Birth of the internet &Yes I’m Old!
Over 40 years ago before the birth of the distributed internet, anyone that wanted to connect to another computer would have to dial directly into a bulletin board system. I was just a kid at this point, and I will never forget the days of my TRS 80 and then when my parents bought a Tandy 2000 with the acoustic coupler modem. The first time we put the phone into that acoustic coupler modem and connected to another computer my mind was literally blown. Fast forward a few months and I was really getting the hang of this new computer and decided to take it for a test drive when my parents weren’t home. It was great, I found a new bulletin board that seemed interesting, but it was a long-distance call. Without hesitation, I dialed into the BBS and began to poke around. Shortly after, our phone bill came and that was the end of my bulletin board days.
Humble Beginnings – a DNS Story
At some point after, during, or before (I really have no clue when), someone started to keep track of other computers and a file containing computers was created and shared. It is my understanding that this was the first real iteration of DNS. It wasn’t DNS as we know it, but it was an early version of what was to become DNS. As time went on, this file grew and so did the interest in connecting computers. In 1983, Paul Mockapetris is credited with inventing DNS. 3 years later in 1986 the Internet Engineering Task Force IETF created the RFC 1034 and 1035 which described the protocol, functionality, and data that would be carried by DNS.
Paul Mockapetris: “It was created to let people use names for anything. But we had to figure out how to organize the distribution of domain names and how to ensure the system could accommodate diversity without unnecessary restriction.”
An Amazing invention
Without Paul, RFC 1034, and 1035 the internet as we know it may never have been developed and turned into the wonderful porn producing machine that we all have grown to know and love! I mean, come on, who hasn’t sent someone to goatse? Over the next 40 years (give or take), DNS has served us well. As with any technology, time tends to expose weakness in technology. Over time, DNS has seen its share of exploits. It’s no secret that almost every type of attack depends on DNS in some fashion.
When I think of information control I immediately think of a few countries:
- North Korea
Who has not heard of the “Great Firewall” of China? Oppressive regimes control their populations by limiting the exposure to information and controlling the dialogue. Imagine every bit of information that you consumed came from Kim Jong Un! Essentially being cut off from the rest of the free world, citizens of these oppressive regimes are at the mercy of their leaders to form a view of the world. Do you know the amount of brutality in North Korea? It’s really beyond the scope of this article but electric and food are considered a luxury. How does this relate to DNS? DNS is centralized. ICANN controls DNS. That single flat file that contained a handful of computers when I was a kid has grown into a giant database called the “Root Zone”. The root zone is essentially made up of 12 databases then distributed worldwide. Countries like North Korea, China, Iran, and Russia then control access to information simply by filtering content destined outside of their country. Since access to information comes from a centralized point, it makes it easy for oppressive regimes to control information at the ingress and egress point of their country.
Web 3 A Distributed Solution
Web 3.0, Web3, or Web 3 has 3 essentially 3 solutions. The three solutions are Handshake Domains, Unstoppable Domains, and Ethereum Name Service. Two of these three solutions are based on the 40-year-old DNS model with a centralized solution working as a gateway to a new solution.
TLD Versus SLD
To fully understand the difference between Web3 solutions, its key to fully understand what a TLD and SLD are.
TLD: TOP LEVEL DOMAIN
- A TLD is everything to the right of the . in a domain name. Example: .com
SLD: Second Level Domain
- A SLD is everything to the left of the .in a domain name. Example: HNSLIST .com
Understanding The Web 3 Offerings
Now that you understand the difference between a SLD & TLD, I can explain the differences between the existing offerings. Let’s start with Unstoppable Domains. Unstoppable Domains decided to take a handful of TLD’s and offer them like the existing internet.
Existing Unstoppable TLD’s
- And others….
When you purchase a name at Unstoppable domains, you are purchasing a second level domain. Unstoppable domains recently filed for patents and was denied but it did not stop them from suing the competition to gain market dominance. Richard Kirkendall (CEO of Namecheap) decided to step in and help fight Unstoppables attempt to silence the competition. (Great Job Richard, we love you!)
Ethereum Name Service Web 3.0 Offerings
Ethereum name Service is like Unstoppable domains in their offering. When buying an Ethereum Name Service name, you will be purchasing a second level domain with a top level domain of .eth. Both Ethereum Name Service and Unstoppable Domains solutions leave the customer at the mercy of using a central registrar. Depending on a central registrar, many of the inherent problems with DNS are address but information can be controlled from a centralized authority.
How Handshake Domains are Different
When you purchase a Handshake Domain, you are purchasing a Top-Level Domain (TLD). Being the owner of a top-level domain, you are no longer at the mercy of a central authority to maintain and manage your offering. You yourself can become your own Unstoppable Domain or Ethereum Name service by “Staking” your top-level domain and offering second level domains the same way that they are. Did you know that Namecheap paid roughly $750,000 for the top level domain .S? Shortly after they purchased this TLD, Richard K. saw the value in Handshake Domains and purchased the largest and most successful Handshake marketplace https://www.namebase.io/register/yw2yln
Summary of Web 3.0 Offerings
By owning a Handshake Domain TLD, you now have a permanent place ON the blockchain and not in a companies database that points TO the blockchain. If you have a great name, you can become your own registrar and pass a long an asset to your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Based on the longevity of DNS, as Web 3.0 continues to emerge the value of owning a top level domain will only increase in value exponentially. Imagine buying .com, .net. or .org at the beginning of Web 1.0! Great names are disappearing daily. Lastly, when deciding which web 3.0 project to invest in, keep in mind that if the operator of the TLD that you purchase your SLD from decides to close their doors, your investment may disappear with that operator. All information contained in this article are opinions of the writer. I do have an interest in Handshake Domains because I truly believe in the solution!