One of the trickiest parts of cryptocurrency is managing payments. When you try and send a payment, you have to copy and paste a long alphanumeric string. Then check that each and every character is correct, or else your payment could disappear forever.
For the layman, making a crypto payment can feel nerve-wracking.
Unstoppable Domains make crypto easier to use. It lets you connect a cryptocurrency address to a domain name. You can tell someone your crypto address easily, like a regular address, rather than a long string.
So, how do Unstoppable Domains work?
What Is Unstoppable Domains?
Unstoppable Domains is blockchain domain name service. A blockchain domain is similar to a regular .com or .org domain address, except it uses the blockchain for registration.
The original Unstoppable Domains service was built using the extremely high throughput Zilliqa blockchain. Blockchain domains using Unstoppable Domains use the “.zil” extension (for Zilliqa). However, that changed after Unstoppable Domains received $4 million investment from Draper Associates and Boost VC.
The updated Unstoppable Domains service uses the “.crypto” extension and is built on the Ethereum blockchain.
“We believe that tribalism in the crypto community is slowing down adoption of the technology. .Crypto is a domain name system meant to be used for any cryptocurrency payment and with any cryptocurrency wallet” comments Unstoppable Domains co-founder and CEO, Matthew Gould. “Sending money to a .crypto domain is a way simpler user experience for the millions of cryptocurrency users that currently have to copy/paste and type in long addresses in order to transact.”
Unstoppable Domains remains blockchain agnostic, allowing users to access and make use of the Zilliqa and Ethereum blockchains.
Why Do You Need Unstoppable Domains?
There are two main reasons to use Unstoppable Domains.
- Make crypto easy. You can connect your existing crypto addresses to easy to remember domain name.
- Uncensorable domain. With a blockchain-based domain, your website will always remain online.
Let focus on making crypto easier first. At the moment, if you want to send someone cryptocurrency, you have to send the lengthy alphanumeric cryptocurrency wallet address.
Unstoppable Domains changes that using easy to remember domain addresses. For instance, you could register yourbusinessname.crypto. You link your existing Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrency addresses to the domain. Then, when someone needs to send you some cryptocurrency, all you have to tell them is the domain address.
Unstoppable Domains Are Immutable
The second biggest reason to use Unstoppable Domains is that once your website is up and running, there is no way for anyone to take it offline. If you pair an Unstoppable Domains address with a decentralized storage service, your website will always remain online.
Furthermore, Unstoppable Domains are not part of ICANN or ]other traditional DNS. You cannot become deindexed because you’re not part of the traditional DNS listings (this has its downsides, which you can read below).
You don’t have to register any “whois” record either. You can run your website with privacy in mind.
How Do You Claim Unstoppable Domains?
Claiming an Unstoppable Domains address is very similar to claiming a regular domain. You head to Unstoppable Domains, enter the domain name you desire, and find out if it is available. Once you enter your domain name, Unstoppable Domains gives you the current price for the domain.
Basic (e.g., not existing, corporate, or premium) domain prices begin at $40 for .crypto and $20 for .zil. Premium domain prices vary.
If you were thinking of heading to Unstoppable Domains and buying up Apple.crypto, Microsoft.zil, and other premium corporate combinations, think again. Unstoppable Domains is reserving all premium and corporate blockchain domain addresses for the respective owners. Despite Unstoppable Domains focus on privacy, it doesn’t want to fall foul of copyright and trademark law.
For example, when I enter “Blocks Decoded,” Unstoppable Domains gives the option to enter my details. That is because Blocks Decoded is a protected Unstoppable Domains brand.
Are There Downsides to Unstoppable Domains?
Of course—there are downsides to everything. As mentioned, Unstoppable Domains do not list as part of ICANN or other traditional DNS. While that is great for those with a focus on privacy and those that rely on decentralization to survive, it certainly won’t suit other users.
Search Engine Indexing
Unstoppable Domains doesn’t expect “that major search engines will index .zil websites in the near future.” That might change as the concept and domain format reaches public acceptance and widespread use. But in the meantime, your .zil website won’t show up in a Google search.
Browser Support for Blockchain Domains
Another consideration is that there are very few browsers that support blockchain-based domains, of any kind. There are extensions available for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera that allow you to access blockchain domains (other blockchain domain extensions include .bit, .lib, .emc, and .bazar). But each extension has few downloads, and the general uptake is low.
Blockchain Domain Theft
Just because your blockchain domain is immutable doesn’t mean it cannot be stolen from you. Digital and crypto-collectibles marketplace OpenSea found this out the hard way. (What is a crypto-collectible, anyway?)
On October 1, 2019, a hacker exploited a vulnerability in the OpenSea marketplace. Using the exploit, the hacker took control of 17 Ethereum Naming Service (ENS) domains. The stolen domains included some high-level addresses, including defi.eth, wallet.eth, and pay.eth.
But because there is no centralized registry or server for the address, there was no way for OpenSea to claim the blockchain addresses back. A statement from OpenSea explained that “A blessing and a curse of blockchain-based digital assets is that once they have been distributed, it is impossible for them to be revoked. We can’t redo the auctions for the names that were sold in an invalid fashion.”
OpenSea and the ENS blacklisted the domains, and the domains were handed back—with the provision that the hacker would receive 25% of the final bidding price for each address.
Should You Use Unstoppable Domains?
The idea behind Unstoppable Domains is interesting, bringing the domain name services and website hosting to the blockchain. Unstoppable Domains isn’t the first organization to do so, mind. There are alternatives.
However, Unstoppable Domains is certainly innovating in the blockchain domain space. And at the very least, having the option to make receiving cryptocurrency considerably easier is well worth investigating.
There are other ways to send cryptocurrency. Check out the easiest ways to send cryptocurrency using SMS.
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