The introduction of the domain name system has been a game-changer for the web. In fact, a domain name is a vital component of today’s web system; it is what makes internet addresses understandable to humans. It represents an individual’s or company’s online identity, which is why top brands and businesses value them, investing millions in claiming them or even getting involved in lawsuits when their trademark names are infringed. In other words, every brand and business wants to stand out online, and domain names are one prominent way to accomplish it. This is why marketers often purchase company-specific domains and value their online trademark protection.
The traditional domain system is structured in a centralized manner, such that it is governed by a central body that, by implication, also manages the traditional web system called web 2.0. This central body, ICANN, is in charge of issuing domain names through certificate authorities but primarily executes the function of issuing top-level domains (domain extension) like .com, .edu, or .org, as well as managing the domain root server.
However, there are always risks to having so much authority over such an important worldwide network delegated to a single body. This overall control means that ICANN determines who gets a domain name and what domain name they get. They also possess censorship ability and primarily have overall control over users’ online presence. In fact, obtaining a top-level domain under this traditional ICANN-governed system requires an application fee of about $200,000, which may or may not be granted.
On the other hand, the Handshake domain gives users more priority and gives them more control over their online presence. In principle, the Handshake domain system is established to replace the traditional domain system by improving its flaws and primarily introducing a decentralized system. Here are some fundamental differences between Handshake domains and traditional domains.
In the traditional domain system, ICANN stores and manages all the domain root zone files, which includes the TLDs, website names and IP addresses. However, this root zone file is decentralized with Handshake domains through blockchain technology. This means that by configuring the name server to the blockchain rather than ICANN’s root zone file, Handshake establishes a decentralized alternative to the ICANN system. Since blockchain technology stores information on millions of devices worldwide, each full node peer in Handshake is effectively a root server that serves as the root zone file.
Therefore, with Handshake domains, there is no single point of control; hence, no central entity has censorship ability or total control over users’ online presence. Blockchain technology also means that the Handshake system is more secure, private, and anonymous.
Unlimited Top-level Domains
Traditional domains are typically acquired through a third party, such as Godaddy. Domain acquisition, on the other hand, is mainly limited to subdomains. This means that top-level domains are severely limited and are only awarded on rare occasions. They can only be obtained via ICANN, which selects who gets and does not get a TLD. Handshake domains, on the other hand, allow for a limitless number of top-level domains, and the acquisition is open to everyone thanks to the decentralized auction process.
Basically, with Handshake, anyone can buy a TLD, which is not limited to a list of permitted TLDs but can be any combination of letters, numbers, characters, or emojis. Therefore, instead of being confined to standard TLDs such as .com and .org, users can now have more personalized TLDs such as .home, .michael, .elite, or a combination of characters and/or emojis.
Ownership and Renewals
When you acquire a traditional domain name, you are essentially renting it rather than purchasing it permanently. This is due to the fact that you must pay a yearly renewal cost for such a domain to keep ownership rights to it. Ownership of such domains may be lost if this is not done, and the renewal fee might sometimes vary depending on ICANN and the registrars.
Handshake, on the other hand, gives its users true and total control of their domains. This is because Handshake domains are to web 3 NFT domains or crypto domains in that the domain records are permanently maintained on a blockchain and hence resistant to censorship, seizure, and tampering. However, Handshake domain owners must still pay a biennial mining charge (renewal transaction) to prove that they still retain access to their name. Moreover, TLD owners that utilize a domain name registrar, such as Namebase, will not need to submit a renewal transaction because their system will do so automatically. You can claim your free Web 3 NFT Domain at https://www.namebase.io/register/yw2yln).
As a decentralized naming system, privacy is a key element of the Handshake domain. Unlike traditional domains, users have complete ownership over their data and may do whatever they want with it. These domains are more secure and provide greater anonymity. Traditional domains, on the other hand, require users to pay for various levels of privacy, which do not still ensure complete privacy because governing bodies such as ICANN retain control over these traditional domains.
Since traditional domains are centralized, ICANN, the central governing body, has overall control over them. They have censorship rights and can decide to restrict, ban, or block any content they believe violates their tenets. Traditional domain ownership rights can be removed at any time, and the process of regaining ownership is always difficult and costly.
Handshake domains, on the other hand, are a different story. These are blockchain-based decentralized domains, with domain data spread across all nodes in the blockchain network. As a result, a user will always have access as long as they are connected to a node in this distributed network. This means censoring, restricting, or blocking Handshake domains is difficult, if not impossible.
Overall, Handshake domain is an improvement over all of the flaws associated with traditional domains. They provide users with enhanced security, anonymity, privacy, and autonomy, which are all key components of decentralization.