Joseph Skewes, cofounder of identity startup Alien Star Cloud, purchased .au domains matching the surnames of some of the wealthiest and most successful Australians in an exercise demonstrating the importance of protecting your personal brand.
The domains include rinehart.au, surname of mining magnate and Australia’s richest person Gina Rinehart, eisen.au, surname of Afterpay CEO & cofounder Anthony Eisen, mundine.au, surname of 3-time boxing world champion Anthony Mundine, and tarascio.au, surname of billionaire property magnate Sam Tarascio.
The domains were purchased for the purpose of the demonstration and would be provided back to the prominent Australians at cost, by request before year’s end.
.au direct domains are a new top-level domain format allowing those with an Australian presence to register domains such as name.au. They can be used for email addresses, web addresses, and when connected with Ethereum Name Service (ENS), their utility can extend to a cross-platform web3 username for payments and more.
After a priority allocation process for holders of pre-existing .au domains the .au Domain Administration Limited (auDA) has today released all remaining .au domains to the public. Launched six months ago, .au direct is now the second biggest namespace in .au, following com.au, ahead of net.au.
The relaxed rules around the new .au direct format means Australians can purchase a domain without the need to be a commercial entity (required for .com.au and .net.au) and without falling afoul of the rules for domains intended for individuals (.id.au requires a matching name and is not able to be monetised).
Joseph Skewes, Head of Operations at Alien Star Cloud, was surprised by the domains that were available and that there was a lack of media coverage around the potential for personal use cases. Understanding the importance of digital identity he recently registered his family name in the new format, skewes.au, and out of interest began checking what else was available.
Alien Star Cloud is developing an online design studio (ID8R) for digital identity that provides tools for creating social graphics, device wallpapers, profile pictures, and graphics that can be used for physical merchandise. These graphics can incorporate identity elements, including .au direct domains, pseudonyms, names, or web3 digital assets such as NFT avatars, ENS domains, and Yats (emoji identities).
Designs are being created specifically to incorporate popular NFT avatar collections such as Moonbirds and Reddit Collectible Avatars. By creating designs that are specifically customised to the communities that are popping up online around these new forms of identity the founders of Alien Star Cloud believe a stronger personal connection can be established between the owner and their digital identity.
With a utility-enabled NFT collection dropping on October 27th and ID8R to come soon after, the founders of Alien Star Cloud are excited to cater to new forms of digital identity, including the .au direct domains.
Alien Star Cloud is on a mission to combine design with new forms of digital identity, allowing anyone to improve the aesthetics of their personal or business brand.
We are an Australian company, with a remote-first team consisting of co-founders in Australia, Germany, and the United States.
ID8R is an app under development by Alien Star Cloud. Created to support the new frontier of digital identity, allowing netizens to personalise graphics for their social profiles and devices. With a focus on web3 identity including NFT avatars, ENS domains (.eth addresses), and Yats (emoji identities), ID8R will also provide a range of options for those who just want to create an amazing graphic with their name, pseudonym, or domain (such as the new .au direct domains).
Access to ID8R’s core features will initially be token-gated to owners of the Aliens HD NFT collection which is being released on October 27th. The beta version of ID8R is expected to be released soon after this drop.
The Aliens HD NFTs will provide a lifetime pass to ID8R core, with subscription access for those wishing to use a credit card to follow.