Could Cortex Become an ENS for Everyone?
Budweiser made a splash when they bought the domain name "beer.eth" for $96k a few weeks ago. Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domain names are emerging to a broader audience with many benefits, yet the process has not been streamlined for ease of use. Even though these crypto-built ENS domain names have existed for a few years, there isn't wide adoption. That's where Cortex may help.
Cortex is a flexible platform that aims to make publishing and building digital assets on Web3 easier for anyone. Like ENS, Cortex provides crypto addresses that are easily readable and identifiable. There are similarities in Cortex and the domain name system(DNS) Cortex uses, Butterfly Protocol, to how ENS works, using a process called namehash to make addresses human-readable, like beer.eth.
There are also some key differences. Butterfly Protocol makes each domain, including top-level domains, trees of NFTs, which provides some excellent contextual features and simplified ownership structures. In addition, Cortex takes the solution a step further into data structures and blockchain linking, so-called "blinks."
But before we dive too deep, let's look into why they are needed in the first place. The third generation of the web (Web 3.0) ushers in crypto and decentralized value transfer, typically done by connecting a wallet like Metamask to a website so that interactions can also happen on the chain. One challenge of seamlessly transferring tokens from one address to the other is that the addresses are abstract codes without much context. They are hard to remember, easy to get wrong, don't have much of a relation to one another, and there is no structure or relationship other than the transactions on-chain. It would be great if they had similar structures and naming as web sites and URLs.
Tokens can get lost if you get the address wrong. Also, the crypto benefits of security and privacy are still largely too expensive and difficult to use for both users and developers, partly because of naming. Giving crypto addresses human-readable names and data structures solves a lot of this difficulty and opens the door to developing and facilitating data-driven crypto use cases.
Cortex also allows for most activity to happen off-chain, which makes a lot of data use cases more viable in terms of cost and complexity. Nobody wants to have to pay every time they publish or update a website. Then, for those transactions like minting and transferring ownership of an NFT/domain, that happen on-chain, Cortex uses Polygon for inexpensive transactions that will open up more use cases for NFTs and crypto data.
So, ENS gets us part of the way there. It makes web addresses that also have a crypto account. The Name Service makes long unreadable addresses easily readable and gives them a web context. This allocates names to different addresses and makes it convenient for senders to input the readable format and execute their transfers accurately. Making the process seamless is a great plus in the blockchain space, as transactions can be conveniently completed in a way that provides identity and even brand awareness with human readability.
But beyond making long addresses readable, there's a need to make them easily identifiable, relational, and codable in a larger web context. With Cortex, a subdomain can be created that does not need to go on-chain yet is still a valid crypto address. To this end, Cortex adds a file system to ENS-like domains. Soon, much more information can be embedded in domains to make them more meaningful, precise, and substantiated. This way, you can ascertain who a domain belongs to, what they do, and other relevant details, like its context with other keys. Keys become web locations down to the URL level. For instance, alice.human/recipes.lasagna could be Alice's lasagna recipe. From this, a cryptographic key can be extracted to create Alice's crypto address, making it easy to verify further transactions from the party. You will always know that things that happen under the top domain belong to Alice or the company that owns the domain.
Cortex also allows for public and private spaces, as each note or page also contains a channel. So, in the above instance, Alice's link will have a channel that makes it convenient to access her notes, containing what she's willing to share at that point in time. Anyone looking to know more about her recipes can do so seamlessly if they have both the link/URL and the channel.
Furthermore, another distinguishing use case of Cortex is its ease of use. Although the blockchain space has many technical wizards, it's crucial to make applications suitable for beginners and experts to leap to become as ubiquitous as Web2. With ENS, it's complicated for anyone without advanced tech knowledge to set it up, making the application fall within the exclusive arena of the pros. Cortex seeks to democratize the power of the crypto web and make it convenient for anyone to use. Get your domain on the Cortex site, and start publishing and building your digital kingdom immediately. No special skills are required.
Our goal is to let Cortex allow anyone to build and achieve the benefits of web3, like controlling your entire digital and online presence, from value to data, to web location and even infrastructure. We aim to usher in a Web 3.0 in a way that's friendly for all.