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Set Your Cross-Chain Identity with Clusters

Onchain identity gets tricky in a multi-chain world.
William M. Peaster William M. Peaster Feb 5, 20243 min read
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Set Your Cross-Chain Identity with Clusters

Excited by the cross-chain future but not psyched by the disparate nature of determining which wallet belongs to your buddies on every network?

Clusters is a new cross-chain name service, built by the Delegate and LayerZero teams, that lets users bid on and register wallet names that work across Ethereum and non-Ethereum chains simultaneously. 

The pitch? “All the chains, all your wallets, one name.” 

How is this different than ENS?

Clusters is in the same general ballpark as the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), as both protocols offer human-readable blockchain domains with multi-chain support. 

Where these projects fundamentally differ is their architecture. 

For its part, ENS uses a custom multi-chain address resolution system within its protocol to enable ENS names to record and point to addresses on different blockchains. 

In contrast, Clusters is the first app built on the new V2 version of LayerZero, an interoperability protocol designed to let projects operate across different blockchains seamlessly and securely. 

How Clusters fights squatting

To discourage domain squatting, Clusters makes use of a mechanism known as demand-based recurring pricing, which Vitalik Buterin has previously written about

So while ENS relies on fixed-rate renewal fees—e.g., $5/year for five-character domains—Clusters adjusts renewal fees based on market demand. 

This model allows anyone to bid on a domain to raise its annual fee if the bids remain for a long period of time. The renewal fee then becomes a percentage of this floating valuation, encouraging domain owners to either accept high bids or pay increased fees as a squatting mitigation. 

The open beta has arrived

On February 1st, 2024, Clusters kicked off its beta launch with the introduction of its auction system.

During this beta phase, participants can start bidding on highly sought-after names. The highest bidders will be awarded their desired domains, ensuring transparency. Clusters is also developing a refund system for unsuccessful bidders so people who come up empty-handed can get their money back. 

Additionally, Clusters has created a boost multiplier system to accompany its auctions. In other words, ownership of the corresponding ENS domain, possession of the relevant Twitter handle, and activity on social media can significantly enhance your bid, giving you a competitive edge for your target name. 

Following the beta, Clusters plans to finalize its auction mechanism and transition to a fully open, first-come, first-serve (FCFS) registration system. This shift is expected to occur within the next few months. 

How to get started with Clusters

Before you can dive into Clusters, you’ll need some ETH set aside for bidding on your name of choice. Once you’ve got your funds prepared, you would follow these steps to proceed:

  1. Head to clusters.xyz and connect your wallet. 
  2. Click “Create Bid” at the top of the page and input your target Cluster name. 
  3. In the ensuing interface, input your desired bid amount—for reference, many people have been bidding in the 0.02-0.06 ETH range so far.
  4. Press “Claim” and confirm the deposit transaction with your wallet. 
  5. Start customizing your Cluster by importing your profile picture from Twitter and adding in additional wallets like so:
  1. Press “Finalize Setup” when you're done customizing to complete the configuration process. 

At this point, you can head over to the “My Profile” tab on the Clusters website to track your bids, edit your wallet, or copy your bespoke referral link to share on social media for the boosting multiplier. 

If any of your bids don’t end up winning, watch out for the launch of Clusters’ refund system in the coming weeks! 

The big picture

The Clusters vision is secure and user-friendly cross-chain identity management. By combining auctions, demand-based pricing, and boost multipliers, Clusters is aiming to bridge the gaps between different chains in a streamlined way. Going forward, be sure to keep your eyes peeled as the project adds support for additional chains, e.g., networks in the Cosmos ecosystem. 

In this article

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William M. Peaster

Written by William M. Peaster

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William M. Peaster, Senior Writer, has been with Bankless since January 2021. Immersed in Ethereum since 2017, he writes the Metaversal newsletter on the onchain frontier, covering everything from AI projects to crypto games, as the team’s lead NFT analyst. With a background in creative writing, he writes fiction and publishes art on Ethereum in his free time. He lives in Washington.

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