Vanitygen for Tezos

I’ve been thinking more about how the community should be thinking in terms of prepping for a larger network, especially as Tezos has become more ‘trending’ in every sense over the last week. This growth is only beginning and what we’ve seen is only part of the story. We’ve seen price-resiliency increased attention but we should expect 10x to 100x as many more people participating in Tezos from not only buying Tez but by choosing a baker (delegation service) as well.

Most people will either choose a pre-loaded delegation service in the wallet client they are using, or otherwise (if they aren’t preloaded in that wallet) their funnel must endure some level of friction — the friction which entails that they do a google search, look up options, not feel overwhelmed and confused on what to look for by the listing of options, deciding on an option, and then entering the option.

If the delegation keys are preloaded in the wallet client. Then slotting becomes an issue.

In choosing a delegation service manually and without slotting or friction we need to keep in mind that the call to action is the actual physical tangible entering of the delegation key that alphaneumeric messy string nobody remembers offhand and everyone copy/pastes. Delegation keys don’t roll of a person’s memory like a TV jingle would…and that’s kind of the point; they cannot smoothly convert new clients.

I’ve been Reading about this project.

A ‘vanity’ name enables an alternative method of identifying another party in the blockchain network. This can be to the benefit of business and commerce more than anything else — and baking delegation services are inherently Tezos’ first organic industry.

In other words, if we had vanity names for Tezos addresses, then new participants could just think “Hmm what was that name By Mennen. Ah that’s right” and they could just type it in the wallet in a few reasonable keystrokes. Some might say “oh it’s not a big deal to copy paste.” Well… no it IS a big deal.

I’ve met many people (many of them good friends that I pester a lot to get onboarded), that they’d buy their XTZ but didn’t complete their delegation because they felt friction at that very step. We can solve this.

Reducing the friction between the point of user brand recall and executing the call to action is critical especially for new entrant delegation services (abstract example). Keeping competition healthy for the eco-system.


Vanitygens are fairly simple and one is even included in the tezos-client binary and can be used like this:

~ $ tezos-client gen vanity keys newkeys matching tz1LLL
Enter password to encrypt your key: 
Confirm password: 
Generated 'tz1LLL3By95CM7CRpwocjeCUbGgGwWWQn6H5' under the name 'newkeys'.

But I don’t think it 100% solves the issue of “what was that address again?”, true if I know your address is tz1Kevin… or something I can go to a block explorer and search for addresses like that, but still I can’t be sure that a given address is yours, it is too easy to generate addresses like that, they get harder to generate if they are longer, but still.

Another problem is, you need to trust the vanity gen and the machine it is running on, I think most bakers use ledger and they cant generate vanity addresses like that…

What could solve this problem is a name registry in a smart contract on-chain, similar to domain names. But even here, if you buy the name “kevinmehrabi” I still don’t know that you own that address, I only know that someone bought that address.

…but didn’t complete their delegation because they felt friction at that very step

I hope this will be solved by the new baker registry, we just need to encourage wallets to integrate it :slight_smile:
So then if a user delegates he can search for the baker name in the wallet, or in a dropdown etc. The above problem still applies however, someone needs to vet those addresses etc.

That part comes down to promotion. That part is the non-technical aspect. Just like any product or service, they thrive on recall

It sounds simple, yes, but that’s the point, I’m making that we shouldn’t neglect the obvious just because it’s so simple. Because of the friction from the point of ‘recall’ to the "call-to-action’ — that is, the customer(delegate) cannot go from the former step to the latter without an interruption and external steps, the customer often drops off and discontinues the process, feeling they didn’t come in “ready”.

This is the key. A baker registry is one step but we need to look at this whole thing from the position of the delegate customer. And that empathy is a very difficult step for those of us that have been doing Tezos-stuff for a long time, because its not at the top our minds how a new-entrant is thinking and feeling as they are going through the process.

Furthermore we wouldn’t want to leave discriminated against, those who do not want to register their baking operation for whatever reason.

This goal of this is to encourage the flow of free-market open competition and not layer the system with hurdle after hurdle of qualification constraints.