Openname, the decentralized identity and naming system built on the blockchain, was recently renamed to Blockchain Name System (BNS). Founders Muneeb Ali and Ryan Shea are pioneering decentralized identity with the long-term goal of creating decentralized authentication.
Earlier this month, BNS debuted Passcard, a digital form of identity and access control combined. It’s essentially a digital passport, secured by the blockchain, that allows you to control and display your identity.
A few months ago, Larry Salibra, founder and CEO of Pay4Bugs, released a plugin that adds Openname avatars to WordPress. An ardent fan of blockchain technology, Salibra has just released another plugin called Nametiles that adds Passcard profiles and tagging to WordPress.
Nametiles works like this: Type the plus character and a person’s +passname on a post or page and it will automatically display that person’s Passcard profile information when you hover over the link.
The plugin also includes the ability for registered users on your site to optionally use their Passcard avatar via a setting in wp-admin/profile.php.
The Nametiles site has a live demo of how the tiles appear on your website. You can also see Nametiles in action on the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong’s website, where it’s in use on the members page and posts.
Salibra created Nametiles to help publishers keep people’s information and links continually up-to-date. Its two primary benefits for publishers include:
- Profile information is never stale and always up-to-date (including website, bio, social links, avatar, etc)
- Users control their information and personal brand via Passcard
“Publishers have no idea when the people mentioned or linked on their blog update their profile pic, bio, or website and no practical way to find out,” Salibra said. “The result is a site littered with broken links and out of date information that conveys sloppiness and apathy to visitors.”
This plugin is especially useful for sites that often have guest post authors, as well as news and organization sites that frequently reference names in content.
“With Nametiles, profile information about those you mention on your site is always up to date because the information is maintained by those who care most, the owners of the information,” Salibra said.
“I’m excited for a future where digital identity is something we own instead of something big social companies use to pull visitors from our blogs and websites and track people,” he said.
The only catch is that users who are linked have to be registered for a Passcard profile. The blockchain-powered identity service is free but it is also so new that it hasn’t yet caught on.
The idea of Passcard is similar to Gravatar but has the potential to be more powerful, as it is secured by the blockchain and may eventually support decentralized authentication. If Passcard founders are successful in building the future of identification, it may be a long before the identity system is mainstream enough for the Nametiles plugin to be useful beyond certain niche websites.