Technical Working Group: Naming System

Hello everyone,

We’ve been researching ways of standardizing how to decentralize the Domain Name System (DNS) and have a standard for name lookups. Now, we’re excited to elevate our discoveries together with what we’ve named as the Chain Name System, or CNS.

We’re establishing this working group to collaborate with many of you and existing projects such as ICNS and IC Naming to further advance this topic.

Topic: Naming System
DFINITY lead: @Kepler
Coordinator: @domwoe
Cadence: Monthly on the last Thursday of every month at 10 am CET
First meeting: July 27th, 2023
Calendar: link
Discord: naming-system
Resources: Working Group: Naming System

There are several use cases that a verifiable naming system could provide, namely, having a friendly name to resolve canisters, dedicated servers, wallet addresses and much more.

I’m looking forward to your participation and can’t wait to see what we can achieve together.

Let’s set the standards for the mentioned topics and many more that will surface enabling a decentralized future that is resilient and efficient to the naming system that we all use every day.

Hope to see you there!


bright! It would be great if we could use .icp domains in a simple way on a website.

.icp domains I think should be the standard for ICP

Thank you so much !


We are aiming to create standards on how the naming system could operate leveraging properties from the Internet Computer, different Top-level domain operators can emerge from that (e.g. .icp as you mentioned).


Hello all, just a quick reminder about our inaugural Naming System Working Group meeting scheduled for tomorrow at 10 AM CET. If you’re interested in the project and would like to contribute, we encourage you to join.

Meeting link: Join Zoom Meeting

Looking forward to your participation!


Hi could you please post discussion as you go along for those of us that can’t make it. Many thanks

You can find all the recordings and meeting notes in the Google Drive linked above: Working Group: Naming System - Google Drive.

Any updates here. Link for Discord not working

Are you a member of the ICP Developer Community Discord server? If not, try joining that first: ICP Developer Community

Hi Everyone, we have the next Working Group meeting coming up this Thursday at 10 am CET, here’s the link to join the meeting.

I’m looking forward to continue the discussions and going over the CNS specification. See you there.


Hi Everyone, for tomorrow Working Group meeting we would like to go over the Governance structure of CNS and more specifically the committee privileges, as well as, extending the lookup spec to allow for upgrade to update call that would facilitate other use cases such as integrating with other blockchains.

Looking forward to seeing you there.


Today’s meeting had lower attendance than usual, so we’ve decided to post the topics we were planning to discuss here. Your input is crucial for shaping these areas, and we’d love to hear your thoughts.

These were the topics on the agenda today:

  • Draft Proposal of the Governance aspects of CNS and as discussed in a previous meeting the access breakdown is also added under it’s respective section.

  • Adding to the DomainLookup a possibility to do upgrade to update calls, this features would facilitate use cases such as enabling fetching a domain records from other sources and adding it to a cache within the specified TTL.

Your involvement is key to moving CNS forward.


Hello, I want to ask about ICnaming information? has it stopped working?

1 Like

Hi @Tony89, i would suggest to try their discord channel to clarify your questions regarding IC Naming.

Hi @Kepler do you mind summarizing how the CNS is going? Do we have an action plan going forward and a date in mind for implementation?

Hi @dfisher,

We have started to develop the name registry canister based in the proposed specification, this will serve as a common layer for the remaining CNS canisters such as the CNS Root and TLD canisters.

The initial plan is to develop that canister with DNSSEC support that will leverage tECDSA to sign the records so that later on we are able to implement the ic-cns-resolver library that will be used by the clients to resolve the records and verify the signatures using the public key of the canister (similar to how traditional DNS works).

Once those are in place we plan to start working on the CNS Root that will be used as the root of the CNS tree and will be used to resolve the available TLDs to their corresponding canisters. This will in turn allow us to release the resolver library that can be used by the clients, we plan to integrate that with the Local IC HTTP Proxy.

We are also looking into the possibility of integrating ENS as a TLD canister to allow the resolution of .eth domains for CNS clients.

Another topic of interest is the Governance side of CNS, we have an initial Governance Draft of how it would work but the initial version won’t have it implemented yet.

Regarding timeline we are currently pointing at H1 2024, but is subject to change as we progress with the development and due to other competing priorities.

We will be sharing more details as we progress with the development.


Why don’t you get a top domain .icp like .com to make the naming-service to real one?
I think you should do this ASAP.

Getting a top level domain like .icp that is resolvable without end user changes would require that the TLD would be acquired as a gTLD through ICANN since existing DNS resolvers use ICANN Root Servers as the entry point, that is definitely a viable route if ICANN would open up for applicants again (next round is announced for Q2 2026), currently it’s still closed since 2012.

This however would still be centralized under ICANN, CNS aims to tackle that centralization issue by managing the Root through a DAO. The TLDs under CNS would then be able to offer what we are describing as gateway domains, and some legal entity that could own something like .icp under ICANN could then mirror the domains in CNS to enable clients to resolve domains without additional configuration.


What happened with the ICNS team? We are trying to reach them in all medias and no response. .icp domains that we have paid can’t be renew either. Whats going can you take over this project?

shib ready to apply for .shib top-level domain.

wish ICP fater to get .icp

Hello Everyone,
I come here because this is one of the most vital topics to address. Now im trying to be objective, but 3rd party projects are not equal. There is a reason Dominic Williams uses “dom.icp” on his X account, and why half of the team does as well, as well as many pro ICP influencers. It’s because when you explain ICP to a layperson the easiest way (and we all know this) is to say “well you can host websites on it” It’s something that’s readily understandable and will 100% be the only reason that ICP gains widespread adoption.

So on that note I"d like to bring the case of ICNS up to everyone. The project was developed by Psychadelic, and gained quite a lot of traction, but then they ultimately reneged (i believe they just wanted to milk some free ICP and leave) and handed it over to a few devs who were apparently incapable of running it due to not enough ICP coming in (although I know that this is not the case). With that being said, those devs simply dropped the project, and people who have .icp domains are no longer capable of renewing them, nor buying new ones.

For those that don’t know, there are 2 naming NFT’s out there, they are the .ic crowd, and the .icp crowd. And I understand dfinity’s position that “well it’s all 3rd party so let the market sort it out” however, there’s one very important fact, and that’s visibility and marketing of ICP. If it’s absolutely obvious to us all, that the entire upper level Dfinity team uses .icp on their X accounts, wants to be associated with .icp, and prefers it as a represenation of themselves within the icp ecosystem, then it’s absolutely obvious to me which one represents ICP better, and that’s the .icp naming system.

For this reason, and considering that ICNS (those who issue .icp domains) is completely abandoned, I believe that Dfinity should take over the ICNS project, and lead it themselves. This will promote 1. A source of revenue, and 2. a safety net, because Dfinity’s enemies won’t use the failure of .icp as a very vibrat example of a absolute incompetence of the ICP team itself.

I strongly suggest that the dev and dfinity team doesn’t just treat this as “just another 3rd party app” and instead take it over and manage it because it is 100% the flagship selling point of ICP itself.

If the common man, who currently hosts websites for small business for 200-300/year via godaddy (mcap of 15b) learns of $5/yr, there will be a VIOLENT influx of people into ICP for websites, and those common middle class folks will be putting 10s of thousands of liquidity into purchasing ICP.

Please, if you’re reading this and you’re on the Dfinity team, can you get this message over to someone who can make a decision on this? I can’t post in various categories apparently other than general, but this needs to 100% be addressed, and addressed fast.


Idea for a Dapp is a “wordpress” for .icp websites, so the common man with no programming knowledge can use that app to develop his websites seamlessly. IMO that’ll make ICP itself viral AF for all middle class working people who have smalltime websites and pay 100s of dollars per year for them.