Basic Concepts and Differences
Handshake, Ethereum, and unstoppable domains are decentralized naming protocols built on Blockchain technology. These naming protocols do not have a single point of control like the traditional domain naming system managed by ICANN. It is instead based on a more distributed and decentralized blockchain protocol, which will provide greater anonymity, and liberty. It will also allow domain owners to have complete authority over their domains and ultimately usher in a cryptographically secure and permissionless system unconstrained by regulatory bodies like ICANN.
What is a Blockchain Protocol & What Does It Do?
A blockchain protocol is a collection of rules that govern the use of blockchain technology. The blockchain protocol allows a group of people who don’t know or trust each other to reach an agreement. The protocol outlines the rules for how network nodes share information, validate new transactions, and agree on which transactions are valid. It also specifies how new blocks are generated, what data can be stored in them, and how they are connected to the blockchain.
Blockchain technology already has a number of use cases in cryptocurrency, NFTs, smart contracts, web 3.0, etc., and new entrants are still flooding the industry. In the domain naming system, Handshake, Ethereum, and Unstoppable domains are the three most popular naming systems governed by the blockchain protocol, and they aim to establish a decentralized alternative to the traditional domain naming system. Let’s analyze each system to have an idea of how they work as well as their differences.
Ethereum is an open-source, public, and blockchain-based platform that provides a decentralized and computationally universal virtual machine. The platform is based on smart contracts, which are applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud, or third-party interference.
The Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is a decentralized app based on this Ethereum blockchain network. This naming platform allows users to replace the long and confusing alphanumeric strings of the ethereum crypto addresses with a simple URL similar to a traditional website URL. The aim is to map individual crypto addresses to a unique URL that is easier to share and read. These Eth domain URLs are characterized by .eth or .luke extensions, which operate as their secondary domain zone.
To secure an Ethereum Domain, you need to have a crypto wallet and a minimum price of $5 aside from the gas fee. However, ownership needs to be renewed regularly. You are, however, not required to provide any billing details or personally identifiable information when making a domain name purchase. Overall, the Ethereum Naming system adds a level of anonymity and decentralization that is otherwise difficult to achieve because it relies on smart contracts.
Unstoppable domain is a domain name registrar and hosting company that uses blockchain technology to make domain name registration more affordable and secure. They provide unprecedented levels of security and privacy for domain owners and make it possible for users to register an internet domain without going through a centralized registrar. The network domain allows users to have a unified custom identity across the internet, from social network identities to cryptocurrency addresses.
Unlike ethereum domains, where you have to pay subsequent renewal fees, you only pay a one-time payment to secure an unstoppable domain. They can also be resold as NFTs, so users don’t need any other intermediate registrar to buy them. However, buying cannot be done through a peer-to-peer mechanism but through a third-party platform like opensea.com, which complicates the process.
Unstoppable domain provides custom extensions to the domain names such as .zil, .NFT, .crypto, .x, .wallet, .bitcoin, .dao, .888 and .coin. There is also a high chance that more extensions will be created in the future. The primary disadvantage of Unstoppable domains is that they have a significant number of reserved domains and that users must go on to third-party websites to acquire names that have already been minted.
Handshake is a decentralized identification system that gives people complete control over their digital identity through a peer-to-peer network that functions independently of a centralized authority structure. It also offers an open-source foundation for creating decentralized apps and services. It is a framework that supports web 3.0 and provides more flexibility and security to domains and websites. The overarching goal is to shake up the traditional domain naming landscape by leveraging blockchain technology to create a more decentralized domain system.
ICANN is currently saddled with the task of managing all domain names. While this isn’t necessarily a terrible thing, it is still a lot of power in one place. As a result, many argue that such systems are more prone to hacking or censorship and provide less freedom to users. Handshake domains, however, provide a decentralized domain network that uses a coinage system to register each domain on Namecheap. Their current lists of TLDs include .elite, .illp, .oh, .oo, .oot, .orb, .p, .pgp, .saas, and .sox. The list is, however, open for more additions later on.
Handshake vs. Ethereum vs. Unstoppable Domains
The domain name market is evolving drastically, particularly with decentralized blockchain-based systems such as a handshake, ethereum, and unstoppable domains. These intriguing initiatives will undoubtedly expand as Web 3.0 continues to transform the internet by giving new ways for people to interact and use technology.
Although these three systems appear to be relatively similar, particularly in their justification for existence, there seem to be some variances in their dynamics. One of the key distinctions between the systems is that handshake appears to be higher in the domain hierarchy, in that they look to be more into root domains, while unstoppable and ethereum domains are at the second level domain zone. It is also worth noting that each platform offers a unique choice of TLDs for its domain name extensions. Overall, decentralization is still an early concept in the domain system. So far, it has shown promising potentials and still has plenty of space for further development and innovation.
Handshake, Ethereum, and unstoppable domains are Blockchain-based decentralized naming systems. With a few exceptions, all three systems are very similar, especially in their pursuit of decentralization.