Onename to Blockstack

Our portfolio company Blockstack, which was the subject of a video I posted here last week, started out as Onename.

Onename is a distributed identity system, kind of like Facebook Auth, built on the blockchain.

I wrote about Onename a few times here on AVC back in 2014 and I suspect some of you registered onenames.

If you have a Onename that you like to use on the Internet, you have to import it to Blockstack before November 11th, or you will lose it.

To do that, you have to download and install Blockstack on your computer and then log into the Blockstack browser and import your Onename.

Instructions how to do all of that are here.

I like to use the same userid everywhere. So this sort of thing is important to me.

If it is important to you too, then I suggest you take the time to do all of that in the next week.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Muneeb Ali

    Blockstack is a new internet for decentralized apps. Users just need to register a single username on it and it works with all websites and apps. These names are internally implemented as domain names; so they expire after a few years.Onename is a registrar (like GoDaddy) for the Blockstack network. The names people register from it get registered in the .id namespace. I have for example.The Blockstack Browser is a new product that makes users less dependent on registrars like the Onename service. You can transfer your name/domain to your Blockstack browser or register a new one from the browser. You can think of this username as your universal ID on the new internet. You own it. You register it once and it works on all apps/websites without passwords.The browser is still in public alpha and is being actively developed. So far mostly developers who’re building apps have used it. You might experience some issues as super early users, please report them on our Github or forum — thanks!

    1. Rob Underwood

      I did my transfer last week and it was pretty seamless. Excited to see where this goes and what gets built.

      1. Ryan Shea

        Great to hear Rob, we’re glad you had a great experience and we’re improving the experience and power of Blockstack every day.

        1. Rob Underwood

          I just wish I could invest in your token sale — but I am a NYS state resident.

    2. Mike Sheppard

      Are “i-names” incorporated into onename via the long family history ofthis identity system? A little research suggests the answer is “Yes.” Iestablished my i-name in ’05. Thanks.

      1. Muneeb Ali

        Blockstack currently doesn’t support i-names. A lot of our work around standardization of identity protocols got turned into a non-profit foundation along with Microsoft and other players: up support for i-names is relevant for that and I’ll bring it up in an upcoming meeting. Thanks,

        1. Mike Sheppard

          Thank you

    3. Pranay Srinivasan

      Yea but you guys penalize Old Users who forgot their passwords. Absolutely ZERO way to retrieve my OneName ID and I abandoned it all.

  2. jason wright

    I’m confused about this. I received the blockstack email about needing to make the transfer by the deadline. However it only referenced the first name I registered, back in 2014. I registered one or two more between 2015 and 2017. Do they also have to be transferred by the deadline?

    1. Muneeb Ali

      Names expire 2 years after registration. We autorenewed everyone earlier and this time we’re encouraging people to transfer to the new Blockstack browser (and you’ll auto renew while transferring).Anyone whose name is expiring soon will receive an email from us. Not all names are expiring on Nov 11th, it depends on when you registered. You can use https://explorer.blockstack… to check when a certain name expires.

      1. jason wright

        thanks Muneeb. Fred’s post gave me the impression that 11th November is the deadline date to transfer any and all registrations from onename to the browser, which i wasn’t quite sure to be absolutely clear, you have sent an email to the registrant for each of their .id registrations that need to be transferred before 11th November, and you will be sending similar emails for registrations that come up for renewal after 11th November nearer the time that those registrations need to be transferred. is that it in a nutshell?also, after making the .id transfer will the registrant receive a confirmation email, or is confirmation only by looking up the .id on the explorer? how long typically does it take for the transfer to be confirmed on the blockchain?additionally (phew), when registering for the token sale will the registrant receive an email confirming that the process was completed successfully? so far i’ve received no emails for an .id transfer or the token sale registration. is that what to expect? thank you.p.s. and when transferring more than one .id to the browser do i click ‘reset’ after each one is transferred to then be able to transfer the next registration? i don’t lose any critical data when i click reset do i? thxp.p.s. on checking the explorer i get a block number for the future renewal date of a .id. Is there a way to estimate the calendar date that the block will be created/ forged/ mined? block numbers in isolation are a little bit abstract. it’s not clear when the date will be. thx yet again 🙂

  3. OurielOhayon :)do they plan to be an ENS-like too?

    1. Ryan Shea

      Nice Ouriel. FYI you can use this page to link to your ID: https://explorer.blockstack….ENS is very cool and Blockstack’s BNS (the blockchain name system) has many things in common with it. And Blockstack has actually been around for longer than ENS. It has more years running in production and has some very interesting features like subdomains that can be truly owned by the end user (via cryptographic guarantees).

      1. OurielOhayon

        nice! i did not know you had BNS. can it route to BTC wallet address too? ENS is only for ETH/ERC 20. Btw ENS has subdomains….not an issue there…

        1. Ryan Shea

          Yup! You can use it for many things, including pointing to wallet addresses.ENS subdomains aren’t owned by the user. The domain can revoke them or change at any time. There’s a pretty substantial difference there. It’s more like getting a Twitter handle than a domain. The same is true for the traditional DNS but with BNS we’ve introduced a way for you to receive un-revoke-able and unchangeable subdomains from a parent domain.

          1. OurielOhayon

            can you please reach out privately? it looks my ID account has been reset to zero?

          2. OurielOhayon

            ignore. there seem to be some lag…now appears fine…Yes you re right about the ENS. Nice to BNS. looking forward to learn more (for my upcoming project). Can BNS be used simulatenously for ETH and BTC?

          3. Ryan Shea

            Yes it works with both. Would love to hear more about your project.

          4. OurielOhayon

            would it work for both simultaneously? (ie would serve as a BNS for my BTC and ETH without additional changes/set up?)

      2. OurielOhayon

        how do you route to that page above? i find no settings on your app?

  4. Ryan Shea

    Thanks Fred for spreading the word about this upgrade and the need to migrate if the ID you registered through Onename is expiring.The cool thing about Onename is that the ID you registered is an identity on a new decentralized internet we’re building called Blockstack. It’s the first ID you truly own. And it gives you access to apps that let you own your data. This all happens without requiring permission for Facebook or Google or Verisign and isn’t subject to anyone’s control.You can think of Onename as the first registrar that was built on the platform. But now we’ve come out with an even better option that allows you to register an ID on your own device and not even have to trust or rely upon an external registrar – the Blockstack Browser.You can transfer the Blockstack ID you registered via Onename into the Blockstack Browser, where there’s a whole new world of apps that’s developing. It’s still in the early days and the real amazing apps will be coming soon (check out the signature bounty for a token portfolio app we launched).Download it here: and please email us at [email protected] if you have any questions or issues with the transfer process. We’re in an early release so there are still some bugs and UX issues to iron out but we’re here to help.My co-founder Muneeb’s comment on this page gives a good summary of Blockstack as well so check that out when you get a chance.

  5. DJL

    It makes sense now. I registered my Onename a long time ago (when the UI was a but clunky) I may just start from scratch.This is one of the top 3 problems in cyber security. Good luck to the team. There are a couple of other crypto-based authentication players (Civic and Sony just applied for a patent on a crypto-based authentication scheme), so I would be interested to hear about the differentiation. (will read the comments)

    1. Ryan Shea

      Hy DJL, you can start from scratch but also we’d be happy to help you out with the transfer process – just drop us an email at [email protected].

  6. Rick Mason

    I registered a name after reading your original blog post. I don’t recall ever learning that my name needed to be renewed every two years. I received the email last week telling me that my name was expiring without my action.While the email told me how to go about the renewal they left out the most important part and that’s why. I wrote them for more information and never received a reply. Writing something like this blog post would have resulted in a much higher renewal rate.

    1. DJL

      I think the guys still need some help in the usability department.

      1. Muneeb Ali

        Thanks for the feedback! Our softwares hides a lot of the complexity of blockchains and we’re actively iterating on the UX. The new browser should be a lot better than the experience earlier but we’re no where close to being done.Feedback from early adopters like AVC readers helps a lot and we really appreciate the feedback.

        1. DJL

          More than happy to provide feedback. I am pretty deep in this space and like the intersection of crypto and authentication. A perfect pairing if done right. However, anything that involves “end users” has to be near perfect for widespread adoption.

          1. Muneeb Ali

            Great to hear! We have links to all relevant community chat channels, forums, meetups etc at

    2. Ryan Shea

      Hi Rick, thanks for the feedback here and apologies – we’re improving our communication around this and definitely hear your feedback. A blog post around this could go a long way and we’ll make sure to send out more information. Also apologies you haven’t received a reply, surprised we missed that. We’ll check our support and circle back. Feel free to email us at [email protected] anytime and we’ll help you with anything you need.

      1. Rick Mason

        Actually Ryan that’s the address I wrote [email protected] and never received an answer. Explaining the why would go a long way.

        1. Ryan Shea

          You’re absolutely write and I apologize for this. I’m investigating how this got missed and will get back to you shortly.

          1. Ryan Shea

            Hi Rick, looking through our records and confirmed that we got back to you right away but sorry that we didn’t follow up on the thread a second time. The email might have been caught in your spam but we can shoot you a second email and pick up the thread. Also let us know if there’s anything we can do for you.

          2. Rick Mason

            Ryan,Just checked my spam filter and I never received your first email. But I did hear back from you after posting on here today.

  7. Pete Griffiths

    Does having one easily recognizable name give rise to a security problem?I have the same name on multiple email accounts but I am getting concerned about it.

    1. Ryan Shea

      I imagine you’re concerned about correlation? I wouldn’t say this should be your primary concern as the software out there for correlation is extremely powerful.In our view, the solution is to exit from the system. Move into a world of apps where there aren’t scripts that can track you and where your data isn’t stored on other people’s computers, waiting to be released by hackers.

  8. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:Muneeb Ali or Ryan Shea:Is Domain (Id) onename squatting permitted?Godaddy denied doing it but we have put false searches for available domain names went to checkout then stopped. Returned next day and it was being auctioned.Coincidence.. Unlikely..

    1. Ryan Shea

      Hi with a decentralized, permission-less system with blockstack anyone can squat. That said, with Onename we won’t front-run anyone’s registrations. And with the Blockstack Browser we simply cannot front-run them as nothing goes through our servers or our database.

  9. Dayna Gant

    I’m still not sure my transfer happened. I really would like to use daynagant as my user name. I believe that’s what I registered at Onename. And it appears that I also registered dayna. Should work with support? We met last week at the USV meeting.

    1. Muneeb Ali

      Hi, Dayna! We’re jumping into support to see what’s going on. I’m sure you’ve already emailed [email protected] but please do if you haven’t already.It was great chatting with you and hope you enjoyed the presentation. You should also try out the new product, the Blockstack browser: send any feedback. We’re actively iterating over the user experience. Our software hides a lot of complexity related to blockchains, decentralization, and cryptography and we want to make the user experience better with each iteration.

      1. Dayna Gant

        I have downloaded the browser. And I’ll email support now. Thanks for getting back to me.

  10. William Mougayar

    It would be great to see many apps use the Blockstack identity protocol.

    1. Ryan Shea

      Yes! When apps build on Blockstack they can use the auth system to plug into user-owned identity and storage and eventually tokens.

      1. William Mougayar

        Do you have a list of those on your website?

        1. Ryan Shea

          Yes we have this diagram on the home page of that features all three:

  11. Stephen D.

    I’m having a hell of a time trying to install it on Linux Mint…having to figure out how to install docker first and configure from the command line, no tutorial files, installing an .sh instead of a .deb from the command line…from the linux side this looks still very early adopter to me.

      1. Stephen D.

        Thanks, until it works on Ubuntu/Mint this feature would be really useful to allow me to keep my ID which I’ve had since 2014.I’ve joined the support forums to figure out why it’s not working with others having the same issue, and look forward to a .deb file install 🙂

  12. kenberger

    I remember when onename started, you’d promised to send me a little bit of bitcoin to to test it out. In retrospect, i really wish I’d reminded you more than once!

  13. Chris Phenner

    Odd, personal story about identity, and why I love this.I was adopted in The State of Illinois in 1972; I am very lucky.I never saw my birth certificate until I was 25, after I met my birthmom. She had never seen a copy of it, and she asked me to request a copy (a form of ‘closure,’ I suspect).At that time the State of Illinois has a field on one’s birth certificate that is titled:’Legitimate?’Since I was born out of wedlock, the answer in that field for me is ‘No.’As if I had any say in that answer 🙂 Here’s to self-directed Legitimacy.

  14. jason wright

    So one or two problems with this process, but Jack Z at Blockstack is helping me out. Good support Jack. Thumbs up.