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How to Claim a Name

If you own a name in the existing root zone or the Alexa top 100k, your name is waiting for you on the blockchain. You are able to claim it by publishing a DNSSEC ownership proof – a cryptographic proof that you own the name on ICANN’s system.

Your name must have a valid DNSSEC setup in order for the claim to be created. If you do not have DNSSEC set up, don’t worry – you can set it up after the handshake blockchain launches and proofs will still be accepted retroactively. Here’s some useful guides for setting DNSSEC up on popular DNS services:

If you run your own nameserver, you’re going to need some tools for managing keys and signing your zonefile. BIND has a number of command-line tools for accomplishing this:

First, we need to create a TXT record which we will sign in our zone (say we own example.com for instance):

The txt field is what we need: it includes a commitment to a handshake address we want the name to be associated with, along with a fee that we’re willing to pay the miner to mine our claim. This TXT record must be added to our name’s zone file and signed:

example.com. 1800 IN TXT "hns-claim:qnPxvMRKAAAAAAAA+4mmSeRmfY/8TOEF+ux4cu9H4M4OYKap5Y4LfMO7YUcAFBUOdex4+uplMqefKrIpsyZnyHPn"
example.com. 1800 IN RRSIG TXT 5 2 1800 20190615140933 20180615131108 ...

The RR name of the TXT record (example.com. in this case) must be equal to the name shown in the target field output by createclaim (note: case insensitive). Note that DNSSEC ownership proofs are a stricter subset of DNSSEC proofs: your parent zones must operate through a series of typical DS->DNSKEY referrals. No CNAMEs or wildcards are allowed, and each label separation (.) must behave like a zone cut (with an appropriate child zone referral).

The ZSK which signs our TXT record must be signed by our zone’s KSK. As per the typical DNSSEC setup, our zone’s KSK must be committed as a DS record in the parent zone.

Once our proof is published on the DNS layer, we can use sendclaim to crawl the relevant zones and create the proof.

This will create and broadcast the proof to all of your peers, ultimately ending up in a miner’s mempool. Your claim should be mined within 5-20 minutes. Once mined, you must wait 400 blocks before your claim is considered “mature”.

Once the claim has reached maturity, you are able to bypass the auction process by calling sendupdate on your claimed name.

Creating a proof by hand

If you already have DNSSEC setup, you can avoid publishing a TXT record publicly by creating the proof locally. This requires that you have direct access to your zone-signing keys. The private keys themselves must be stored in BIND’s private key format (v1.3) and naming convention.

We use [bns] for this task, which includes a command-line tool for creating ownership proofs.

The above will output a hex string which can then be passed to the RPC:

See a mistake? Open a pull request.