Source: AdobeStock / Thomas Dutour

Major crypto exchange Coinbase has announced that it’s been working with decentralized identity infrastructure provider Ethereum Name Service (ENS) to offer Coinbase-managed web3 usernames free to users – enabling them to use that username instead of a traditional address to send and receive crypto.

Per the exchange’s announcement, to make transferring crypto or non-fungible tokens (NFTs) easier and less intimidating, they worked with ENS to enable users to claim “name.cb.id” usernames via Coinbase wallet’s browser extension.

Coinbase added that,

“With this feature, anyone can now claim a free “name.cb.id” web3 username to send and receive crypto (instead of using 42-character addresses), engage with others, and to use as the foundation of their web3 identity.”

The exchange’s FAQ page explains that a Coinbase username is a decentralized form of ID that allows a person to personalize their wallet address. It is a “subdomain” tied to Coinbase’s Domain Name System (DNS) domain (cb.id), which is also registered under the ENS protocol, they said.

ENS usernames contain human-readable names with a ‘.eth’ at the end (username.eth), while Coinbase’s usernames are ENS subdomains that contain a ‘.cb.id’ at the end (username.cb.id).

The exchange argues that, in order to have an open financial system, people “from all walks of life” need to be able to use web3, and “fostering adoption of a human-readable username standard” is vital for making web3 user-friendly for all.

Unlike web2, says the exchange, web3 is trutless and decentralized. While gaps in web2 can be clearly seen during, for example, a data breach or a loss of access, web3 has “usability gaps.”

Furthermore, arguing that these “identity-related” gaps need to be filled before web3 can be used by billions across the world – with a username being only a part of an online identity – the “convenience of web2” needs to be combined with “the privacy, security, and control of web3.”

Coinbase noted that it will continue expanding its identity offering.

Users can claim their usernames by clicking on the ‘Community’ tab in their Coinbase wallet extensions, selecting ‘Claim for free, and then following the prompts. New users need to create a wallet first.

Once created, the username will give the person access to a profile associated with that username, Coinbase said.

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