What's really under the hood?

With the Onename webapp, you can own a username and profile with your private key. Currently, the Onename webapp acts as a "registrar" in the sense that when you register a username through Onename, first it is registered through the webapp with an address that is owned by the Onename webapp and then the webapp transfers the name to your address (only you have the private key to that). This is similar to buying Bitcoins at an exchange and then sending them to an address that only you own. 
All names registered on the Onename webapp are registered in the .id namespace on Blockstack. So if you registered "fredwilson" as your username, the actual name registered on the underlying system is "fredwilson.id". See this article for details on namespaces.
The Onename webapp registers your name in a way that you don't have to pay the registration fee (the webapp pays it on your behalf). Of course, you can register your username yourself, please check out http://blockstack.org.
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