Yats vs. Handshake
The handle I'm logged in with just sold for $60,000 as a sub-domain that redirects to a page of
which may be integrated with ENS at some point in the future to add some Web3 compatibility.
It was the first ever emoji auctioned by Y.at (Yat), and I bought the Handshake equivalent on the Namebase market for 280 $HNS, currently about $176, the instant the first $10k+ USD bid rolled in.
🔑.y.at - AKA - y.at/🔑, the first single emoji Yat ever sold, went for $425,000.
sold for 556 $HNS at auction on 02/25/20.
To bid in the destiny.y.at auction, you needed a prism key, which is basically a $200 ticket to enter the auction. There were 500 available & all sold leading up to the auction.
Prior to this point, you could only buy 3 emoji Yats or longer with a credit card. Several Crypto Twitter influencers posted about maxing out their cards doing this.
Not a single one of the 16 double emoji combos available at the Destiny auction sold for less than $30,000 and the Infinity Key, which is a wildcard of sorts that grants the owner the opportunity to select any other double emoji subdomain combo, sold for $288,888.
It's important to note these buyers are trusting that they actually "own" these emojis within the context of the Yat ecosystem, because they're 4 layers down the ownership stack on Web2.
4 - Buyers have access to emojis as subdomains/pages
3- Y. controls the emojis (Second-Level domain > pages)
controls Y (Top-level domain > Second-level domain)
1- ICANN controls
(Centralized root zone > Top-level domain)
Right now, you own a Yat in the same way you own a Twitter profile, and the best hope Yats have for decentralization is a 4-of-7 multi-sig on ENS, or a similar type of contract on Ethereum or another chain.
Maybe the registry of
will claim their top-level domain & mirror y.at on Handshake; that could be interesting.
Still, for trying to be a decentralized identity solution, Yats feel like a centralized, pre-mined, walled garden that's more similar to a Bitclout than a DID.
For contrast, owning a Handshake name such as 📈📈 is owning the private keys to the punycode that browsers & devices use to render your emoji. It's the maximum level of decentralized, censorship resistant ownership possible for emojis or any other domain for that matter.
Handshake is an implementation of Bitcoin optimized for DNS (Domain Name System), meaning it's a proof of work, public protocol where top-level domains like .com & .at (which are reserved for their owners along with 30k $HNS) are registered directly with the protocol, since the network itself is a p2p root zone.
Emojis & other names became available for bidding each week and were spread out over the course of a year, beginning in February 2020, to ensure equitable distribution. Each auction lasts 5 days, giving everyone a fair chance to bid.
Despite being nearly a year & 2 months since launch, I was able to recreate ~90% of the Yat Destiny auction on Namebase for about $1.
It ends almost exactly 24 hours after the start of the Destiny Auction. The highest bidder wins & pays the second highest bidder's amount.
The winning bids on these emojis will be burned by the protocol, not pocketed by a corporation. After the 10 day bid reveal period, you can withdraw the emojis from Namebase to a wallet like BobWallet.io (assuming you didn't start with Bob), own the keys, and securely store your new assets. You can also use your new name with Akash ($AKT), Sia ($SC), Fleek (
), IPFS ($FIL), & numerous others for decentralized compute, storage, and other solutions.
Again, what you own with an $HNS emoji is on-chain Punycode as a top-level domain. So, with 📈📈, I bought
which functions like a .com & DID rolled into one.
This enables me to securely log in here, create an email at hmail.app, sell second-level domains like
at Gateway.io, or even use 📈📈 as a dLink & set up a LinkTree like profile with all my links on it.
Basically what Yats are doing and more, directly on-chain, and without all the intermediaries.
Badass.Domains recently demonstrated Ethereum interoperability with Handshake, and so using these as wallet addresses and interchain identities seems more probable than not in the mid-term, especially with the highly skilled & engaged community around Handshake. Progress is also being made around browsers natively resolving HNS names & HDNS.io is an incredibly easy-to-use resolver in the meantime.
While the similarity of narratives between Yats & Handshake will undoubtedly be a fascinating case study for various reasons, I feel a great deal of empathy for everyone involved with Yats because it's apparent no one knew Handshake existed.
In terms of decentralized infrastructure, name distribution, and cryptographic ownership of emojis at the most fundamental level, it will be incredibly difficult to compete with Handshake.
Centralized options of course will initially enjoy a rich ecosystem & be easier to use than decentralized options in the same way that fiat is easier to use & is accepted more places than crypto, but I know which I would rather own long term.
If this is the first you're hearing of Handshake, welcome!
You can learn more at learn.namebase.io, learnhns.com, skyinclude.com, check out videos from our recent conference at handycon.org, & of course visit the original site at handshake.org
See you at the auctions!