What Are Blockchain Domains?
A domain name can be defined as a memorable name given to any particular address on the internet with complicated algorithm numbers.
This name helps to identify and memorise the complex set of numeric addresses allocated to a website or location on the internet by associating simple text language to it.
Understanding the domain name gives us an edge to associate “blockchain” in front of it. Basically, blockchain domain names are unique names given to the users or the participants of blockchain technology to identify themselves, here as well the names can be of owners choice which will be replacing the complex numbered domain.
Blockchain domains are non-changeable, that is once created they are permanently registered and cannot be purged, changed, or censored by anyone.
A blockchain domain system allows domain owners to control their domains using private keys.
Every blockchain user has their domain, and therefore uniquely identifiable with full control over their usages.
Crypto Name Service, popularly known as CNS, is an example of a smart contract on Ethereum blockchain that facilitates the creation and use of domains.
Taking an example of cryptocurrencies, it is easier to remember something “XYZ.crypto” than to memorise long phrases consisting of alphabets and numbers. Therefore blockchain domain name makes it convenient to work on the technology.
Uses Of Blockchain Domains
Digital content rights
This is a very popular use case for blockchain domains. This can be categorised as NFT’s(non-fungible tokens) that act as smart contracts and provide unique addresses to any asset or content like videos, images, real estate etc. They create a sense of ownership towards the participant who creates that NFT.
Blockchain domain NFT helps differentiate the content and give rights to creators.
Holding for wallet names
As discussed above, the blockchain domain can be used for linking crypto trading wallets to easy names giving a unique identity to the user. Converting complex addresses of wallets to simple names gives a smooth user experience with transparency.
Using the wallets on the registered blockchain platform will not require you to remember long wallet addresses and therefore is widely used.
The highly digitised age has driven data into digital form and that is now evolving into blockchain domains. Even the medical data can be easily created and identified uniquely for every person with a unique domain if stored using the technology.
This can even be done with other forms of data management like tracking loans, licenses, documents etc. as it provides a specific name for each user.
The ease of domain is that transparency is acknowledged by the technology without any intermediary . The unique names and codes that give access to transparent transactions like selling event tickets can be one of the examples.
Buying and selling go with one blockchain domain name that too recorded in a digital ledger that leaves negligible room for fraud.
How To Get A Blockchain Domain?
Considering the variety of blockchain platforms, we will understand the steps to establish a blockchain domain taking an example of Ethereum blockchain :
Step I: Logging onto Ethereum enabled browser
Here you just need to log onto Ethereum enabled browser with the wallet which you want to link to the domain name. These wallets are virtual holders of your virtual currency.
Usually, wallets have long addresses which creates a need to connect them with simple names. As domain names are paid, the client needs to have a sufficient balance in the same wallet to pay for the domain registry.
Step II: Navigating through ENS(Ethereum name service)
You just need to search the desired name on the search bar. This comes with two possible results i.e. name available or unavailable. In case of pre-existence, you would be required to make changes to the desired name and try again.
In case of availability of name, you are good to proceed further.
As we are considering Ethereum as an example, the domain name will look like “abc.ETH”.
The ending of every domain name on all platforms will differ with respect to their providers.
Step III: Deciding time period
There is a window to select a time period for which you would like to keep the name, the fees depend on the time interval. This can be extended anytime in future.
As you increase the years, the registration pay also increases.
Step IV: Transactions
You now need to pay the initial amount via your wallet and then proceed further.
Once you pay the initial amount, you would be required to pay a registration fee as well. Confirming the last transaction, you are now the owner of the desired blockchain domain.
This means that now while using the Ethereum platform your wallet would be addressed as “abc.ETH” rather than a loop of numbers and alphabets. The process goes similarly for all the other platforms.
Examples Of Blockchain Domains
A 3-D virtual reality platform that has virtual estates in the form of NFT’s is called decentraland.
These virtual estates can be bought on Ethereum blockchain with cryptocurrency.
Decentraland domain is a service provided by Ethereum blockchain under its ENS, where participants can login and convert their names into ERC-721 tokens . These can be transferred and also used as cryptocurrency wallets. This uses domains as “DCL.eth”.
Unstoppable Domains are built on the Crypto Name Service (CNS). This offers a service to convert websites into decentralised websites and cryptocurrency’s addresses into easy blockchain based URLs. This service can be used to have URLs like xyz.crypto or abc.zil.
Starnames provide similar service just like the other examples discussed above . It makes it easier to get a domain name that is simpler and can be connected to wallets for buying or selling crypto assets on the marketplace and to determine ownership at desired name. IOV tokens are used for all transactions on the Starname chain.
IOV Blockchain is a blockchain underlying infrastracture that provides the foundation for the smart Internet of Vehicle industry.
Differentiating Blockchain Domains From Regular Domains
- The first and most important difference is that in traditional domains, intermediaries act as registrars and as custodians of domains when purchased from them. Whereas in the case of blockchain domain there is no intermediary and the owner owns the domain independently.
- The traditional system is still not properly equipped with transaction safety as the technological designs differ from country to country. Therefore there are more regulatory mechanisms.
- In the case of blockchain domains, there is an even and transparent system that governs through technology that is free from regulatory concerns and can freely facilitate payments.
This also gives rise to greater autonomy.
- The basic benefit of the blockchain domain over the traditional framework is that entry does not depend on any factor, anyone can enter and create freely with access to the internet whereas in the traditional way, regulatory compliance does put up restrictions on entry and exit.
Possible Disadvantages Of Blockchain Domains
Losing private keys
Private keys are the only way to access your domains, once you forget them, your domain stands abandoned as no other entity can access it.
Therefore all your efforts would just stand still if you lose the private key due to its nature of control.
Lack of control over spams
As you are working with a decentralised platform, you cannot stop anyone from coexisting. This brings spammers into existence, likewise, they can spam your sites or platform in different ways, that you cannot even complain about for redressal due to the independence of the platform.
Blockchain is in the initial phase yet to get a bigger platform. Popularity is ever increasing and more individuals and entities are moving towards technology.
The reasons are plenty to shift from traditional ways of having names to a better-decentralised place.
The ownership and security provided by the independent domains give the user many easy experiences and therefore turn into internet essentials.
Discussing the best, yet technology is not governed by any authorities which can be a prospective issue in case of major problems.