Own your decentralized domain name with the help of Namebase
Handshake, a revolutionary blockchain, has made a splash among the crypto community. Handshake allows users and companies to own their entire domain name instead of renting a subdomain from someone else.
The Domain name system is the backbone of the internet, often referred to as the internet’s phonebook. Each website address you visit when browsing is a domain name, which someone manages and pays for. The internet is essentially the combination of all domain names out there. Domain name systems help manage who owns what in terms of websites and IP addresses.
Currently, most DNS providers are regulated by ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. This means that while there are hundreds of DNS providers out there, one central regulatory body has the majority control over the entire domain name system.
What does Handshake bring to the table?
Handshake revolutionizes the internet phonebook by shifting control of said phonebook from ICANN to its own decentralized blockchain.
Registering a top-level domain through ICANN (adding an entry to their phonebook) requires a long approval process and is prohibitively expensive – it costs $185k just to apply. With Handshake, anyone can register any top-level domain name (like .yourname, .🤝, and .握手) on Handshake’s decentralized phonebook.
Top-level domain names are usually controlled by big organizations like Google and Verisign, which simply rent out subsidiary names to users. With Handshake, an ordinary individual can have true ownership over their entire domain name by owning it at the top-level.
What does Handshake mean for developers?
Because Handshake allows anyone to own top level domains, it opens up a whole new world of potential use cases for developers.
One of the most prominent uses for Handshake is its ability to allow anyone to build fully decentralized applications. Many dApps have decentralized infrastructure on the backend, but their frontends may still be censor-able, and maliciously editable. Apps like Uniswap have had pieces of their sites go down not because their service failed, but because their domain name was inaccessible, or services were intentionally removed from their front-ends.
Censorship most often happens at the domain name level. For that reason, Handshake domains can serve as a decentralized backup or mirror for any site, regardless of whether or not they choose to decentralize other parts of their tech stack.
Another one of the unique use cases enabled by Handshake names being TLDs is the possibility to create unlimited subdomains under your name.
For NFT creators, this means their decentralized art can live on a decentralized domain. Many NFTs still have URLs pointing to content stored on Web2, censorable, non-persistent sites. Handshake allows developers to store art they truly own on domains they truly own as well.
Additionally, Handshake domains are themselves NFTs, offering the ability for NFT art creators to pair their art with a domain NFT.
One group of creators that could take advantage of Handshake are NFT collections creators. With a single TLD, each NFT could live on a separate subdomain. For those creating things like x,xxx collections, each NFT could live at 0001.TLD, 0002.TLD, 0003.TLD etc.
For non-NFT developers, another use case we’d love to see become more popular is a community platform that can only be logged into with a Handshake subdomain.
Sites like Namer News already support Handshake login. However, by owning a TLD, creators are able to create sites that can only be accessed with a subdomain under a specific TLD. With the ability to gift as many subdomains under a Handshake name as you’d like, influencers would be able to gift subdomains that grant access to gated communities using a system they fully own and control.
How does acquiring a Handshake domain work?
Namebase is currently the easiest place to purchase Handshake domains, and the HNS token. Handshake is designed to expand the reach of DNS services. It’s backwards-compatible with all of ICANN’s domain names and allows users to purchase ones that do not yet exist on the web.
There are two main ways in which users can purchase a Handshake name — buy it on the secondary market, or participate in a minting auction for it. Both of these methods require users to have HNS coins, the native cryptocurrency of the Handshake blockchain. All of this can be done with an account on Namebase.
Users of Namebase can purchase HNS with BTC or with USD (currently only available to US-residents) The HNS can then be used to purchase a name from Namebase’s marketplace or to place a bid on in a minting auction. At this point, users can use, hold, or resell their names.
To illustrate just how much demand there are for names, the banksy/ domain sold in April this year for 69,696.00 HNS. This represented a 9,716% gain from the original minting auction price. You can see an up to the day chart of all minting, and reselling activity here.
Handshake offers yet another blockchain-based investment opportunity. As a relatively new platform, there are plenty of unclaimed domains waiting for their new owner. This is a great opportunity to get in early while the project is still in its infancy. If you’re curious to learn more, click here to visit Namebase, and get started with Handshake.
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