Process for fully shutting down the Onename registrar


Onename was a registrar service built on top of Blockstack by Blockstack PBC. With the release of client-side software, like the Blockstack browser and CLI, there was less need for a hosted registrar service where encrypted private keys had to be stored server-side. Using the latest client-side software to interact with Blockstack apps is more secure and better aligned with our vision for decentralized, secure apps.

We ended support for the Onename registrar over 2 years ago and provided a safe migration option to all users for a period of more than a year. Following the migration instructions, Onename users could transfer their usernames (registered as digital assets) to the Blockstack client software directly — we even paid transaction fees for all users for such migration. Once this migration finished and the remaining Onename usernames expired, we got ready to completely shutdown Onename. We did the following for expired (dead) usernames that were not migrated:

  • We created a new, separate namespace that ends in instead of the original one that ends in .id.
  • We registered a new username for them (a new digital asset) in this new namespace.
  • We emailed them the corresponding private key. The idea is that users have the option to start using apps using this new username but they’d transfer the username to a new address.

To be clear, this private key is NOT the original private key for your account, it’s meant as a temporary key to help users get started on the new software. While sending these via email is admittedly less than ideal in terms of security, we optimized for ease of use to help users to quickly get started and then transfer their new username to a key of their own.

There is no profile information or personally identifiable information attached to these new usernames and you can simply ignore these usernames if you don’t want them.

Also, for reference, if you directly register a new username using the on-boarding of the Blockstack client software, we do NOT email plain text keys. Instead, the recovery keys are encrypted with your password. This is the default path for new users to sign up, so this issue does NOT apply to the normal registration process.

Thanks a lot for pointing out any concerns with the process. Hope this description helps, please post any comments on the thread below — we really appreciate your feedback! :pray:

– Muneeb
CEO, Blockstack PBC

Blockstack Team Weekly Updates - Week 8 (Feb 18-24)

Thanks for sharing. This is the power of Blockstack’s design!!