Chainlink (LINK), in partnership with a video game called War Riders, has introduced human readable Ethereum (ETH) names. These names will use a different approach than the Ethereum Name Service, or ENS.
Removing friction for newcomers
War Riders employs blockchain elements like non-fungible tokens which represent in-game items. It also has its own native cryptocurrency (BZN) that the gamers mine while playing. However, as with all such games, there is a certain amount of friction that gamers must overcome. For example, Ethereum wallets have long alpha-numeric addresses and hashes instead of simple names. This may present an unfriendly challenge to non-crypto native gamers.
Source: War Riders.
Having the ability to use human readable names instead is handy and makes entry barriers less daunting. Unlike ENS, which is fully decentralized and involves registration and upkeep costs, this newly proposed hybrid solution would be absolutely free for gamers:
“Our system is partially off-chain (the linking part) and the linked ETH address can be changed by the user at will and doesn’t cost anything. Our system retains the benefits of on-chain security while gaining off-chain scalability and lower costs when doing crypto transfers”, explained to Cointelegraph War Riders CEO Vlad Kartashov.
A hybrid solution relying on Chainlink oracles
The fact that it is not fully decentralized makes the proposed system a “hybrid solution”. Users must instead rely on the robustness and security of Chainlink’s oracles. At a very basic level, the solution creates a database of linked pairs: wallet and name. Calls to this database are then routed through Chainlink nodes:
“So users create their own accounts and they sort of set a proxy to that username that verifies their Ethereum wallet. And any time you want to call this username, that username will be automatically resolved to their linked wallet by the Chainlink oracle.”
According to Kartashov the solution does not need to be limited to War Riders. In the future, it may be employed by other projects as well:
“Everyone can use it right now and right now is just an alpha phase and we're not very open, but it is already live on the main net.”
Chainlink recently introduced a grant program aimed at accelerating smart contract adoption. The gaming space was named as one of its key areas of interest.