What are Homoglyphs in PNS Domain Names?

Homoglyphs: Tricky Look-Alike Characters

  • Imagine you see two names: vitalik.pls and vita‍lik.pls. They look almost the same, right? But they're not! This trick is called using homoglyphs - characters that look similar but are actually different.

Why Homoglyphs Matter

  • When sending crypto or dealing with domain names, these look-alikes can be confusing. One might be real, and the other a fake.

How to Spot the Difference

  • Using a Unicode Analyzer: This is a tool that helps you see the hidden details in a name. It can show you if there's an invisible or different character.
  • Zero-Width Joiners: These are invisible characters sometimes used in emojis. For example, a heart emoji might be made of a heart symbol plus a fire symbol, glued together by an invisible joiner.
  • Variation Selectors: These are used to change how emojis look, like making a heart red instead of black and white.

Be Careful with .pls Names Outside the Official dApp

  • In PNS, variation selectors are removed to avoid confusion. But when dealing with domains outside the official app, these tricky characters can sneak in.

Confusable Characters

  • Some characters look very similar, like the letter 'e' from different alphabets. These can be used to create names that look identical but are actually different.

What Can You Do?

  • Use Warning Signs: Many services will show warning symbols next to names with unusual characters.
  • Check Prices: If a domain name looks too good to be true (like a popular name at a low price), it might be a fake. Always double-check by pasting it into the official dApp or via the unicode analyzer.

Managing Capitals and Numbers

  • In PNS, upper-case letters are turned into lower-case, and some numbers from different languages look the same but are different.