[bitcoin-dev] Proposal: extend bip70 with OpenAlias

Riccardo Spagni ric at spagni.net
Mon Jul 27 22:46:50 UTC 2015

There are several reasons why we rejected doing it this way with OpenAlias:

1. It adds complexity for the alias creator. This may seem
unimportant, but the OpenAlias standard was created to empower people
to create their own aliases as simply as possible, not to make it
overly complex.

2. It's harder to mess things up by dropping a sub-record; you either
have the complete, valid record, or you don't. With a "tiered" system
you can claim that you support a particular alias, but then lack all
or some of the records for it.

3. You retain both forward and backwards compatibility (no need to
introduce a new OA version unnecessarily), as you can have an "old" KV
pair and a "new" KV pair within the same record. The addition of KV
pairs doesn't require the application to know the new pairs exist,
which makes it more extensible.

4. Even better - since an application gets the whole record it can
start off with a minimum viable product that merely gets the address,
and then at a later stage when support is added for additional
metadata *it already has the metadata* and can interpret it.

5. You can still do DNS delegation (proper, SOA delegation) or you can
do delegation via a KV pair of some sort (say, a reroute= pair or
something). In both cases delegation requires an additional lookup, so
there's nothing saved or improved with the two-tier system.

In this instance, as in many others, simplicity trumps complexity, and
the bonus is that the simpler solution is more extensible and


> Thinking about it, I think that it would be better to separate those two
> operations: on one hand, the listing of TXT records under a name, and on
> the other hand, the possibility to use Zone Delegation.
> For example, let us use the "_oa2" name (Openalias version 2) when we
> need to introduce an intermediate level, and "_oa2_keys" for key listing.
> Here is an example:
> _oa2_keys.sample      3600 IN TXT "btc ltc email fullname"
> _btc.sample           3600 IN TXT "bitcoinaddress"
> _ltc.sample           3600 IN TXT "litecoinaddress"
> _btc.sample           3600 IN TXT "otherbitcoinaddress"
> _email.sample         3600 IN TXT "john.smith at googlemail.com"
> _fullname.sample      3600 IN TXT "John Smith"
> Zone Delegation: Let us assume example.com wants to delegate all its
> Bitcoin aliases to Netki. We introduce an intermediate level, with the
> "_oa2" name. In the alias, this string is translated as "@"
> john._oa2.example.com        <--  will be looked up as john at example.com
> _btc.john._oa2.example.com   <--  bitcoin address of john at example.com

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