MetaHandles are Bitcoin transactions which reference to another transaction and a keyword chosen by the users. This enables a user to search for a keyword and find another transaction.
A major problem of onchain content is that it is referenced by a transaction id, like
0478a101336483d878bccec3c82bb97e8aea7f0c3c4dbf65c1ef910957b558c8 which is impossible to memorize. The result is that you need to keep long lists of bookmarks with onchain links or transaction ids.
MetaHandle solves this problem by allowing you to create bookmarks or tags for any onchain content. Beside this they allow you to add value to a transaction or to claim an exclusive handle for a keyword.
The Basic Handle can be just used like a bookmark or a tag. You can use a common word, like "blog", "game" or "bitcoin" to reference to an onchain content. This word can be used to tag many transactions and thus become some kind of overview. At the same time, you can use a more specific handle - or a password - to access files more privately.
A step-by-step-guide to create a basic handle:
You have a picture - here is one of my Dog Ruedie - on the blockchain. To access it you usually go to some kind of content-explorer like bico.media and search for the transaction ID. This is very unconvenient, as you hardly memorize the transaction ID.
To make it easier, you can create a MetaHandle, either by clicking in the top menue on "create" or by just typing the handle you want in the search field and clicking on the "create" button. In this case the handle form will already know the name of your handle.
After doing so you land on the creation page. Here you can paste in your transaction ID, set a title and a description.
Handle name, transaction ID, title and description are the minimum required fields. But there are more options for your handle:
There are two checkboxes. The first allows you to encrypt the transaction id in the handle. This can help you to keep a private collection of handles safe against injections. If you use a password for your private handles, like a private bookmarking list, this is recommended.
The next option is to publicize the handle. If you activate it, the handle name will be stored in our (offchain) database and announced on the frontpage of MetaHandle.net. This might help you to get pubclicity for your content.
Further, you can add up to three tags to your handle. If someone searched those tags on Metahandle.net, like "bestdog", "pet", "animal", "dog", he will find the handle. The next option, "add value", will create a Value Handle, which we will explain in the next section.
After you filled the handle form, you click on the "Create Handle" button. Then you will be forwarded to the next site - you have to initiate the transaction.
After the handle is created, you are forwarded to the search results for this handle. And as we see - we can now access my dog Ruedie very easily.
When you create an Handle, you have the option to add value. This basically means that the handle transaction will have another output with monetary value in BSV. As long as this output is unspent, the handle will be valid. Since you can chose the address by yourself, the coins will fully remain under your control.
When there are several handles on the same word - like with the tag "blog" - they are sorted by value. Also, if the same handle for the same transaction exists twice, only the one with the highest value is shown. This allows you to use Value Handles to update an Handle.
To create one you do the same like creating a basic handle - but you also set an address and an amount. I used Electrum SV to create a new address and write in the description for what it is used. With Electrum you have the option to free coins, so the input you receive will.
Then paste the address in the field, and set an amount in Satoshi to add to the Handle. This is how your handle creation form should look like:
After you set this, just click on the "Create Handle" button and initiate the transaction with MoneyButton or ProxyPay. You created a Value Handle. But beware that you don't spent the output accidently.
Creating an exclusive handle is very similar as creating a value handle. You can either start it by clicking on the "create exclusive handle" link below the regular handle creation form, or you click the link in the menue.
After this you simply fill in the form with the handle name, the txid, the title and the description. You don't need to specify an amount for the value output, as it is always 0.1 BSV, but you need to set an address.
As with the value handle, the exclusive handle is destroyed once you move the coins in the value output. So please mark them in your wallet to not accidently spend them.
Searching a handle is easy: Just type it in the search form. If you like to look at a public handle, you can click on a link on the homepage of Metahandle.net.
Alternatively, you can search with the url by adding a slash and the handle to the domain name. If you go on metahandle.net/blog you will land on the search results for the handle blog.
To share a handle you set the best method is to use the domain search, like metahandle.net/blog or metahandle.net/books. Alternatively you can just share the handle name and direct people to metahandle.