NIP-05, also known as NIP05 or NIP5, is a Nostr Improvement Proposal that outlines a process for mapping Nostr public keys to DNS-based internet identifiers. This allows users to associate their Nostr public keys with a human-readable internet address, such as “firstname.lastname@example.org“.
These human readable addresses create a much more usable experience on Nostr. It is far easier for users to find and follow one another on Nostr when searching for @patrickulrich.com instead of npub145hy2774y06ks7qfz9mtegy782pylkpvq3celf727lw7ev5wxtns6a6tfv. This is what NIP-05 provides for.
This allows clients to provide a more user-friendly experience when displaying other user’s NIP-05 as opposed to their long public key string. This feature is important because it helps to prevent impersonation or identity theft on the Nostr network. By allowing users to prove ownership of their profiles with human readable IDs, NIP-05 helps to create a more trusted and secure environment for communication and interaction.
This was clearly shown when @jack started having multiple impersonators. Despite sharing that his public key was npub1sg6plzptd64u62a878hep2kev88swjh3tw00gjsfl8f237lmu63q0uf63m users kept following other accounts. Once @jack verified via @no.str.cr the other @jacks seemed to move on. I think it would have been better to see him verified under a known domain like block.xyz but it was certainly an improvement over no domain verification.
Overall, NIP-05 is an important development for the Nostr network. It allows users to create and distribute signed, verifiable profiles, which can help to build trust and security on the network. As such, NIP-05 is an important tool for anyone looking to make the most of their experience on the Nostr network.