A token-gated email address for every Nouns holder to pseudonymously communicate and access the rest of the internet.
Nouns is pushing the frontier of on-chain identity, community, and governance. Yet, large swaths of the internet remain non-interoperable with our on-chain identities. Currently, we cannot connect our Ethereum wallets to access Twitter, collaborate on a Figma document, or even engage on the Nouns forum.
Email addresses remain a necessity to access most platforms on the internet. Existing email providers do not natively integrate with on-chain information, compelling Nouns to manually link aspects of their on-chain identity to off-chain platforms. Furthermore,
We elaborate more on this problem and discuss solutions in The Identity Gap.
Every Nouns owner will be able to claim a unique, token-gated email address under
@nouns.wtf, or another domain decided by the DAO. Claiming this email address will be enforced by querying to an Ethereum node verifying ownership of a Noun.
Here we suggest four initial categories of how our proposal can provide utility for Nouns. Should the proposal be accepted, we hope to assist in building out these use cases — like a weekly email newsletter or a
nouns.wtf domain-gated Figma.
We encourage the community to suggest additional use cases — Nouns Mail is a primitive that can unlock a Cambrian explosion of creativity.
Greater utility for owning a Noun (through Nouns Mail or otherwise) increases the demand for minting Nouns or paying royalties on secondary transactions, leading to a larger treasury for the DAO.
NounsDAO allocates a domain to be used as the official email domain for Nouns holders. We suggest nouns.wtf because of its familiarity, but any reasonable domain owned by the DAO or available on the market would suffice.
We will be using Skiff Mail, an open source, end-to-end encrypted mail provider, as the interface and mailserver for the custom domain.
All emails sent and received by Nouns email addresses are encrypted with elliptic curve crypto (Curve25519 keypairs), and emails that are sent or received to other Skiff accounts (e.g. other Nouns holders) are end-to-end encrypted. Ownership of EOAs is verified by generating a unique challenge token, requesting an ECSDA signature, and verifying the signature’s validity. A full description of Skiff’s protocol and threat model can be found at skiff.com/whitepaper.
As previously mentioned, verification of Nouns ownership occur by querying an Ethereum indexer on the Nouns token contract.
Example User Experience
A user connects their wallet — if it’s detected that they own a Noun, a dialog prompts them to create their email address.
Claim email alias , the page directs them to choose their unique Nouns email address.
Afterwards, Nouns will be free to send and receive email from this address.
Revoking Email Address Ownership
One open question is what would happen to an account who sells or transfers his Noun after previously claiming his email address. Because owning a
@nouns.wtf email address reflects one’s on-chain identity, it would be reasonable that ownership of this address is lost after losing the underlying Noun.
To implement this, Ethereum oracles on Skiff would listen for transactions where existing Noun email holders sell or transfer their last remaining Noun. Then, following an optional grace period, the email address would become disabled, becoming unusable until the account owns a Noun again.
Phase 1: December 2022
The first phase will involve implementation of claiming Noun email addreses with the UX flow described above. We anticipate this taking around 2-4 weeks to fully build, test, and launch.
Phase 2: Early January - February 2023
In phase 2, we plan to take an active role in creating Nouns email utilities, including newsletters, domain-gated workspaces, and integrating better verification banners for the Nouns forum. We anticipate this process taking around a month, depending on the scope of utilities.
@traderjo - Designer, currently at Skiff and Azuki. Previously Apple, CMU design.
@richard - Engineer, currently at Skiff. Also contributor to IBC and Osmosis. Previously Blockchain@Berkeley, Figma.
We anticipate completion of phase 1 and 2, as well as initial maintenance and marketing, taking ~2 months. With one engineer and designer at a rate of 8 ETH per contributor per month, we are requesting 32 ETH.
There are two directions we want to expand on to further increase utility — privacy and SubDAOs.
We’re working with Personae Labs, author of the heyanouns proposal, to build a version of Noun emails where Noun holders do not need to reveal their Ethereum address. Rather than signing an attestation to owning a certain Ethereum address, Noun holders will submit a zk-SNARK proof that they own a Noun,
There are many reasons Noun holders might want to not reveal their address, for example not wanting to reveal their entire on-chain financial history. This is currently an active research area, and involves the user of ZK nullifiers for ECDSA to prevent one Nouns holder from claiming more than one private email address.
We plan to launch a similar token-gated email addresses to Nouns SubDAOs, applying a similar implementation and building out similar utilities. We’ve already heard of inbound interest from the LilNouns community, and will continue engaging with other SubDAOs who are interest. Improving utility for SubDAOS will further draw more interest, usage, and capital into the broader Nouns community.