Although crypto domains are one of the most exciting advancements in the blockchain space, very little is known about them among the general public.
When it comes to brass thumbtacks, which Actually owns a cryptocurrency domain? In the end, can the domain be censored?
In this article, we aim to break down crypto domains, including what they are, who owns them, whether or not they can be censored, and how they could impact the future of domain ownership.
What are crypto domains?
Crypto domains are a new technology that seeks to add transparency and security to domains. They provide users with decentralized web access, with some domains also acting as cryptocurrency wallets. Each domain is unique software written on a public blockchain which gives them several advantages over traditional domains (which we will come to later).
Although the concept of a crypto domain is currently in the limelight, crypto platforms have been around since the founding of Bitcoin. The first platform was called Namecoin and allowed users to register their domain names on Bitcoin. However, due to the complexity of recording, the concept did not catch on. Today, with the innovation of smart contracts, the future of crypto domains looks bright.
Crypto domain ownership
Historically, domains were owned by a domain name registrar. This company would manage the reservation of a domain name, as well as the allocation of IP addresses for the domain names. Although users would “buy” a domain from these companies, they would still have full ownership of the domain. They would simply “rent” the domain to the user who would pay a renewal fee. As a result, domain registrars such as Google Domains and HostGator would have the ability to monitor websites keeping any content they deemed inappropriate censored.
Crypto domains seek to change that by giving ownership back to people. Once a user purchases a domain from a crypto domain registrar, they have full ownership of that domain. This means that they no longer need to pay renewal fees and can publish without the risk of being censored. Also, cryptographic domains are not stored on a server. Instead, they are kept in a public registry. This creates a new level of transparency, as anyone can view the records of who owns the domain. It also increases domain security. Because the domain holder has full ownership, they have the necessary permissions to perform any updates to the domain name. This reduces the risk of servers being hacked and domain names being stolen in the process.
The functionality of cryptographic domains
In addition to being owned by the end user, crypto domains provide greater functionality to end users. Traditionally, a domain owner hosted their site, accepted payments, and directed traffic to the site. Crypto domains can do so much more. Due to the nature of the technology, owners can create programs on their domain, send and accept cryptocurrency, and even create their own software to interact with each program.
With so many options for each area, they can seem a bit…complex. However, crypto domains can be tailored to the end user. In their simplest form, crypto domains allow users to create a decentralized website. Previously, accessing a decentralized website required a specific browser such as brave navigator or the Opera browser. However, new technology seeks to change that. Technology developed by Unstoppable Domains, means that these domains are accessible on most search engines such as Google Chrome, Firefox and Bing. Thus greatly increasing their mass appeal without the domains being censored. These domains can also be connected to social media accounts to verify identity as well as set up domain-related email and support systems.
Another use case for crypto domains is to send and receive cryptocurrencies without the hassle associated with transactions. Crypto domains can function as a registry for crypto addresses, allowing them to send and receive crypto payments. It’s more user-friendly than a traditional blockchain wallet, which consists of complex codes that are almost impossible to remember.
Why domain ownership is important
In the traditional domain market, almost all domains are owned by large multinational corporations. These companies allow businesses and individuals to “buy” domains and pay renewal fees for their services. However, those who buy are actually renting a domain. They don’t own it. As a result, their domain can be censored, edited, and even deleted by companies if the owner doesn’t follow the rules.
Crypto domains are about empowering the people; Once an individual owns a domain, they have the power to use it as they see fit. In theory, this takes power away from large multinational corporations and gives people more opportunities to promote themselves in a way they see fit.
Could owning a crypto domain drive mass adoption?
In April 2022, almost half a million crypto domains have been registered compared to 366.8 million traditional domains. Although this statistic may seem overwhelming, the vast majority of crypto domains have been registered within the last couple of years. Currently, most registered crypto domains are by crypto users who want to enjoy the benefits of using cryptocurrency. However, with more and more people noticing the potential of crypto domains, many investors are looking to buy in hopes of making a profit in the future.
As the popularity of cryptocurrency and DeFi continues to grow, it is likely that people will start to see the different use cases for crypto domains. Since the concept behind crypto domains is still relatively new, mass adoption is unlikely to happen overnight. After all, it took almost a decade for the market to recognize the potential of cryptocurrency. Despite this, crypto domains themselves are aligning with modern free speech trends, which could one day see them replacing the traditional domain market with one that keeps people from being censored.
However, the degree of decentralization is often a point of contention – in crypto discussions as well as in the global cryptocurrency world. Only time will tell how much control crypto domains really have over their domains.