How OpenAlias works in Monerujo and how you can setup your own

Since version 1.7.3 Monerujo supports OpenAlias. I’ll do a brief explanation of what it does and why it’s both awesome and needed, how it works on the Monerujo wallet, and how you can get your own, if you can (I’ll explain).

What is it?

OpenAlias is a nice standard that lets you setup an alias for your cryptocurrency address. The ability to use alias is huge for ease of use (and let’s hope also adoption) of technologies. When you type google.com on your browser, you’re not really going to google.com just like that (even though it appears so). Your computer checks with a DNS server that is just a machine running in the Internet somewhere that has written inside an instruction like this one:

IF SOMEONE ENTERS GOOGLE.COM SEND THEM TO 172.217.28.206

In this case, 172.217.28.206 is the real address in the Internet of the computer that is showing me Google on my browser.

Something similar happens with our email address. Imagine if we had to remember (or write down) all those numbers that mean absolutely nothing to us for each website we want to remember, or email we want to send. Well, that’s what happens nowadays with cryptocurrencies. When you want to receive Monero you have to give people something like this:

4AdkPJoxn7JCvAby9szgnt93MSEwdnxdhaASxbTBm6x5dCwmsDep2UYN4FhStDn5i11nsJbpU7oj59ahg8gXb1Mg3viqCuk

Good luck with that. It’s impossible to remember unless you are that guy that couldn’t forget anything. What if instead of that looong string of characters you could say “Hey send me the moneroj to monerujo.io, no problem.” Using OpenAlias, you can configure the DNS of a domain, so when a wallet checks it for an address, it returns it. It says something like this:

IF A WALLET WANTS TO SEND TO MONERUJO.IO TELL IT THE ADDRESS IS 4AdkPJoxn7JCvAby9szgnt93MSEwdnxdhaASxbTBm6x5dCwmsDep2UYN4FhStDn5i11nsJbpU7oj59ahg8gXb1Mg3viqCuk

Isn't that beautiful? This way you only need the memorable domain, and it will work. Let’s try it in Monerujo.

How it works in Monerujo

  1. Oh this is super easy. Start Monerujo (check that you have version 1.7.3 or above, you can do that on the top right menu on About)
  2. Open any of your wallets. If it’s out of sync, wait until it does its thing and you see the GIVE button enabled. Click it.
  3. You’ll see the sending screen (we’ll do this test with Monerujo’s own donations address). Where you’d normally write or paste the address, write monerujo.io and hit enter. It will briefly say something like Resolving OpenAlias…
  4. In one second or so it will get replaced by the actual address (you could check if you want with the original source that it matches). Ideally it will say OpenAlias secure ✓. It means that the DNS has a security feature enabled to ensure that nobody but the owner tampers with it, so you can trust the address it is showing you.
  5. Proceed with your transfer like you’d normally do. It’s just the same.

How to get your own OpenAlias

Well, that might be not that easy. For that you’d need either your own domain, or someone with their own domain that you trust so much you’re sure they won’t just change your alias to their wallet and steal your incoming funds. Just to be clear, they can’t steal anything you have in your wallet, you’re not giving them the keys to your house, you’re just allowing them to tell Amazon where to send your packages. It’s just an address, not ownership.

But let’s say you have your own address. Somebody is managing that, and answering the DNS requests for it. It can be your registrar, or your webhosting for example. You need to get to where you administer DNS entries, and add a custom TXT one. It should be written like this:

oa1:xmr recipient_address=yourlongmoneroaddress; recipient_name=yourname;

In our example it would look like this:

oa1:xmr recipient_address=4AdkPJoxn7JCvAby9szgnt93MSEwdnxdhaASxbTBm6x5dCwmsDep2UYN4FhStDn5i11nsJbpU7oj59ahg8gXb1Mg3viqCuk; recipient_name=Monerujo Donations;

OpenAlias also works with Bitcoin addresses, so that’s why it starts by saying that the following is an XMR address, then it says the address itself, and then the name that will appear on the wallet, probably as a note on the transaction, so you kind of know who you’re sending to.

If you see somewhere on your DNS configuration an option to enable DNSSEC, do it. It will give you extra cypherpunk credits and show anybody checking your alias that OpenAlias secure ✓ because well… it’s more secure.

Once you add that entry and save it, it will normally take some minutes to propagate through all DNS servers but after a while you can try if yours work, just by going to Monerujo and entering your newly created alias on the address field, and if it resolves to yours, it’s working.

That’s all! If you want to try it for real make a donation no matter how small to monerujo.io using your newly acquired OpenAlias knowledge. It helps a lot to support its development since is a completely free and open source project and relies completely on the generosity of its users to keep adding useful features like this one. Thank you.

Co-Founder at Sloop + Monerujo team member

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