ArNS: What is an ANT?

“An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox.” - Lao Tzu

Arweave Name Tokens (ANTs)

Arweave Name Tokens (ANTs) establish ownership and trading of ArNS names on the permaweb. Here's a simple overview of how they work:

What is an ANT?

ANTs are digital assets within the Arweave ecosystem that signify ownership or lease rights over ArNS names. ANTs are equivalent to digital deeds of ArNS names on the permaweb.

Just as a deed to a house gives you rights to that property, owning an ANT gives you rights to the name it represents.

ANTs use SmartWeave technology—smart contracts tailored for the Arweave protocol—to manage the relationship between the token and the name it corresponds to.

Why are ANTs Important?

  • Empower users with the control over a piece of the permaweb, assigning clear ownership or leasing agreements to digital names

  • Serve as the backbone for the permaweb's naming system, the Arweave Name System (ArNS), fostering an organized, searchable digital space

Whether you're a developer looking to secure a brand for your app or a creator wanting to establish a permanent presence for your work, ANTs play a pivotal role in carving out your digital niche.

Transferring Arweave Name Tokens (ANTs)

ANTs are not only static tokens representing ownership—they are designed to be transferable—the proverbial “ant on the move”. This means if you own an ANT, you have the option to transfer this digital asset to someone else.

Here’s how this transferability adds another dimension to the use of ANTs:

Transferring Ownership

  • If you decide to sell or gift your digital name, the ANT associated with it allows for a straightforward transfer process

  • The transferability of ANTs ensures that the digital real estate on the permaweb can change hands, providing flexibility for users as their needs evolve

Transfers are a core function of ANTs, contributing to the dynamic and fluid nature of digital assets on Arweave. When digital names are tokenized as ANTs, they can be traded, sold, or collected - even more easily than domain names in the traditional web space.

Busy colony of ANTs

Each ANT offers significant functionality depending on your established role with the given ANT. Here’s a list of several different types of interactions users and controllers can have with ANTs:

  • Transfer ANT: Allows the ANT owner to transfer ownership of the ANT to another user.

  • Add / Remove Controllers: Enables the ANT owner to add or remove controllers for the ANT.

  • Set Records (Pointers): Permits the setting of mutable pointers to permaweb data, such as pages, dApps, or files, by linking them to an Arweave Transaction ID.

  • Update Records Name Ticker: Allows for the modification of the ANT's associated records, including updating the name ticker and other related settings.

  • Extend / Renew Lease: Provides the functionality to extend or renew the lease for a name registered under the ArNS, ensuring continued control and ownership.

  • Increase Undernames: Offers the capability to purchase additional undername capacity for any actively registered name, enhancing the flexibility and utility of the ANT.