD Domains aims not only to create an ecosystem compatible with Radix but also to become a UX-optimized, trust-enhancing go-to for dApps and users outside of Radix. Although the team fully believes in the potential of Radix as a technology and enabler of DeFi, they aspire to create an interoperable platform that users can use in any crypto ecosystem.
With Radix's strong selling points and the organic migratory process that takes place over time, existing solidity devs and other players in the Web3 ecosystem may consider integrating with the RNS. By providing a trustworthy and safe endpoint for all, the RNS has the potential to increase awareness of Radix and provide a gateway for users to migrate to the platform.
XRD Domains is targeting a wide range of users, including all Web3 users who conduct peer-to-peer transactions, multifaceted Web3 businesses, and even Web2 users who currently find the Web3/crypto space overwhelming and untrustworthy.
By providing a user-friendly platform for managing domains on the Radix network, XRD Domains is making it easier for users to participate in the Web3 ecosystem with confidence.
What makes XRD Domains different?
XRD Domains sets itself apart from other naming services, such as the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), through its innovative features and user-friendly interface. XRD Domains offers a range of features that blow other naming services out of the water.
One of these features is Insignias, which serves as proof of the relationship between an organization, group, authorities, and domains, providing a secure layer of trust on the network.
Insignias are DeFi-enabled, meaning assurance can be issued like Web2 certificate assurance. What's unique about Insignias is that members of an organization or group can inherit levels of assurance simply by being inscribed by an insignia authority.
Similar to SSL certificate assurance in the Web2 ecosystem, the insignias feature of XRD domains will enable underwriters to provide insurance for domains, both traditional and parametric. This opens up the possibility of a sub-ecosystem filled with permissionless domain insurance liquidity providers.
Additionally, this feature will contribute to the trust scores of a domain.
The more insurance or assurance a domain has, the greater the trust the underwriters have in the services and activities provided by the domain. As a result, consumers of the domain will have more trust in it and be protected against potential financial losses arising from errors in the DeFi or Web3 ecosystem.
Another unique feature offered by XRD Domains is Trust Scores. These scores are displayed to users via optimized tooltips before they take any action via a domain, such as sending a payment or utilizing a smart contract.
Trust scores are determined by various metrics, such as the age of the current resolver, network reputation, and nexus (i.e., how close this contract or recipient is to the user or their peers).
Trust scores also feature a DeFi layer, allowing users to leverage collateralization via insurance or allocated locked assets to boost trust scores and user trust for a certain address or smart contract.
XRD Domains also offers multi-owner domains at base functionality, providing more flexibility for users and a DAO that allows direct interaction at a feature level. This means that users can report bad actors and flag domains, directly affecting trust scores and prompting user warnings.
In Web2, domains are managed by centralized entities like ICANN and IANA, but Web3 eliminates this centralization. The trust scores in Web3 are based on public ledger data, which is different from the fragmented data in Web2. The RNS team plans to use Web3's data and activity management to create a trust model that resembles a family tree called a "nexus." The insignia feature is not limited to Radix components and addresses; as it simply ingests strings, the service is primed for cross-chain integrations.
Insignias tie into trust scores and are essential to the trust model. They enable users and organizations to "inscribe" other domains, simplifying verifying users' authenticity, metadata, and authority within an organization. This is just one of many insignia features, and a knowledge base section will be created soon to provide more information.
While the RNS’s main competition is the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), XRD Domains sets itself apart by providing more innovative features and a user-friendly interface. The ENS was a small project in the early days, and not much thought was put into it. The RNS has the opportunity to carry forward all of the lessons learned to offer users a more comprehensive and robust solution.
Who are the founders?
The XRD.domains and Radix Name Service projects have multiple founders, each with their own unique history, motivation, and attitude.
James Wylie is the founder of XRD.domains and is driven by a desire to create positive and constructive communities and value within the Web3 space. He loves being creative, from the ideas stage to creating software. The DLT space has presented the perfect opportunity for fair equity, where project teams are fairly rewarded and incentivized, and communities are rewarded for adoption and trust.
James has been coding since the age of 13 and has developed and released multiple SaaS products in the late 2000s. He founded his first freelance venture at the age of 17, which grew into a successful software consulting company.
He has worked within a wide array of industries, including blue chips, startups, and the public sector. James was born and raised in a poverty-stricken area of South Wales, dropped out of school, and had no formal computing qualifications. However, he gained financial independence through software development and investing before age 30.
James has a "get shit done" attitude and believes in obtaining knowledge by looking things up on Google, YouTube, or Wiki. He is not completely money-oriented and lives by principles, but he acknowledges that every company has an obvious for-profit nature as incentives are directly tied to output, and longevity requires sustainability in the form of rewards to ensure the project marches forward.
The other founders of the Radix Name Service include Olivia, Rock, Faraz, Ibrahim (Beem), and Aled. Together, they bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the project.
They are all passionate about creating a fair and decentralized Web3 ecosystem and ensuring the longevity and adaptability of the project via mechanisms that provide project autonomy long after the initial development is complete.
How did the project get started?
The Radix Name Service project was started by six founders, many of whom were already active members of the Radix community. Some of the founders, including James Wylie and Faraz Abulhawa, had been long-time node runners in the community, while others, such as Liv and Aled, were new entrants to the world of Web3.
James Wylie, Beem, and Rock Howard first met as participants in the Foohack hackathon in 2022. They were all dedicated to the network and had been driving the Radix mission forward as Radix ambassadors and through additional Radix-based ventures. James, who had been involved with tech startups for the past decade, saw an opportunity in the Web3 space and approached each of the current founders with the proposal of creating a name service.
The idea for the Radix Name Service came about when James saw people using the .xrd domain on Twitter. He realized this was an obvious fit for Radix and that the UX could be improved and the feature set expanded.
XRD.domains was an obvious entry point to the RNS, as there were no UX-optimized service collections for data publication/management within Web3. All name services need services to run atop them. Otherwise, they are simply vanity mechanisms.
The founders chose Radix because it is the only DLT solution that meets their criteria for building resilient, secure, well-functioning, and scalable systems that are future-proofed. In other words, Radix provides a way to ensure longevity rather than constantly rebuilding to keep up with the latest standards. The Radix tech stack makes the dApp better than others, and it provides a weapon and utility for the DeFi world as it starts to unfold.
For more information on the project, head to the website, follow the project's official Twitter account or join the XRD Domains Discord channel.
To stay in the loop with the Radix Grants Program and be first to hear about updates on the upcoming cohort 2, join the developer program.