Unstoppable Domains—Human Readable Crypto Address

Image Source: mooncatchermeme.com

“We’ve been crypto enthusiasts since 2012 and have believed that crypto payments were too complex to go mainstream. Just like IP addresses were replaced with DNS system, we believe cryptocurrency addresses will be replaced with human-readable names.”—Mather Gould

We pretty much don’t think about the technology anymore when it comes to the Internet. We simply pull up our smart phones, or log into our workstation at the office and launch our favorite browser. We type in names like Amazon.com, Google.com, or we type in the name of the company for which we work. No longer do we think in terms of typing  “https://www.amazon.com” since current browsers autofill it in for us.

Of course, you know this as the website name—amazon.com—controlled by the domain name service, or DNS, or the Internet phonebook.  (Cloudflare) While it’s easy to use, and most people don’t think about DNS or IP Address. Nonetheless, the DNS is what drives the naming system that makes the user experience easy and nearly flawless.

Focus on Crypto Address

Today, in order to access your cryptocurrency you will need a private key composed of a series of 34 numbers and letters. In the same way as in the early days of the Internet, the DNS replaced the need to memorize long IP addresses.

Unstoppable Domains is keen on providing ease of access to make mass adoption as reality. One thing that scares people away from cryptocurrency is the address. Thus the need to simplify the cryptocurrency address to a memorable name.

Image Source: youtube.com – Current Method (Left) , if Emily sent her address it would look something like this “1BvBMSEYstWetqTFn5Au4m4GFg7xJaNVN2” Vs Unstoppable Domains method (Right) replacing Emily’s address with her name in the following format “emily.zil”.

Starting in 2017, Unstoppable Domains began to look at the technology to replace the cryptocurrency address. Instead of referring to a long alpha-numeric address, one can now have a .zil domain, or more recently, the agnostic .crypto domain—which is designed to unify the cryptocurrency address behind a single domain.  (Boxnaming)

Unstoppable Domains , is a San Francisco-based company, building domains on blockchains. Unstoppable Domains is backed by Draper Associates and Boost VC and, it has received grants from the Ethereum Foundation and the Zilliqa Foundation.
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Source: BusinessWire.

Making it Work

Unstoppable Domains uses some current and historical ideas from the Internet. As an example, in the early days of the Internet, users had to memorize long IP addresses. With the DNS a user now only needs to type a memorable, branded, name like amazon.com.

In the same way, Unstoppable Domains is working to put “complex cryptocurrency addresses behind a human-readable name.”

It doesn’t end there. With Unstoppable Domains—you will only need one name for all of your wallets. Unstoppable Domains is working to drive crypto mass adoption. “One of those ways is to make sending crypto as simple as sending mail,” (Boxnaming).  Friends will be able send to Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, etc., using a single name.

Censorship-resistant Domains

Apart from helping in the general public easily interact with cryptocurrencies, Unstoppable Domains is keen on providing censorship-resistant domains.

Unstoppable Domains is taking on Internet censorship. It makes Internet censorship resistant and censorship immune by using the Zilliqa Blockchain as a decentralized method. “This gives registered domains censorship immunity as no government or entity can restrict or remove access to that domain,” the authors at Boxnaming write.

With these domains, the owner of the domain name has complete control of the domain and its contents. Traditional domain assets are stored on your behalf by custodians, for example Google. However a blockchain domain is stored in your cryptocurrency wallet which only you control. Therefore, no company, law enforcement agency or even Unstoppable Domains themselves can take it from you.

It does not end there. The information used to register your domain remains private; you can choose not to give any personal information. This means that it is hard to track an individual using the data provided. Also, the content provided on the website cannot be censored by a third party.

The Doubters

It all sounds good, however, Unstoppable Domains is not without its detractors. According to the Tech Republic  the security benefit purported by Unstoppable Domains to provide is specious, at best. “It provides no actual networking security that initiatives such as DNS over HTTPS—which is secure enough it earned Mozilla the ‘Internet Villain’ award from the Internet Services Providers Association in the UK for making censorship difficult.”

ICANN, where you pay a fee to subscribe to a domain name, is the operator of the public DNS root zone. It is a “not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable.”

According to Tech Republic, ICANN is not involved with Unstoppable Domains. It operates outside the control of ICANN, on an alternative DNS root, thus making the .zil domain names unresolvable, and therefore unusable on computers and smartphones. Using an “alternative DNS root requires changing DNS settings—which is not always possible, depending on the security settings of your computer.”

Conclusion

Unstoppable Domains has clearly identified a need in the Internet space to support the crypto industry. Clearly, if Unstoppable Domains can solve the problem of lengthy, alpha-numeric crypto addresses, it will go a long way toward mass adoption.  However, by providing censorship immunity, it is sure to get the attention of regulators in any country with a need to follow-the-money on any bad actor.

 

 

 

Samuel H. is an author, writer and speaker with over twenty years in the educational technology sector.

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