Do you want to have a universal username or identity across all apps and websites? Perhaps you’re simply tired of paying the renewal fee of your web domain. Maybe you’re just curious and somehow ended up in this corner of the web.
Either way, Unstoppable Domains may just be what you’re looking for. With nearly 2.5M registered domains, it is beginning to show signs of being a potential web standard for the Internet of the future, one that empowers you, the user, over domain registry companies that simply rent out your domains to you.
Most people buy an Unstoppable Domain name for two reasons. One is that they want to experiment with its early use cases. You can do a lot of exciting and fun stuff with it, especially if you’re into technology. The other reason, which might be more common, is that they believe that they’ll be worth so much more one day. In other words, they buy for cheap now so they can sell high later for a profit.
What are Unstoppable Domains?
Unstoppable Domains is a platform that allows users to experience a decentralized web space through blockchain domains. It also translates cryptocurrency addresses into human-readable names. Its domains work as a simplified web identity that can be linked to decentralized applications (dApps) and other platforms.
Crypto enthusiasts typically deal with long strings of numbers and letters when transferring assets since wallets are designed that way. While most have become used to it at this point, it remains a huge barrier to entry for newcomers and non-crypto natives, which is impeding the adoption of blockchain. This is where Unstoppable Domains comes in; it provides an alternative solution that allows users to create simple domains (e.g., Stark.crypto) and use them across a decentralized web.
Additionally, the domains are non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which means each of them is unique. Owners can store the assets in their digital wallets that no other party can access.
Unstoppable Domains have grown over time, with 2.4M+ domains registered, 275+ cryptocurrencies supported, and 335+ integrations. This is crucial as the more popular it gets, the more likely it succeeds as a new protocol for the decentralized Internet.
What Are They For?
Unstoppable Domains offers NFT-based domains to enable the community to conduct crypto transactions easier, verify digital asset ownership with their web3 identities, or build a decentralized website.
The common method of sending and receiving crypto assets involves lengthy alphanumeric addresses such as 3J98t1WpEZ73CNmQviouctnyoWrnqXhWNLy.
Although addresses can be copied and pasted, it is nearly impossible to memorize them since they are designed for machines to read, not for humans to remember. This becomes a user experience (UX) problem when participants need to have a copy of their wallet address with them at all times in case they need to do a transaction. But thanks to Unstoppable Domains, addresses can be translated into human-readable names like ‘stark.crypto’, which is so much easier to remember.
The web3 space is also full of NFT holders, and they can use their domains as a username. Combining these two allows the community to prove their ownership, connect their identities in whatever platforms they use, and log in to the metaverse with style.
Moreover, Unstoppable Domains allow users to create a decentralized website with their NFT domain as a URL. They can host their content on the IPFS protocol, which can be accessed through the Unstoppable Domains extension, and other web2-supported browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc. Note that you may need to do some configuration on some web2 browsers, but they are easy to do and the instructions can be found here.
How Much Do They Cost?
Unstoppable Domains offer their products for $10 to a few hundred, but it can go higher to a couple of thousand depending on rarity. Thus, it established two pricing categories: Regular and Premium domains.
Regular domains usually range from two- to five-digit values, which varies based on the hierarchy used (e.g., .blockchain is more common compared to .zil) and their corresponding rankings. The pricing levels are classified into tiers three to eight, consisting of different numbers of name characters and common word combinations.
On the other hand, premium domains consist of short and popular names, making them generally more expensive since they don’t follow the same pricing tier as the regulars.
Note that Unstoppable Domains have the right to classify domains and set their prices, but it cannot control their corresponding values on secondary markets.
Advantages of Unstoppable Domains
NFT domains have caught the attention of both web3 enthusiasts and normal Internet Joes across the globe, which is evidenced by the rising number of registered names at Unstoppable Domains. Let’s explore what makes it worthwhile.
- No Renewal Fees
Unstoppable Domains made it clear that its decentralized domains are not rented, but owned. Therefore, buyers no longer have to pay renewal fees after processing a one-time registration. This is in stark contrast to traditional domain service providers, which offer names that expire and need constant renewal annually. The same is true even for UD’s competitor, Ethereum Name Service (ENS).
- No Blockchain Fees
Users who’ve purchased ENS domains will be pleasantly surprised to know that Unstoppable Domain name purchases don’t incur gas fees since they are minted on the Polygon blockchain, a layer-2 protocol on top of Ethereum.
The traditional domains within the web2 space are prone to censorship as they are controlled by the government and centralized registries, which make them easy to take down. On the other hand, blockchain technology powers the NFT domains, which makes them free from the clutches of the powers that be.
- Digital Asset Ownership
Unstoppable Domains are digital properties, and owners should be the only ones controlling them. With this concept, decentralized domains give holders the right to fully own their assets without other parties accessing them, not even the registry or platform (Unstoppable Domains). Unfortunately, all web2 websites are not owned, but merely leased by domain name registries to users.
- Access to dApps
The community can easily access dApps since Unstoppable Domain names are designed to work with blockchain applications.
- More Secure
Blockchain Technology provides domain names with various benefits, one of which is keeping them safe from ‘normal’ cyber attacks.
Disadvantages of Unstoppable Domains
Not everything about UD is positive. Since we are in its early days, there is bound to be some drawbacks to using the protocol.
- Risk of Limited Adoption
Blockchain domains are still a new concept, and they can only fall on one of either outcomes: massive or limited adoption.
- Lack of Browser Support
Brave and Opera fully support NFT domains, but other browsers need to be tinkered with a little bit to support them. For example, they can only be resolved in Chrome through a single setting change. That’s not really a problem for users who want to access blockchain domains, but as a website owner, you might miss out on a lot of traffic if normal Internet users can’t easily access your Unstoppable Domain.
- Inadequate Web Hosting Capability
Users can launch their websites on Unstoppable Domains, but the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) is still necessary for the process. IPFS is a decentralized system for storing and sharing data.
- Crypto-Related Perspective
Although Unstoppable Domains introduces decentralized domains to non-crypto users, some people still take their services limited to crypto use cases. This kind of perspective can limit the platform’s chance of achieving mainstream adoption.
Can an Unstoppable Domain Replace My Current Domain?
No. At least, not today. The reason we don’t recommend replacing it is that traditional domains are widely accessible on the Internet since their technology has been properly standardized and supported across nearly all browsers across different devices. On the other hand, an Unstoppable Domain is only supported by a couple of browsers.
Normal users won’t be able to access your site on Chrome or Firefox unless they go out of their way to tinker with the settings, which most won’t do. Furthermore, blockchain-based websites are not indexed by search engines, which massively reduces decentralized websites’ reach. Hence, you’re better off keeping your current domain even if you buy an Unstoppable Domain name.
Are they Safe?
Decentralized domains are basically NFTs. They exist on the blockchain and are stored in digital wallets. Therefore, they will remain secure as long as you follow proper security best practices such as avoiding clicking on links or files sent by unsolicited people. You also need to make sure that you can remember the seed phrase of your wallet so that you can recover all your assets in case you lose your private keys.
How to Buy an Unstoppable Domain
Buyers can purchase an NFT domain by heading over to Unstoppable Domains. You can start by searching your preferred name in the search bar, and it will automatically show its availability, along with its corresponding price and other recommended names.
Choose all the domains you want to purchase and add them to your cart. You can also see all the items you have selected and the total amount you are going to pay. Fill in the details to proceed. Note that you can pay through credit card, PayPal, cryptocurrency, or the Crypto.com exchange.
After submitting your payment, the website will direct you to the next page where you can mint NFT domains for free. Minting is the process of generating an NFT, in this case, a domain name, within a blockchain, giving it full functionality. You can now use them in any way you wish.
Whether or not Unstoppable Domains gets enough traction to become a standard Internet protocol that could rival the current DNS web remains to be seen. We know blockchain technology is still fairly early, but there are also competitors thriving in the blockchain naming space, so this isn’t a guarantee. Regardless, the platform is currently one of the top providers and is doing well.
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