Cryptocurrency

What is Unstoppable Domains? My First NFT Purchase

No. I did not purchase JPEGs of apes. Probably never will. Not because that might be outright illogical but also because I don’t understand the art space. Not even close! So what did I purchase? Well, that’s primarily the topic of the day. What is unstoppable domains? And why did I spent about $100 purchasing them.

Unstoppable domains is simply a NFT based domain name provider. Somewhat like you have GoDaddy, Big rock etc. in web2.0 space, we have ENS and Unstoppable Domains in web3.0. But hey, fundamentally, unstoppable domains are whole different beast. We’ll explore more on it as we go along this post. But before we jump into the web 3.0 counterparts of domains, let’s circle back and understand how traditional domains work. It’ll give you a perspective to appreciate the ethos of unstoppable domains.

How Domain Names Work?

Each website (basically a computer/server) on the internet has an IP address. Each of these addresses are unique and are referred to reach out to that website.

For example, Google’s IP Address is 172.217.10.14, CoinDCX’s IP address is 104.18.28.183. The problem with these addresses is that they are very machine oriented in nature. Say if I would ask you to remember 172.217.10.14 instead of Google.com along with tons of other websites that you visit daily, wouldn’t it be a huge problem for you or anyone else? It would be a massive bottleneck in the adoption of internet.

Which is why, people came up with domain names. So whenever you type in “Google.com” in your browser, it automatically figures out that this address (Google.com) is associated with IP 172.217.10.14 and takes you there.

For this to happen, these domain names have to be registered in the Domain Name System.

DNS servers are spread all over the world, and help browsers resolve domain names to IP addresses. Internet service providers then connect users to the appropriate IP address.

There’s a central authority called ‘Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)’ that takes care of this entire architecture and overall system. Before Web3.0 knocked our doors, ICANN and DNS were the only ways to get a domain.

The websites like Godaddy or Bigrock that I just mentioned are mere intermediaries. They rent out the domain you chose with ICANN/DNS and give you the ownership for a fixed time period. Since these websites don’t own these domains, you have to renew it periodically by paying a fee.

Blockchain and NFT Domains:

In the story above, we realize that this entire ecosystem is managed by ICANN. Being a central authority, it can censor or limit the usage of certain domains. As always, we have blockchain to the rescue. In this realm, there’s no intermediary. You own your domains as an NFT and the details of this are put in a public registry (ledger).

Also, since your ownership is validated through immutable records in the blockchain, these domains can’t be (a) taken away from you and (b) need not be renewed (at least in case of unstoppable domains) because you are now the owner and not the leaser.

Why Unstoppable Domains:

At this point, quite a lot of you would be like, “we understand the decentralization, censorship bit. But why is it worth a $100?” This section will specifically talk about the fact why I found value in purchasing unstoppable domains. Let’s go:

A. Website Address:

That’s the key use case here. As pandatechie evolves into the ‘go to’ crypto blog for many, it is imperative that I put my money where my mouth is. Before someone else could, I wanted to register pandatechie domains through unstoppable domains. I always say, Bitcoin isn’t a currency, it’s a movement. And I see myself as the part of that revolution.

B. Universal Wallet Address:

If you venture into the decentralized space you must have come across multiple wallets like Metamask, Trust, Phantom etc. These wallet addresses typically look something like this:

My Metamask Wallet Address: 0x8aB4a886AdC5fFD8FAeC3324A303381028FF4f93

My Phantom Wallet Address: BK2Wf3ddc7upPCsRwhV1mRhooGMzNUVczxBkDDbJLUaY

Do you see a problem here? Just like early days of internet, IP addresses were non-human friendly, so is the case for these wallet addresses right now.

Blockchain domains solve this issue by becoming a universal address for all your wallets. I have configured my wallets in such a way that you can send all key cryptos like BTC, ETH, SOL, LTC, MATIC etc. to pandatechie.crypto.

I need not open the wallet extension/app to copy my address and then share it with you. It’s as simple as that.

Adding different wallet addresses to Unstoppable Domains

C. Social Media Handles:

Another cool use case of buying unstoppable domains is that I could very well use my domain name as my social media handle as well. Why? Because I god damn own it. At this point, you might ask if the social media platform recognizes that ownership or not. A short answer is no. But it doesn’t matter right? How many of you actually OWN the handle you are using on Twitter, Instagram?

D. Cost:

One of the key reasons to consider unstoppable domains out of all it’s counterparts like ENS, was the cost. Unstoppable domains start from a minimum of $40. There is a sale going on currently that would give you a 1+1 offer on the domains. I purchased a total of 4 domains.

On the other hand ENS are priced almost at the same level (may be a little cheaper) but they can be minted only on Ethereum blockchain. Which means that you are likely to pay a crazy gas fee while transferring the ownership of domains.

Just as an example, here’s how a random domain name would cost you on ENS. The gas fee is 15 times the domain name cost.

On the other hand, you can use polygon to mint Unstoppable Domains. Being a L2 solution it costed me under a dollar to mint all four domains.

E. Ownership:

Unstoppable Domains give you a permanent ownership of the domains. Unlike ENS which still works on a leasing model. You could actually lease it for 100 years if you want, but that just adds up to the cost. So UD was a clear winner here as well.

F. Possible Token Airdrop:

Recently one of my friends purchased .eth domain on ENS. He spent about $60 for that. A few months later, ENS decided to reward it’s early adopters with their native token called ENS token. He got $11,000 worth of airdrop in that event.

Unstoppable domains may also follow a similar suite. There’s no guarantee whatsoever but given all the benefits it has to offer, this is just cherry on the icing.

Drawbacks:

Now that we have established the power of Unstoppable domains not only as a new era of internet, but also as the strongest contender amongst competition, let’s understand some drawbacks. This industry is still new and ever evolving. So, there are some issues that would have to be solved along the way:

A. DNS Configuration:

Our regular browsers are not equipped with opening .crypto, .bitcoin domain names as of now, by default. Of course this could be done by tweaking certain DNS settings. But until this is served on a plate to the masses, adoption of these domains is going to be a challenge.

I could change my domain name today to pandatechie.bitcoin but it won’t make sense as most of the people won’t be able to open it as of now.

B. Wallet Support

Not all wallets currently support sending and receiving of money through unstoppable domains. Website mentions that there are 90+ wallets that do so, however out of the three key wallets that I use (Metamask, Phantom and Trust), only trust wallet supports it.

Conclusion:

I would say that all of this is still at a very nascent stage. So jumping in now would mean jumping into a high risk, high reward situation. As much of a blockchain evangelist I am, I am also a realist. Who knows if Unstoppable domains, ENS etc. would ever see light of the day or not.

But at a measly $20, I think it’s a bet that has enormous upside to it. What do you think?

Let me know in the comments section below. If this article adds value to your life, please consider sharing it with your friends using the links below.

Until next time..

    Btw, if you are a seasoned trader or just testing the waters with derivatives, here’s an exchange specifically meant for that. Head over to MCS using this link. Still not convinced? Join the vibrant community that is talking about MCS on Telegram, here.

    rgvdudeja
    A techno manager by profession and a hardcore geek at heart. I love to poke my nose into tasks where other usually gave up on. My hobbies include, reading about Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and latest trends in tech industry, playing guitar and yes, memes!
    http://pandatechiein.wordpress.com

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