By Pierre
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ANS alpha leak: pricing, mint timeline and more on your permaweb identity

If you are a seasoned Arweaver, there’s a good chance to know already about Arweave Name Service (ANS), but here we have some exclusive news, directly from the creators of ANS,

ANS has been in private beta since 2021, initially airdropping to Verto ID users and expanding its userbase by minting names to early testers and occasional contest winners.

Since then, while the contract and marketplace have been under development, the userbase has grown to almost 700 holders and been integrated into Arweave’s main block explorer, ViewBlock (which it certainly makes easier to read):

At its core, ANS is a naming protocol for Arweave addresses; a way to give your address a human-readable .ar username. In this way, it’s similar to ENS, but in line with the spirit of Arweave it is permanent – no renewal fees, pay-once-own-forever.

Now that the protocol is coming out of development mode and being released to the public, here’s what we know.

The ANS minting announcement

On 17th of February 2023, ANS minting will go live. The first week will be open only for users who got whitelisted and then, from the 24th of February, it will be open for everyone who wants a permanent identity on Arweave.

To be honest, it is quite hard to abstain from not repeating the content of their initial announcement which you can find here, because they do a pretty darn good job of highlighting all the specifics for the mint. I strongly encourage you to read it from top to bottom.

But, a tl;dr:

  • The easiest way to get whitelisted and to receive a 10% discount on your purchase is to link your AR and EVM/NEAR addresses via Ark Protocol. I don’t know when they’ll create the snapshot of the whitelisters, but there’s a pretty big chance to still make it if you act now.
  •  The mint will be conducted via everPay, so make sure to top your everPay account up with enough AR, in order to be set and ready and get an ANS username, gasless and instant, as soon as the mint starts.

ANS? Let’s settle the naming semantics

Let’s settle the semantics (it appears that Arweavers were attracted by this acronym like moths are attracted to light) and arrange the products that use a similar naming schema, in order of their chronological appearance:

  • 2020: Arweave Network Standards (ANS) – imagine this as the equivalent for ERC standards on Ethereum network. “Drafts and finalized standards for data formats, tag formats, data protocols, custom gateway features and anything that is built on top the Arweave Network.” – created, updated, etc. by the Arweave core team and community.
  • 2021: Arweave Name Service (ANS) – this ANS, in layman’s terms, bears most resemblance to Ethereum’s ENS (Ethereum Name Service) – it’s a decentralised identity layer — a proxy for addresses (user identities) not transaction IDs (files).

“Arweave Names Service (ANS) is an identity and social metadata protocol built on Arweave. It is the username layer of as well as a human-readable proxy for wallet addresses, supported by ViewBlock.”

But more about that in just a second.

  • 2022: Arweave Name System (ArNS) – While’s Arweave Name Services focuses on identity – linking for example an wallet with a name with the purpose to create portable identities throughout various decentralised socials, ArNS focuses on content discovery, working more as an URL shortener: you publish your website on the Permaweb and instead of making users memorize a 43 char long string, they can go to a short name for the content you publish.

“ArNS will replace the long, 43-character Arweave transaction IDs with familiar subdomain names that users can remember.” – created by Ar.IO

To summarize: Arweave Network Standards are the standards to inform what’s built on top of the Network. Arweave Names Services help you create a decentralised ID in the format of “”, linking it with your wallet address (and more). Arweave Name System (ArNS) helps you to quickly identify a transaction, or file, by transforming it into something like “”.

As you may see, even given the shared resemblance of the names, these are totally different implementations with very distinct purposes.

Here we’re talking about Arweave Name Service, the permaweb’s username layer.

Hard, cold alpha leaks

First of all, more about ANS and its capabilities. Contrary to ENS, an ANS is for life…and beyond. Yeah, you can trade them, but I prefer to look at them more like sigils that can be passed to future generations. Remember that ANS is more inclined to address the social interaction angle of DIDs than others.

Ar Page Demo Website – the ANS social explorer

ANS names are also the root identity for Ark Protocol, an identity attestation protocol on Arweave that helps to link your addresses from a bunch of different chains, making it a cross-chain permanent identity layer that could link all your interactions through various chains in a unified picture. Imagine this applied to a social environment and how will it enforce the right to be remembered if you couple it with Arweave’s permanent storage for the social interactions you trully want to be preserved (right now you can catch a glimpse of its capabilities in linking various metadata in a unitary graph if you check “each ANS” for eg.

Still, where is the alpha you may ask?

Don’t be so pushy, you needed a little bit of context in order to understand, for example, why a 2 letter ANS is pricier than a 3 letter one, besides its scarcity, or why ANS can have cross-chain partnership. But anyway, I get it, you want the alpha so here it is:

The full pricing schema:

Confirmed partners:

  • Mask Network – “The Portal to the New, Open Internet”
  • RSS3 – a content discovery platform and standard for web3
  • Who Is Emily – One of the most active NFT projects inside the Arweave community – bridging with Ethereum
  • everPay – probably the most well known provider for gasless and instant financial transactions on Arweave, the back bone of the future Permaswap – the first cross-chain, Arweave-based DEX
  • Sarcophagus – a decentralized dead man’s switch on Arweave and Ethereum

Perks coming from the confirmed partners:

Another way to get whitelisted is to already be a user of those confirmed partners. As simple as that. Also, you can have for free your “” like “”. In fact, if you’re an Arweave dApp builder looking for a composable username system, probably get in touch with the devs!

Some sort of disclaimer: I’m an advisor for, so keep in mind this…although is not like I’m not excited about each and every project within the Arweave ecosystem 🙂


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Passionate about Arweave, Archeology, and NFTs. Playing with words, dirt, and images.

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