Blockstack: Registering a Name

Time to get ourselves a name. As we learned yesterday, we could get a name by registering one ourselves, using our own Bitcoin wallet. But I don’t have one yet, and besides, the Blockstack team has built to make it free to register a named id. The price to register the name still must be paid in btc, but Onename is sponsoring names to help bootstrap the Blockstack ecosystem. So we’ll do that, and then work through how to transfer that name for use in the Blockstack CLI later.

Obviously, we’ll start at

The UI is very simple and clean. I just signed up for an account, entering my email address and a password.

I was then immediately prompted to choose a name. As I already know I want, I chose that.

At this point, Onename gave me the option to save my Onename backup file to Dropbox, or to download it. I went with Dropbox, to make my life easier.

Next I set up my Onename profile, with an image, name, location, and website.

Finally, Onename lets you verify your identity on Twitter, Facebook, and Github. The process here is pretty straightforward. You claim ownership by posting public statuses provided by Onename in each service using your account. Then point Onename at those statuses, so it can verify that you posted the status they provided and then you’re all verified.

Finally, the name registration has to go through. Onename tells you it will take about 12 hours for that to happen. After waiting 24 hours, I contacted support to see if I could find out why it was taking so long. Support was really responsive, and got back to me within half an hour to let me know that registrations can take longer and to give it another couple days. After waiting over the weekend, still no luck. Contacted support again, they escalated to the dev team and within a day the registration had gone through. It sounded like other registrations may have gotten backed up as well. Yay for bleeding edge software!

So, at this point, I have registered in Blockstack. Whew! The picture above comes from the Blockstack Explorer, which is a little tool that makes it easy to see blocks on the Blockstack virtual chain, and any associated names, including their history. You can check mine out at