🤔 What is Unstoppable domains ?
Unstoppable domains are a type of domain that use blockchain to register, manage and host domains.
Unstoppable domains are decentralized and uncensorable as they live on blockchains.
📝 Unstoppable domains company
Unstoppable Domains is a San Francisco-based tech company that allows customers to create domain names based on blockchain technology.
The company was founded in 2018 by Matthew Gould and Bogdan Gusiev, who serve as Unstoppable Domains’ CEO and CTO, respectively.
- Completed Bachelor of Science from Georgia Tech College of Management in 2006.
- Studied Monetary finance at Georgia Institute of Technology from 2010-to 2011.
- Received Ethereum Foundation Development Grant in May 2018 to develop open-source tool, Browseth(Etherium development solution).
- Cofounded Unstoppable domains in Jan 2018.
- Did master in Computer Science from National Technical University of Ukraine ‘Kyiv Polytechnic Institute’ in 2003-2009.
- Worked as Jave developer at Mktg in 2007-2009.
- Worked as Ruby on Rails team lead at Railsware from 2010-to 2012.
- Cofounded and worked as CTO at Talkable(advertising company) from 2012-to 2018.
- Cofounded Unstoppable domains and currently works as CTO.
😌 What problems does it solve ?
- From centralized to decentralized:
- Present system of mapping domain names to web servers is centralized. ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is a private, non-government, nonprofit corporation that maintains the repository of domain names.
- ICANN is the central point of failure, having power to censor any domain.
- Renewal fees:
- Users have to renew their domain every year to continue using the domain name.
- The users have no idea what will be the price of the domain once it is up for renewal.
- In worst-case scenario, user might even lose the domain if he forgets to renew the domain on time.
- Users can use their unstoppable domain as payment address:
- Senders can write receiver’s unstoppable domain name instead of writing the wallet address.
- Users can map crypto addresses of various blockchains to their unstoppable domain. This will allow them to share just their domain name instead of remembering all the wallet addresses on various blockchains.
- Many users copy-paste receivers’ wallet addresses because they are difficult to type. Viruses that change the copied wallet address to hacker’s wallet address are very commonly used by hackers diverting the funds to their addresses instead of receiver’s address.
Users can also link their Twitter account to their unstoppable domain name. This helps the sender to be doubly sure that he is going to send the funds to the correct address.
- Using unstoppable domains to log in is a much easier and secure way than using standard password and username.
- No trusted third party: Users do not have to trust Unstoppable domains team. The code is open source, anyone can see and verify how the code works.
🤖How does it work ?
Unstoppable Domains are built on the Crypto Name Service (CNS) — a set of Ethereum smart contracts that determines how blockchain domains are created and utilized.
CNS is composed of two smart contracts:
- Registry contract: The contract manages the minting of new crypto domains and subdomains, and the ownership of domains. The Registry contract does not have an administrator, which means that no entity — including Unstoppable Domains — can manage or transfer your domains without permission.
- Resolver contract: It is used for resolving domains, translating the human-readable name into a cryptocurrency address, and for storing domain records.
Every CNS domain is issued as an ERC-721 token, also known as a non-fungible token (NFT). The use of the ERC-721 standard makes it easy for developers to integrate Unstoppable Domains into other applications, allowing users to manage their crypto domain ownership from compatible cryptocurrency wallets, exchanges, and marketplaces.
🤔 Who gave them the right to sell.crypto domains ?
Unlike present centralized system being run by ICANN, Unstoppable domains had to bootstrap the system from the ground up. The team had to sell domains to users and convince wallets and browsers to support their standard for crypto domains.
Other projects can also start selling .crypto domains but they will also face the same problem – convincing users, wallets and browsers to use their system.
🏛️ Governance model
Unstoppable domains is a centralized company but the domains minted on their platform are truly decentralized.
Even unstoppable domains do not have the power to censor or take a domain back once it has been minted by a user.
Hence there are many Reddit threads calling out Unstoppable domains as scam because:
- Company themselves use .com instead of .crypto.
- The company collects users’ email addresses.
- Users can pay in fiat for buying domains.
- The company stops users from buying premium domains.
However, you will never find an actual case where someone’s domain is blocked or taken back once it has been minted.
😨 Risks and challenges
- Unstoppable domain project is built on Etherium and Zilika blockchains. Success of the project will also depend on long-term sustainability of the underlying blockchains.
- Unstoppable domains will have to convince wallets and browsers to integrate the feature of unstoppable domains.
- Some users may host controversial content like child porn etc using unstoppable domains. Such content can be filtered at browser and ISP(Internet service provider) level.
There is no doubt that unstoppable domains is a centralized for-profit company. However, once the user mints a domain even the company cannot censor the domains.
The company is building on a strong foundation(Etherium) and addresses a genuine need using blockchain technology. They can also add complementary products like decentralized hosting, email etc in the future.
Blockchain is a new industry, several new business models such as central for-profit companies selling decentralized products will emerge in the future.
I will not recommend any reader to try to buy domains for flipping in the future for a profit. The market is not liquid and there is no certainty that .crypto will be the standard for blockchain domains in the future.
However, you can buy the domains for using it.