Blockchain Domain Names: What they are + how to get them

The domain industry is also undergoing a change, which is caused by Crypto and Co. The only question is how far-reaching this will be... Since I have a lot to do with domains in my job, I...

Since I deal a lot with domains in my job and am very interested in blockchain technologies in my private life, it was only a matter of time until I would stumble across blockchain domain names. I have found a few

These domains are based on blockchain platforms and are tamper-proof one-offs. After registration, the domain is handed over instead of being managed by the registry like classic domains. The domain can therefore no longer be revoked and there is no recurring fee.

But how did this development come about?

The starting point for blockchain domain names

The Domain Name System (DNS) is, like pretty much everything else, centrally managed. If you hold or have held a domain name, you probably know ICANN as a large regulatory body or the registrar with which one has contact from time to time. If you are not too familiar with the topic of domains, I have here a simple kept article about traditional domains.

Even though I find that in the vast majority of cases the administration is well organized and fair, the approach of putting domain names on the blockchain is extremely attractive.

The main advantage of blockchain domain names

Blockchain domain names cannot be revoked once issued.

Why is that?

Well it is a blockchain-based domain name that can be purchased with a one-time payment.

This is a significant difference compared to classic domain names which are typically registered for one or, depending on the domain extension (TLD. Top Level Domain), several years and are renewed continuously if necessary.

For a fee, a transfer can then be made to a crypto wallet of your choice.

Thus, it is impossible that the domain can be taken away from you again - you actually own the domain name. 

Use of blockchain domain names

The domain name can be used to receive crypto payments by linking it to (our) crypto wallets. It is possible that my web hosting provider will offer to make payments with cryptocurrencies in the near future - using an address that is easy to remember and pass on, compared to the cryptic and ell-long wallet addresses in the background. If you're new to the term "wallet" in the context of crypto and blockchain - yes you guessed it: I have a article about wallets with a simple explanation for you.

But the use of blockchain domains for traditional operations, such as linking to websites and email addresses, will also become an issue.

In addition, as mentioned before, these domains cannot theoretically be switched off and are thus predestined for protection against censorship. This is because the underlying blockchain principle ensures that the generated domain names are a firmly integrated part of the corresponding blockchain and cannot be removed. By transferring the domain names to the registrant, the registrant is the sole holder of the private keys, which means that the registrant has exclusive control over the domain name. In my opinion, however, it is conceivable that the domain names could be blocked in the future, for example at country level (by government bodies).

Technical properties of blockchain domains

This type of domain is based on the Ethereum blockchain and is basically an NFT (non-fungible token - meaning unique and tamper-proof) created using the ERC-721 standard.

This standard is also the reason why the transfer of the domain to a wallet costs a fee. Classic Ethereum.

Speaking of classic: Blockchain domains are not based on the traditional DNS (Domain Name System), but on "Alternate Roots" and are thus outside the jurisdiction of ICANN.

The domain names are not yet natively supported by all browsers, but the adaptation seems to be progressing quite fast.

Brave and Opera have already introduced support and most major browsers already have browser extensions to make the domains usable.

Where to get blockchain domains

By far the largest and most established provider of blockchain domains is "Unstoppable Domains". The name alludes to the technical censorship security of these domains. If you want to look around, here is the page of the registry If you want to look around, here's the registrar's page (yes, that's my referral link 🙂 - should you grab a domain name nothing would change for you on the price, but I get some credit):

The prices for these blockchain domain names range from a one-time fee of 20USD to 100USD. Depending on the domain extension (see list below). Premium names are correspondingly more expensive.

Currently the following domain extensions exist:

  • .zil
  • .crypto
  • .coin
  • .wallet
  • .bitcoin
  • .x
  • .888
  • .nft
  • .dao
  • (.blockchain <- geht bald online)

The nice thing is that the domain extensions .CRYPTO and etc. are relatively new and the chance to still get the coveted name is significantly higher than it is, for example, the case with other domain extensions.

Derzeit gibt es die folgenden Domainendungen:Derzeit gibt es die folgenden Domainendungen:

p.s.: For companies with legally secured brand names, as far as I know, the domain is handed over for a verification fee - so the domain itself is more or less free.

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