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The AlphaChat IRC Network
The first name in chat

Identifying to your services account via SASL instead of NickServ IDENTIFY is advantageous for a number of reasons:

The AlphaChat IRC Network currently supports the following SASL authentication mechanisms:

If you are unsure what your account name is, /whois yourself when you are identified; this is NOT the same thing as a nickname!

If you don't know what any of this means, but your client indicates that it supports SASL, just use PLAIN; it is no more insecure than NickServ IDENTIFY.

The Irssi script for ECDSA-NIST256P-CHALLENGE is located here.