Creating a Namespace

Making a namespace is very expensive. Given the large amount of cryptocurrency at stake in name creation, developers wanting to create their own namespaces should read Understand Namespaces first. You should also read this document thoroughly before creating a namespace.

Creation process

There are four steps to creating a namespace.

Step 1. Send a NAMESPACE_PREORDER transaction

This step registers the salted hash of the namespace with BNS nodes, and burns the requisite amount of cryptocurrency. Additionally, this step proves to the BNS nodes that user has honored the BNS consensus rules by including a recent consensus hash in the transaction (see the section on BNS forks for details).

Step 2. Send a NAMESPACE_REVEAL transaction

This second step reveals the salt and the namespace ID (pairing it with its NAMESPACE_PREORDER). It reveals how long names last in this namespace before they expire or must be renewed, and it sets a price function for the namespace that determines how cheap or expensive names its will be.

The price function takes a name in this namespace as input, and outputs the amount of cryptocurrency the name will cost. The function does this by examining how long the name is, and whether or not it has any vowels or non-alphabet characters. The namespace creator has the option to collect name registration fees for the first year of the namespace’s existence by setting a namespace creator address.

Step 3. Seed the namespace with NAME_IMPORT transactions

Once a namespace is revealed, the user has the option to populate it with a set of names. Each imported name is given both an owner and some off-chain state. This step is optional; Namespace creators are not required to import names.

Step 4. Send a NAMESPACE_READY transaction

The final step of the process launches the namespace and makes the namespace available to the public. Once a namespace is launched, anyone can register a name in it if they pay the appropriate amount of cryptocurrency. Again, the appropriate amount is according to the price function revealed in step 2.

Consensus rules and competition for namespaces

Namespaces are created on a first-come first-serve basis. The BNS consensus rules require a NAMESPACE_REVEAL to be paired with a previous NAMESPACE_PREORDER sent within the past 24 hours. If two people try to create the same namespace, the one that successfully confirms both the NAMESPACE_PREORDER and NAMESPACE_REVEAL wins. The fee burned in the NAMESPACE_PREORDER is spent either way.

Once a user issues the NAMESPACE_PREORDER and NAMESPACE_REVEAL, they have 1 year before they must send the NAMESPACE_READY transaction. If they do not do this, then the namespace they created disappears (along with all the names they imported).

Pairing the NAMESPACE_PREORDER and NAMESPACE_REVEAL steps is designed to prevent frontrunning. Frontrunning is a practice where name registrar uses insider information to register domains for the purpose of re-selling them or earning revenue from them. By registering the domains, the registrar locks out other potential registrars. Thus, through this pairing, a malicious actor cannot watch the blockchain network and race a victim to claim a namespace.

Explore the namespace creation history

If you would like to navigate a namespace history, you can. To do this, do the following:

  1. Query a Blockstack Core server for a particular name.

    The format to query the Blockstack core server is:

    https://core.blockstack.org/v1/namespaces/NAMESPACE

    For example, the https://core.blockstack.org/v1/namespaces/id query returns this transaction history:

     {
      "address": "1KdDvp1DJ4EYUZc8savutRN4vv1ZwvGfQf", 
      "base": 4, 
      "block_number": 373601, 
      "buckets": "[6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0]", 
      "coeff": 250, 
      "history": {
        "373601": [
          {
            "address": "1KdDvp1DJ4EYUZc8savutRN4vv1ZwvGfQf", 
            "block_number": 373601, 
            "burn_address": "1111111111111111111114oLvT2", 
            "consensus_hash": "17ac43c1d8549c3181b200f1bf97eb7d", 
            "op": "*", 
            "op_fee": 4000000000, 
            "opcode": "NAMESPACE_PREORDER", 
            "preorder_hash": "9f1ad5039dbdabc2d98a87486ae1c478f03cd564", 
            "sender": "76a914cc4c07c0ef988b7bae982ce1ece51615258a15e388ac", 
            "sender_pubkey": "047c7f6d1f71780ccd373a7d2a020a1aeb7d47639e86fe951f5ba23a9ca8d6f7cfb03ed7ca411b22fa5244b9998d27d9c7bf7f0603f1997d1c7b3dc5a9b342c554", 
            "token_fee": "0", 
            "token_units": "BTC", 
            "txid": "5f00b8e609821edd6f3369ee4ee86e03ea34b890e242236cdb66ef6c9c6a1b28", 
            "vtxindex": 178
          }
        ], 
        ...
    }
    
  2. Copy a txid (transaction id) from the json.

    For example, the NAMESPACE_PREORDER in this case has a txid of 5f00b8e609821edd6f3369ee4ee86e03ea34b890e242236cdb66ef6c9c6a1b28.

  3. Provide the id in a query to a blockchain explorer such as Blockchain.com or similar.

    For example, a search on Blockchain returns this page of information.