A new protocol is hoping to make peer-to-peer transactions between various wallets and cryptocurrencies simpler for users. 

FIO Protocol, which launched its mainnet chain on March 26, provides users with interoperable domain names instead of the strings of 26-35 alphanumeric characters that make up blockchain addresses. 

An acronym for the “Foundation For Interwallet Operability,” the FIO protocol is live on Trust Wallet and is in the process of integrating with several popular wallet providers — including Edge, Guarda, Scatter, Atomic, Mycelium and Anchor.

Rather than integrating directly with blockchains, the project offers a decentralized and open-source “usability layer” that integrates with services from the 28 members in its consortium, such as wallet providers and crypto exchanges.

The latter so far include ShapeShift and a number of lesser-known trading platforms.

Does crypto need more simplicity to drive adoption?

FIO’s idea is that hard-to-remember, unique public blockchain addresses still present an obstacle for users looking to easily transact multiple cryptocurrencies peer-to-peer. 

Prior to its mainnet going live last month, the foundation auctioned close to 2,000 FIO domains and over 7,500 FIO addresses, which will be valid for one year after mainnet launch.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, David Gold — the founder and CEO of Dapix, the firm behind FIO Protocol, explained the function of these, outlining that:

“A single FIO Domain can be used to construct many FIO Addresses similar to how there are many gmail email addresses on the gmail domain. Crypto wallets/exchanges can then enable users to register a FIO Address on top of their public domain. For example, I might have cryptofan@binance or cryptofan@trustwallet if binance or trust wallet enabled FIO Address registration on those domains. “

These domains and addresses are structured as non-fungible tokens, Gold explained, so that users can exercise control over these domains in a “decentralized self sovereign manner.”

Users prove their ownership of domains and addresses using their corresponding FIO Private Key, so that no personal information is required. 

Alongside its offer of simplified domain names, the protocol supports features such as a P2P request-for-payment functionality. The feature is ostensibly securely encrypted and private — i.e. only readable by the two involved parties. FIO also enables users to include private metadata — such as “money for rent” — to tag their peer-to-peer transactions.

In fall 2019, Binance Labs had led a $5.7 million Series A funding round for Dapix to support the layer’s mainnet launch.

Hiding the cryptography behind crypto

As previously reported, a number of blockchain projects have launched products that aim to simplify the user experience by removing the need to use alphanumeric wallet addresses.

These include Spanish wallet Easypaysy, the Ethereum Name Service for Ether (ETH) payments, and Bitcoinwallet.com from as early as 2014.

The CEO of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, has meanwhile patented a system that would enable users to transact Bitcoin (BTC) directly using email.