I've recently created a service called the BTCANS
(short for Bitcoin Address Naming System) that makes maintaining and sharing your primary bitcoin address a bit easier. The idea is simple-- sign up with the BTCANS with a simple, text ID and associate your payment address with your account. Other can always find your payment address by querying the service. If you own a site or service that offers payouts to your customers, you can cache their BTCANS ID. When it's time to make a payout, query the BTCANS and you will get their most up-to-date payment address.
This service is especially useful for two primary reasons. First, text IDs (like john_doe) are easier to remember and share than long hash strings. If someone wants to send you a payment, they can easily query your ID instead of having to search around for a payment address.
The second and considerably beneficial reason is for security. Assuming your wallet was lost or stolen it would be extremely beneficial to have one central location that you can go to and update your payment address. I know I personally have multiple websites that I have signed up for that offer various referral payouts. Although I keep my coins in a third-party wallet service, if their site was ever hacked, I would want to update all of my payout addresses as quickly as possible. A service like the BTCANS helps expedite the update process.
None of us hope or think that our bitcoin wallet will be stolen but as history has often proven, even some of the most well known and respected sites can and have been hacked.
If you're interested in the BTCANS please check out our home page
or if you have any questions or comments, respond here or to the official project thread
Please note that querying the BTCANS is extremely easy and will always be free. Also, in the future I am planning on let merchants tap into this system, creating short-term on-the-fly payout IDs that they can use for payment processing. These services won't be free but will be cheap. Also, I have already integrated a referral system into the BTCANS. If you refer a customer to the BTCANS, and if they become a merchant, you will receive a generous portion of their payments.