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What Are Crypto TLD Domain Extensions

14 January 2020 | 0 comments | Posted by Che Kohler in Geek Chic

How crypto domains work

Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain have become mainstream buzzwords and are no longer limited to a random corner of the internet. Yes, blockchain is slowly crawling out of the primordial ooze, and many terms and are featured in most dictionaries, HODL that thought.

Blockchain promises to influence the web in many facets from transactions to security, to storage and more, with a revolution some are calling web 3.0.

While I could go on about how decentralised file storage, decentralised hosting, decentralised web browsers and decentralised databases for text and transactions I think I'll save that for another time or perhaps series of posts.

Blockchain is starting to infiltrate several facets that make up the overall internet experience, and one of those is the domain name. Domain names are the text you place into the URL bar to get to a website, for example, if you're reading this you're on

  • https://www.nichemarket.co.za

Domain names are typically made up of a brand/site name

  • IE nichemarket

and a TLD extension

  • IE .co.za - This is the TLD extension for South Africa

While this is your official domain name and used to be an enforced practice, you can now go wold with names and TLD extension combinations and in some cases even use emojis for domains.

If you're dipping your pinky into web 3.0, then crypto domains are an excellent place to start. So what are blockchain-based domains and why are they different from the ones you can pick up on Godaddy, Hostgator or any of your local web domain hosting providers?

What are the benefits of blockchain-based domains?

Apart from not relying on a third party to govern ownership of the domain, blockchain domains offer several advantages over traditional domains such as:

  • Payments - Domains can be used as a payment gateway for cryptocurrency payments. These are cheap, almost instant, and can be done from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world.
  • Uncensorable websites - Other companies and governments cannot control the content you show on your website.
  • Alternate root - Are not governed by and don’t require approval from ICANN.
  • No custodian - The website owner stores the domain on the blockchain and has the only access so No 3rd party can move or seize them.
  • No renewals - Pay once, and it’s yours, and the domain is yours forever.
  • Transfers - Blockchain domains do not require an escrow agent to exchange the domain or funds securely. This transfer can happen in less than 1 minute, from or to anywhere in the world.

What is .crypto?

Unstoppable domains are the company pioneering blockchain-based domains and launched the .crypto LTD extension on the Etherieum blockchain.

The .crypto decentralized domain registry built to give freedom back to users since users now have actual ownership of their domain through a non-fungible token.

Websites using .crypto can't be taken down by government authorities or traditional domain providers (unlike all other domains with ".com") The non-custodial nature of the domain makes sites censorship-resistant freedom is enormous, not only for the crypto community but for the future of the internet.

.Zil is also a possibility

The firm selling these domains has already seen a high level of interest in its first domain extension, .zil, with over 100,000 having been sold. The first service was built on the Zilliqa blockchain (hence the .zil domain), and the website content was stored on the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) or other decentralized storage networks, the company said at the time.

.ETH is also available

While unstoppable domains are the service selling .zil and .crypto domains there are other players moving into this niche and ENS (Ethereum Naming Service) is one of them which allows you to purchase and register .ETH domain names.

The downside of crypto domains

Using an immutable blockchain for web domains can have its downside, however. As reported last week, a hacker exploited a bug in an auction run by OpenSea for the Ethereum Naming Service (ENS) resulting in several top-level names – including apple.eth, defi.eth, wallet.eth, and pay.eth. – being nabbed with no way to retrieve them. After OpenSea appealed to the hacker and offered a reward, the domains were handed back.

Blockchain domains Browsers cannot resolve blockchain domains without third-party extensions (e.g. MetaMask), and subsequently, they have not been indexed by Google or any other mainstream search engine.

This exclusion from search engines can be problematic in trying to achieve organic traffic. Still, it may also speak to a more significant issue which is Google's monopoly of internet traffic and a need for decentralised search engines like Presearch/dSearch.

How a blockchain domain works

Using the Ethereum blockchain domains are stored in a non-fungible token which allows a .crypto blockchain top-level domain. It also will enable cryptocurrencies of any consensus algorithm to piggyback on top of it and token denomination to have a single address scheme.

A decentralised alternative that makes sense

But blockchain domains can also be a valid replacement for traditional domains, holding several advantages. Since they are hosted on decentralised and immutable ledgers, blockchain domains cannot be censored by anyone in the world, giving an additional tool in the fight for free speech, which has been problematic and well documented in some areas of the world.

Keeping it for a rainy day

Perhaps you're not interested in using the .crypto version of your domain now you can still purchase a .crypto name to hold for safekeeping. Crypto domains, apart from being used to host a website, can also be used as a wallet address. Owners can attach various cryptocurrency wallets to a crypto address and receive payments in cryptocurrency. The wallet function of the domain could become useful in the future as adoption grows or in countries where traditional payment methods are failing citizens.

Crypto domain wallets assist in doing away with long, complicated alphanumeric crypto address in favour of more memorable ones. Making addresses less mistake-prone and will simplify cryptocurrency payments and lead to mainstream adoption.

While the new .crypto registry is run using the Ethereum blockchain, it can receive payments in ether and other cryptocurrencies. Sending money to a .crypto domain is a way simpler user experience for the millions of cryptocurrency users that currently have to copy/paste and type in long addresses to perform a transaction.

If you're keen to see a decentralised domain in action, check out our article on how to browse decentralised domains.

Reserving your domain

Now that you know how decentralised domain registration works, will you be getting one? Do you own one already? Let us know in the comment section down below.

Contact us

If you're having trouble getting started with purchasing the right domain then feel free to contact us and let's see how we can help you get a domain to get started.

Are you looking to promote your business?

South African Business owners can create your free business listing on nichemarket. The more information you provide about your business, the easier it will be for your customers to find you online. Registering with nichemarket is easy; all you will need to do is head over to our sign up form and follow the instructions.

If you require a more detailed guide on how to create your profile or your listing, then we highly recommend you check out the following articles. 

Recommended reading

If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts about website domains.

Tags: Cryptocurrency, Website, Domain

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