FAQ2: What’s a “Blink?”

Credit: Getty images

Blinks are a new kind of linking that is enabled by Cortex. “Blink” is short for “blockchain link.”

A blink is similar to the web links and web addresses we all know, like google.com, aka URLs (Uniform Resource Locator). Another term for these links might be a blockchain URLs, or bURLs? The Rs in legacy web URLs are resources which essentially means files, data or programmable bits. URLs are a way to locate these resources. As we know them, they are links that tell the browser where to find these resources.

In Cortex App each URL is also a valid crypto address, so the resources in a bURL are also crypto-enabled. This means the resources in a blink can include digital assets like coins and NFTs and can be used to locate them in a space of crypto addresses along with the traditional resources like images and data.

On the legacy web, the link/URL https://twitter.com/leonardkish/status/1429082998071193601?s=20 points to a tweet I sent recently.

In the distributed Cortex environment I’ll have my own domain, say, leo.crtx. This link also resolves to a public key, a cryptographic key, so that address can send and receive tokens.

To post things I’ll have my own blog domain, say, leo.crtx/blog.post1 where my first post might live. That also resolves to a public key, so I could receive tokens coins at that same address, say, if someone likes the content.

At this point you might say, “wait, isn’t that the same as ENS?” (Ethereum Name Service).

Cortex uses namehashing similarly to ENS, but our bURLs go all the way down to the resource. We use Butterfly Protocol as the top layer, the domain layer, which creates the domains.

On ENS, leo.eth (not mine), for example, will resolve to crypto address on Ethereum, but each page underneath, does not. With Cortex, because Cortex is a wallet with unique key derivation, each page in a domain also resolves based on the full path. Cortex enables a deeper structure, versioning, and lower costs (you don’t need to mint an NFT each time you create a page, for example) and is mostly chain agnostic, although we’ll initially launch on Polygon.

Butterfly Protocol has some unique advantages over ENS. As mentioned, it can work across chains. Butterfly also has top level domains available, like the one we are using, .crtx, Cortex owns and can use forever, because (the second big advantage) each domain is an NFT and potentially a whole tree of NFTs. So once you own alice.crtx, for example, it’s yours forever. And you can sell it if you get the right offer.

Ok, so why do we need blockchain links?

A basic reason is it makes it really easy to find, code and connect assets with data in a coherent and structured way. You can hold your assets with data, you can display your assets in a meaningful way at a meaningful location. Names have meanings in this architecture. They have new relationships. A relationship between 2 crypto keys is no longer just random numbers in a transaction, the have an identity, a place and a relationship that can be named. If I have leo.crtx/nfts.emojis then I always have a place to hold my NFT emojis and I can keep organizing them how I see fit. Or I can hold IDs, or tickets, or any other kind of digital asset. I can create a digital kingdom in a structured way.

Another reason is that, for reasons we’ll go into in another post, public and private worlds can be more easily combined. Embedded in the wallet are channels that allow for public and private sharing. You’ll need to know the channel to “tune in” to the asset.

We are all building digital kingdoms. We need maps and structures by which to organize them. Cortex provides those structures in ways that works similarly to how our physical world works.

An app for contextual thinking. Create new meaning.