By Roman Kondratiev
More than 2.4 million users have created Unstoppable Domains, a type of web address using blockchain technology. Over 400,000 users have generated blockchain domains that are easier to read (using ordinary language instead of confusing computer code) using the Ethereum Name Service. The benefits of these new domain services include outright ownership (instead of temporary possession), decentralization (less worrying about downtime), and domains acting as digital wallet addresses for the online economy — all advances from how domains work in Web 2.0.
Table of Contents
- Name Systems Explained
- What Are Unstoppable Domains?
- What Is ENS?
- Why Should Every Business Have a Blockchain Domain?
Name Systems Explained
You usually don’t question how technology works when you look for information on the current internet (Web 2.0). Unless you are new to being online, there is no need. The technical process is hidden from the average user, and the experience feels straightforward and seamless because of the Domain Name System (DNS); and here’s why.
Computers don’t communicate with words, just as humans don’t speak in IP addresses or binary. We require a translator to interact with the internet effectively. DNS functions as a kind of translator here.
For example, let’s say you want to search “NFTs for charity,” so you go to YouTube and type in that phrase. The DNS server receives your query and translates it into a matching IP address. After that, your computer communicates with the YouTube web server and retrieves the results. You don’t see any of this, though; your computer will only display a YouTube homepage while all the complicated math and numbers work behind the scenes.
DNS is incredibly convenient, but it has several disadvantages and security issues, including the following:
- It is fully centralized, or managed in one place.
- It is vulnerable to hacker attacks.
- Registering and maintaining a domain can cost a small fortune over time.
What Are Unstoppable Domains?
Unstoppable Domains are also known as non-fungible token (NFT) domains. This is because they are created using ERC-721, a standard for representing ownership of digital assets on Ethereum (the second-most-popular blockchain). It allows developers to create unique non-fungible tokens that (aside from the silly ape pictures) can also represent a domain. As a result, with a one-time purchase, you become the sole owner and custodian of your domain. That means that you won’t pay renewal fees like you would on GoDaddy or ENS (mentioned later).
Be aware that Unstoppable Domains are not widely implemented. So, to use them effectively, you must have either a Web 3.0 browser, such as Brave, or an Unstoppable Domain web extension.
What Is ENS?
ENS (Ethereum Name Service) functions similarly to DNS, with the primary differences being its range of capabilities and its blockchain-based nature. The ENS architecture is fundamentally composed of a domain registry and resolvers. This sounds complicated, but trust us — it’s not as confusing as it seems.
Resolvers are smart contracts (self-executing contracts with the agreement terms written into lines of code) that translate Ethereum (ETH) names into ETH addresses (ending in “.eth”). The domain registry is also a smart contract that is in charge of maintaining information on both the domain owner and a resolver.
Essentially, .eth names are meant to make your wallet or Web 3.0 application more accessible.
Imagine constantly copying and pasting a text string that looks like “1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa,” just so other people can send you money. Now, compare that to an Ethereum name, which could read as short as “LeslieBrown.eth.” The difference is significant. The Ethereum name is far easier to remember, recognize and share than a traditional public (computer-coded) address. In addition, you can design the name based on your preference, just as with regular domains.
However, ENS domains are no different from “normal” ones regarding ownership. In the case of ENS, you don’t own a name; you only rent it for a set amount of time, paying a specific price. And that is a massive drawback because the service is centralized and doesn’t offer you true domain ownership.
Why Should Every Business Have a Blockchain Domain?
Traditional domains are crucial if you run an online business. The shortest and most direct domains have sold and resold for millions of dollars, and they frequently have a tremendous effect on the popularity of your website.
The new world of Web3 is similar to this. ENS, or Unstoppable Domains, may greatly accelerate the development of your decentralized apps, make it easier to receive digital cash, and enhance user-friendliness in the Wild West of Web3. With blockchain domains, you can easily secure your project on the internet of the future and give your customers easy access to your service.