New Plugin Adds Openname Avatars to WordPress


In November 2014, Onename announced that it would be extending its Openname protocol to support decentralized authentication. The company also open sourced the protocol and directory software so that developers can build their own infrastructure with it.

We believe the future of identity will be decentralized, and for any identity system to be truly decentralized, no entity can have a monopoly over registering users or displaying their profiles. Anyone should be able to claim a username and fill out their profiles either using a provider/registrar of their choice or on their own without any third party.

The Openname decentralized identity and naming system is built on the Blockchain. It makes it possible for anyone to create an online identity, which can then be used to make Bitcoin transactions. The company’s long-term goal is to pioneer a decentralized authentication protocol:

What we need is a password-less authentication process that doesn’t require any particular third party; an open, decentralized auth protocol that lets users conveniently sign in and be in control of the data they release to apps and where they store it.

Openname Auth is our work-in-progress proposal for decentralized, password-less authentication in which users login by simply entering a username (their openname) and approving an auth request on their desktop or mobile device.

OneName raised $1.5 million in funding to continue developing the platform as part of its quest to return the web to its decentralized roots.

Openname Avatars for WordPress

WordPress core supports Gravatar by default for providing blog and comment author avatars. Thanks to the new Opennname plugin for WordPress, site administrators can now offer users the option to associate a Openname avatars with an account on self-hosted sites.

In order to test the plugin, you’ll need to first sign up for an Openname account (which requires an account at Onename or Namecoin).


After you install the Openname plugin on your WordPress site, any registered user will be able to elect to use his Openname avatar by visiting /wp-admin/profile.php. Once you add your Openname, the plugin will keep your WordPress avatar in sync (with a short delay) with your Openname Avatar.


The Openname plugin was created by Larry Salibra, founder and CEO of Pay4Bugs. I tested it and found it to work as advertised.

In the future, once the Openname Auth is more developed, it would be awesome if Salibra added this to his WordPress plugin. Onename might do well to create its own official plugin for this. Given that WordPress currently powers 23% of the world’s websites, an official Openname authentication plugin might bring wider adoption for its decentralized identity system.


2 responses to “New Plugin Adds Openname Avatars to WordPress”

  1. This is pretty cool start, login with OneName would be great as well. Would definitely look into bringing that in with some of my sites.

  2. Nametiles’ creator is one of my best friends, and we’re extremely excited for this. I think that this could also pick up where Google Authorship left off.

    Author pages on WordPress blogs are perfect opportunities for NameTiles, and a great way to tie authors together (as well as readers with authors that they like). Excited to see this go down!


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