The Unstoppable Domain!

Why blockchain domains will be a huge asset class

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Mar 11

Who remembers what domain investing was like in the 1990’s or early 2000’s? New digital real estate was being created from scratch and sold, launching an entirely new, purely digital, asset class. And as the internet filled up with new websites, premier domains began to shoot up in value. Some companies in the .com era may have succeeded largely due to their domain and it’s primacy in search results. Today, this market has become stagnant, but innovation is popping up in a new area — blockchain domains.

But first, what’s wrong with the current domain system?

  1. No new domain extensions

If you’ve ever gotten curious about how the domain industry works, you may have come across a group called ICANN. They are an international regulatory body that approves applications for new domains extensions. An extension is the part to the right of the dot like .com or .info. Companies can pay to submit applications to ICANN to get permission to launch a new extension. Most applicants are private companies who intend to make money by selling domains & collecting annual registration fees. New extensions haven’t been approved since 2013, the last time applications were open!

The next approval process is supposed to open in 2021–2022, but right now it’s impossible to launch a new extension. And even after spending years applying & paying $500K or more in expenses, there’s no guarantee when or if you will prevail and be permitted to launch. How can a company plan and execute on a roadmap as a business if approvals could take several years?

  1. Payments aren’t native to the internet

Payments were meant to be a core part of the design of the internet, but at the time no cryptographically secure ways to send money existed. Only recently, 25 years later have tools like Stripe made it easy for businesses in the US and the west to accept digital payments. Yet this infrastructure doesn’t integrate easily with other solutions around the world. Worse, most of the world doesn’t have reliable digital payments at all.

  1. No censorship resistance

The current domain system is based on a singular registry, that a series of approved parties can update. Those parties are called registrars and are companies like Godaddy or Google Domains. When you buy a domain, you buy directly from a registrar and they are the custodian of that domain for you. Because registrars are custodians, they can take the domain away from you if someone asks them to.

In the US at least, this is happening for 3 primary reasons:

  • Public anger against sites expressing unpopular political views has led to pressure on registrars to ‘de-platform’ a domain
  • Court orders asking to take down a website
  • Pressure from powerful companies — large corporations claim trademark/IP violations, etc. to prevent websites from being used

These combined forces have led to a variety of restrictions on new applications, uses, and user behaviors. These problems exist to varying degrees around the world, but it’s definitely a global problem. DNS can be a place where countries try and censor one another by rejecting character standards beneficial to certain countries, lobbying against certain extensions, or favoring certain technology players.

So how can blockchain domains fix all of this?

Some good news finally — blockchain domains address the above problems directly.

  1. New domain extensions

If there’s one thing that blockchains are great at, it’s permissionless innovation. New blockchain domain services can just launch on a public blockchain, no ICANN approval necessary. Now of course, there are many challenges with this, but getting approval from a regulator that may take years isn’t one of them. Instead you need to worry about deploying smart contracts correctly, getting apps to support your new extension, and of course getting users to buy and use the domains :slight_smile:

  1. Payments are native

Another thing blockchains are pretty great at is payments. So what if I told you that your blockchain domain will replace your cryptocurrency addresses for payments? Rather than sharing your bitcoin, eth, and other addresses when you want to get paid, just share yourname.zil. Now when I go into a wallet to pay you, I type yourname.zil, choose from a list of currencies you accept, and pay. Not only is this is a way to replace long addresses, but it’s also a way to easily accept any cryptocurrency. If you just want to receive whatever currency is easiest for folks who are you paying you, then set up your domain so you accept all of the top cryptocurrencies.

Censorship resistance

With blockchain domains, the user stores the domain asset themselves inside of their cryptocurrency wallet, in the same way they store cryptocurrencies. Blockchain domains are just assets on top of a smart contract platform like Ethereum. The only way to move a blockchain domain or change what information it points to, would be to control the private key of the wallet. This is completely different than with traditional domains, where registrars like Godaddy & Google Domains are the holders of your domain asset.

So the next step after domain custody is to make it easy to build censorship resistant websites. Right now, users could point their blockchain domains to content stored on a self hosted server or a decentralized storage network. That means that today it is possible to have both a domain asset and a website associated with it that can’t be taken down.

So how does this all lead to a big new blockchain asset class?

Traditional domain names as an asset class are a big asset class worth between $20B-$100B. Of more than 300M total domains sold, the most valuable domain ever was Cars.com valued at $872M in an SEC filing. There are also 1500 different domain extensions that are live and operating.

Blockchains are great at supporting digital assets and it’s hard to think of a digital asset class much bigger than domains. .Eth, the first blockchain naming service achieved the following sales:

260K+ registrations

$33M in eth used to register domains in 1st year

$3.5M locked up for most valuable .eth domain

And this is all before blockchain domains are in regular use for payments or for censorship resistant websites.

Blockchain domains could be a much bigger asset class than current domains

This is due to:

  1. New features — Payments and censorship resistance solve huge problems that exist with current domains, turning them into global, permissionless tools for business
  2. New users — Traditional domains are for businesses, but everyone will need a blockchain domain to pay and get paid. There’s a consumer and a business use for blockchain domains so we could easily see 3B instead of 300M traditional domains
  3. Portability — The entire current DNS infrastructure could easily port from the current centralized DNS registry to a public blockchain at any point in the future. Eventually, blockchain naming systems will be the tech of choice

If you’re interested in searching for available blockchain domains, check out our website. You can also follow us on twitter.

from : https://medium.com/@brad_90448

3 Likes

How multi-currency payments will unite the blockchain community

If you accept cryptocurrency for payments, you probably don’t accept all of the dozens of available options. So before someone pays, they need to know which currencies you accept as well as what your addresses are. Rather than sharing a list of 10+ addresses, you’ve probably chosen 2–3 favorite currencies & you only accept those.

This makes sense for convenience and simplicity, but it also has a side effect… it’s fodder for the protocol wars.

Passionate supporters of one blockchain or another try and push users toward their cryptocurrency of choice. Often, just choosing to accept one currency or another, is the equivalent of publicly choosing sides in the protocol wars. After 10+ years, and dozens of currencies, the blockchain community has fragmented into countless such groups. And the total number of cryptocurrency users in the world is only around 30 Million.

When new users join & try to use cryptocurrency, they are often met with complicated debates around which protocols are better. Can you imagine how much easier it would be to grow the blockchain community if this weren’t what dominates public discussions?

If you have a blockchain domain, you can sit this debate out altogether! Add 10, 20, or 50 cryptocurrencies all to your .zil domain & people can pay in whatever currency they want.

The next time someone asks which cryptocurrency to use, just say, “whichever is easiest for you.” Share yourname.zil & get paid in any cryptocurrency that you’ve associated with your domain.

And how does this work…?

You control the domain so you are the only person able to associate cryptocurrencies with it. Store your bitcoin, ethereum, and zilliqa addresses on the blockchain itself. When someone types yourname.zil into a wallet, the wallet looks up that domain on the blockchain, finds the appropriate address, and sends. It’s that simple.

Stay tuned — we will be launching a feature that enables private payments in the coming months.

Want to see it in action? You can add your bitcoin, Ethereum, & Zilliqa addresses to your .zil domain now.

It’s easy, just follow these easy steps. But you’ll need to register a domain first!

Steps

  1. Login at unstopppabledomains.com
  2. Go to the ‘my domains’ section
  3. Click manage domain
  4. Add your bitcoin, ethereum, & Zilliqa addresses (more currencies coming soon!)

If you’re interested in available blockchain domains, check out our website.

Join us on twitter & telegram.

We are Unstoppable Domains. We build domains on blockchains. We’re funded by Boost VC and have received grants from both the ethereum foundation & the zilliqa foundation.

2 Likes

Thanks for the post. Do you know, can I just buy the domain without linking my wallet addresses at this time?.. just to grab the domain name. I’m going to pick up a few domain names and just wondering. Thanks!

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i think you can, there’s a pre-sale on some domains, but go to their website and serve your self my friend

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Yes… I was just on the Unstoppable Domain site. Do you think domains on Zil will be a good investment? So many domains are taken but still some good ones from what I can tell. I’m thinking though, this could be one of those 1st mover advantage situations? Maybe I’m dreaming.

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i think it will be something real valuable if crypto payment will take over !! (eventually and that’s why we are here to believe to lol) but if i can suggest you, don’t pick copyrighted names, but jump on easy, simple but useful domain, like Mail.zil or i don’t know bbq.zil, that one day someone will need to make good business and you will be the one to ask money for hahahahah.

but be careful it’s still on testnet i think, don’t throw all your money on it, but if you have some to “gamble” with i think it’s not a bad idea to grab some good domains.

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here’s a good video that explain even more the service :slight_smile:

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And another one here too, people are waking up about this :wink:

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Taking copyrighted names is fine. The company will likely make you an offer that’s less than the legal fees they would incur when taking the site in court. I knew a guy who actually had pokemon.com. He refused to give it up for a $1 million offer.

They then took him to court and got it for free. Although the legal fees were probably considerable for them.

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You can also consider grabbing common typos for big companies such as wallmart.zil. Walmart owns both walmart.com and wallmart.com. If they don’t take the common typos and misspellings then you could end up with a whole lot of accidental payments in your account.

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I heard that the “Premium” domain will be sold on auction. But not sure though.

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Guys here’s a link to get a FREE Domain @ Unstoppabledmains :

https://unstoppabledomains.com/nye

just need to find the one you want, register, and tweet about it !

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Just got the domain name of my real name. Thinking about buying the names of my friends and family to give it to them as a present. What do you guys think?


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