Meet NameSpace: The Web3 Identity Provider for the Digital Generation

Today we sat down with Kris Kocić, co-founder and CEO of Namespace to talk more about what they do and his plans for the future.

Hi Kris, tell us a bit about your personal journey towards founding NameSpace. How did you get here?

The Namespace team, Kris, Arthy and Bran

That’s a looong journey, my friend. But let’s see if we can make it brief. Ever since I was a student in Belgrade, studying computer science, I knew I would be a creator of some kind. While studying I was running Startup Grind events and interviewing entrepreneurs and founders. Then I started my tech brokerage company where I learned mostly about sales. I always had to be on the move. Later on, I went to study in the US for a while. I founded a company there called Sixpence which is in the crowdfunding industry. Then after one full year filled with a series of misfortunate events (health, love, career, money) right from rock bottom, I decided to ‘gamble’ my money away and poured everything into crypto without knowing what it was. This was in 2019. when ETH was $200. And then things started to pick up again 🙂 Ever since then, I’ve been in crypto. Mostly researching, investing, trading, and occasionally throwing money into questionable highly speculative full-blown degen tokens. After the bull market was over, I successfully managed to scale my 5k EUR portfolio to well over 7 figures in 2 years and drive it all the way down, without taking almost any profit. After that, I decided to go back to my roots and focus on building startups in the blockchain space. Because I love the ethos, I like the value blockchain tech brings, and I like the financial revolution crypto brings so I decided to stay. And that’s how I ran into ENS, which is an Ethereum Naming Service on top of which my entire product called Namespace is built.

Who is NameSpace for and what problem are you solving?

One of the major challenges in the blockchain industry is the complex and confusing user experience, particularly in transaction processes. Wallets have public addresses, private keys, seed phrases, and 42-character long-format addresses (e.g., 0x3Kp6…17D3) pose a significant barrier to the average user. This complexity not only slows down the adoption but has also led to substantial losses in the past.

To solve this issue ENS or Ethereum naming service, has done a great job – it maps the long-format Wallet address to the human-readable .eth name. And so 0x3Kp6…17D3 becomes something like kris.eth, or network.eth or car.eth etc. Similar to what DNS does for IP addresses, ENS does the same for blockchain-based digital resources and assets, you can think of it like that. But unlike DNS which maps website domains to their IP addresses, ENS or .eth names can be used as a domain name identifier, wallet name, web3 username, Web3 digital identity, or even a contract name or a contract function. In other words, it’s a decentralized identifier that points to any digital resource in the world.

As such, ENS is pretty cool but very difficult to implement, and it doesn’t inherently support management and customization features for different user groups.

That’s exactly why we created Namespace – a Digital Identity management platform that adds a lot of additional utility to ENS protocol and creates new use cases. Simply put, we allow all ENS name owners to issue, manage and sell Digital Identities from their ENS names… effectively making every single ENS name owner a Digital Identity provider who can make money selling these digital identities, or issue them for free, it’s up to them. And the best part is – anyone can do it, the only requirement is to have an ENS name.

Namespace Manager for customizing, selling and minting Subnames

Namespace is designed to be user-friendly and facilitate this entire process. It’s also very easy to use so that any ENS name owner regardless of their technical expertise can use it. On top of that, we offer API and SDK services which allow an increased degree of customization, quicker implementation, and more control and authority over these digital identities. With our API and SDK, anyone can easily and fairly quickly integrate ENS as a naming system into their decentralized application, game, wallets, website builders, other companies, even blockchain development platforms or even banks, or whoever else, and allow their users or customers to register a Web3 native digital identity.

How big is the team and why are they a good match for this project?

We are 3 full-time people working on this at the moment. Our skills are complementary to each other. I’m a person with a technical understanding of how technology works and operates and how the dots connect to provide the most product value. The other two co-founders Arthy and Bran are insanely good developers (blockchain dev and full stack dev). And plus, we’ve been following and building along with ENS innovations and development and are active DAO members and Delegates. So, we know the entire ENS codebase along with all complimentary tech for expanding ENS utility like Chainlink’s CCIP, L2 integration like Optimism, etc.

Why found a startup focused on .eth?

We founded a startup focused on .eth because the ENS stands out in the blockchain space for its unique approach and proven reliability. It’s not only a major player as one of the world’s leading DAOs, but also a crucial element in the infrastructure of the new internet. What really convinced us is its well-crafted protocol and the evident thoughtfulness in its overall design and development. As one of the core identity primitives on the blockchain, it will play a big role in self-sovereign identity and data movement.

Let’s talk more about your products. What would you say distinguishes you from other ENS solutions? What is your “killer app?”

Namespace is much more than just an app. It’s an app and developer tooling system and a registrar and soon-to-be marketplace.
App – as an app, Namespace allows all ENS name owners to easily manage, customize and list names on our platform and start selling subnames (digital identities) and optionally make money in the process.

Developer tooling – we are building our own API + SDK service that streamlines the adoption of ENS as a naming system. It’s built to support the easy implementation of ENS for every dapp, platform, game, institution, etc who prefers custom implementation.

Namespace Digital Identity Registration page

Registrar – we are the only product in Web3 that offers aggregate search for both ENS names and all available subnames. Search and registration functionality is used for people to find and register their Web3 digital identity but is also supported by our API to be implemented in other products where search and registration for domain names makes sense such as no-code website builders for example.

Marketplace – in order to complete the whole circle we have to enable ENS names and subname to be tradable on our platform.

Who is the ideal customer for NameSpace? What do people need to get started with NameSpace?

We work with lots of people but all of them have one thing in common which is a prerequisite to even get started and that is to have an ENS (.eth) name.

Our primary user group is individuals who are entrepreneurially oriented and want to sell Digital Identities through their ENS Names. We also work with businesses such as wallets, games, metaverse projects, etc. who want to provide easy Digital Identity minting/claiming for all of their users, players, or customers. We also integrate with businesses that need quick setup of Search and Registration functionality for ENS domains. One other interesting aspect is communities – DAOs, private groups, and web3 communities in general allowing their members to get their unique and brandable Web3 digital identity. And since recently, as a development tooling system providing API+SDK solutions for easy ENS naming integration, we started working with blockchain development platforms and developers in general.

What do you hope NameSpace is going to be in 5 years, as a business, or as a technology? What would be your ideal scenario?

One of the most important characteristics of successful founders in the blockchain industry is adaptability, flexibility, and constantly innovating and keeping track of innovations. Even 2 months ago we didn’t know we were going to build our own SDK because along the way we recognized the opportunity and decided to capitalize on it. That said, everything I say should be and probably will be subject to a degree of change.

From this perspective, we want Namespace eventually to be the go-to place when anyone, either a solo developer or a company building in Web3, wants easy implementation and management of all naming services in the world. We want Namespace to become the underlying tech, no one knows about, that powers minting digital identities or decentralized domain names. We hope to achieve this by integrating with every single website, blog, game, wallet, project, institution, community, etc.

Talk a bit about your experience with StartupYard. What were the surprises, challenges, highs and lows?

Just a steady stream of enjoyment week after week. 🙂 We’ve only started our mentoring sessions and I’m enjoying them quite a lot. Cedric has been very helpful as a mentor to help us define our product and get a better understanding of how to position it in the market. Besides that, I’m looking forward to our continued work together throughout all future stages in our startup journey.