What is OpenAlias?

If you follow Monero carefully, you may have heard the word OpenAlias, without really understanding what it is.

OpenAlias (openalias.org) is an open standard for simpler addresses for any crypto — its slogan is Simplifying the World. Simply put, it is Monero's aliasing system — but it works for other cryptocurrencies too.

As long as you have a domain name (we recommend Gandi), you can transform these unreadable 35 characters long addresses (or even 96 for Monero) into something much more human-readable, like donate.monero.cc. Zooko's triangle: squared.

At its most basic, OpenAlias is a TXT DNS record on a FQDN (fully qualified domain name). By combining this with DNS-related technologies we have created an aliasing standard that is extensible for developers, intuitive and familiar for users, and can interoperate with both centralised and decentralised domain systems.

No risk of disappointments like chris678. No risk of phishing like Poloniex. No risk of losing your alias because you lost your private key. To own the alias, you just own the domain name and that's all.

Raw address:

46BeWrHpwXmHDpDEUmZBWZfoQpdc6HaERCNmx1pEYL2rAcuwufPN9rXHHtyUA4QVy66qeFQkn6sfK8aHYjA3jk3o1Bv16em

OpenAlias address:

donate.monero.cc

Any domain. Any crypto. Any address. Any time.

  • Any domain. You can use any domain name, ICANN-sanctionned or not, as long as it follows the DNS naming system. This means OpenAlias works with .bit (Namecoin) too (but not with .onion and .i2p)
  • Any crypto. Even if OpenAlias is a Monero Core Team creation, it works with other cryptocurrencies as well. In fact, it works with any crypto. So, yes, you can receive bitcoins, ripples, NXT… with OpenAlias.
  • Any address. You can use the same address for several cryptos. The alias for the Monero development fund is donate.monero.cc and it has both a Monero and a Bitcoin address. So you don't have to remember one address per crypto. Just one address. Note though that an entry must be created for every crypto, so don't send us Dogecoins that way, it won't work :) Also, the reverse is true: you can have several aliases with the same address. For instance, you can send to david.latapie.name or latapie.name, I configured both (here too, this is manual, so if you send to www.latapie.name, it won't succeed - www is deprecated anyway).
  • Any time. You can change the address whenever you want, it won't break the alias.

OpenAlias is fully implemented in the latest version of simplewallet (0.8.8.6) and on mymonero.com. We are in discussion with Poloniex to have it implemented (for outgoing transactions only). For the moment, Monero is the only cryptocurrency to implement OpenAlias.

A note on privacy: as long as Monero doesn't embed i2p, your IP will be known by the DNS server (and your ISP) if you do not use dnscrypt.

OpenAlias follows exactly the Three Pillars of Monero. Privacy: DNSSEC and DNSCrypt compliant (but not yet implemented on the client) and we provide log-less resolvers (list on the website). Decentralisation: ready for Namecoin, DIANNA, P2P-DNS and other decentralised DNS. Scalability: Zooko's triangle and future-proof.

Creating your own OpenAlias

  1. Access your domain name configuration page (it is not possible to use an email address only)
  2. Edit your DNS zone (if you are using cPanel, this is "Advanced DNS Zone Editor", URL ends in zoneedit/advanced.html)
  3. Enter the following data:
    Name: your domain name or subdomain name ending with a period
    TTL: 14400 (ot the same TTL as you other entries; it doesn't really matter)
    Type: TXT
    TXT Data: oa1:xmr recipient_address=address; recipient_name=Your name\; tx_description=Your description\; Note the escaping backslashes before the semi-colon. You can include space in the "recipient_name" and "tx_description" entries

    Example:

    Name: david.latapie.name.
    TTL: 14400
    Type: TXT
    TXT Data: oa1:xmr recipient_address=49UB8ULyqgxH8KjphGgEYG6FVrZeq31qx6kRa6pLLmdDUctrGnWqmdriUjEzZbH9PzE2V5xcuHQH4gkiPyas3hvsBhvRLzi; recipient_name=David Latapie\; tx_description=Donation to David Latapie\;

Monero user Saddam will give you 1 XMR for free if you post your OpenAlias on the dedicated thread of the official forum.

Creating an OpenAlias for another cryptocurrency

First, be sure that the wallet you are using supports OpenAlias. So far, no other wallet than Monero's simplewallet and mymonero.com support it.

The process is exactly the same as for Monero with only one difference: oa1:xmr is replaced by the correct code (for instance, oa1:btc for Bitcoin, or maybe, oa1:xbt, if they wish to choose this code, or even both, anything is possible).

OpenAlias and .bit (Namecoin)

OpenAlias will work with .bit domains, thanks to the resolvers we installed (resolvers.openalias.org, resolvers.openalias.ch, resolvers.openalias.se, resolvers.openalias.li). You won't need to have Namecoin installed on your machine or to have the Namecoin plugin for Firefox. If you don't want to spend several euros an year just for sending moneroj more easily (i.e. you don't have a dedicated website or a mail), this is the cheapest route.

More info (including information about privacy and security issues): openalias.org.