Introducing *NEAR Name Tokens - Multichain, Cross-Platform Digital Identities In Web3 – NEAR Protocol

Introducing *NEAR Name Tokens – Multichain, Cross-Platform Digital Identities In Web3

May 29, 2024

Following the recently announced partnership between NEAR Foundation and D3, we’re excited to introduce *NEAR Name Tokens; a multichain, cross-platform digital identity for web3 and beyond.

NEAR Foundation is working with D3 to bridge the gap between traditional internet infrastructure and web3. *NEAR Name Tokens are an important step in developing the futureproof, interoperable digital identities that will be key to driving implementation of chain abstraction, and of developing web3 more broadly.

Complementing the NEAR Ecosystem with *NEAR Name Tokens

NEAR already offers a deeply integrated identity solution with named NEAR accounts. These NEAR accounts, however, are limited to use across the NEAR ecosystem.

*NEAR Name Tokens will offer users a comprehensive digital identity solution across the wider web3 ecosystem, while keeping NEAR front and center.

Users will be able to use these name tokens in a variety of ways, including:

  • As a simplified wallet address across hundreds of different blockchain networks
  • As an infrastructure identifier across hundreds of different blockchain networks
  • As a cross-platform username across various different decentralized platforms, including DeFi, GameFi, SocialFi, SportFi and other related applications
  • As Verifiable Credentials (VCs) to platforms and services that you interact with
  • To gain access to unique benefits and rewards programs for participating in the D3 ecosystem
  • As expressions of interest for the eventual .NEAR equivalent domain on the internet

Why *NEAR Instead of .NEAR

*NEAR Name Tokens feature a star, or asterisk (*), between the name and extension—such as you*near—instead of a period (.). In part, this is because NEAR accounts already use a .NEAR extension, and we want to avoid confusion for users.

More importantly, however, we use *NEAR because Name Tokens are unique web3 identifiers, not real domains, and we want to avoid any confusion between these as well. For years, several naming systems across web3 have thrown around the word “domain” quite liberally, without offering any of the actual utility offered by real domains.

Real domains are fully integrated with the Domain Name System, the distributed service that allows users to access websites and email infrastructure with ease. Billions of internet-capable devices—such as computers, tablets, mobile phones, Internet of Things devices, and more—support the DNS and real domains without the need for specialized software or plugins.

Integrating web3 with DNS will be critical in bringing interoperable digital identities to web3. To that end, NEAR Foundation has partnered with D3 to apply for and obtain the .near top-level domain—like the “.org” in—during the upcoming application period for new TLDs, the first in over a decade.

Exclusive Early Access Period to *NEAR Name Tokens for NEAR Account Holders

As part of our initial launch phase later this summer,, existing NEAR account holders will receive exclusive early access to their equivalent *NEAR Name Tokens. For instance, if you already have the name.near NEAR account registered prior to launch, you will receive exclusive access to register name*near for a period of 90 days before names are released for public availability.

Similarly, should a NEAR account be available for any new *NEAR Name Token registrations, D3 will claim it on behalf of users to ensure a uniform experience across the NEAR ecosystem. Users can sign up for early access, and you’ll be  notified you prior to the official launch of *NEAR Name Tokens later this summer

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