Blockchain domain registry sites are changing how we register, manage and resolve domain names on the blockchain.
Each blockchain DNS (domain name system) is decentralized; it runs on a peer-to-peer server system without the need for a middleman or central governing body. Blockchain domain registry sites are based on smart contracts.
When buying a domain from a blockchain DNS, the domain itself belongs to the domain owner, which means it can’t be censored or altered without their permission. Often, blockchain domains (also referred to as domain NFTs) form human-readable web addresses that also function as cryptocurrency wallets. Certain registry sites also allow their users to make crypto payments online, working as an additional wallet.
Similar to crypto wallets, domain owners will receive private keys to their wallet holding the domain, once the domain is purchased. This will give them complete control of their domain and allow them to launch their website without needing permission from a third party, reducing the risks of censorship.
The blockchain domain industry is growing quickly, and the competition to become the leading blockchain domain registry site becomes increasingly heated.
The following guide on the top blockchain domain registry sites takes into account:
- The popularity and community trust of the project.
- Technical advantages and disadvantages.
- The convenience of use.
- Bang for your buck.
Let’s explore the top blockchain domain registry sites on the market.
Unstoppable Domains: Actually “Own” Your Domain
Unstoppable Domains allows users to create a non-censorable website that can be stored in a user’s wallet. Domains registered on the site work as much more than just a domain. Once a user owns a domain, they can use the domain to transfer cryptocurrency, generate a universal username, and create their login to the decentralized web.
Unlike many other blockchain domain registry sites, you only have to pay for a domain once on Unstoppable Domains. After a single purchase, users will never have to pay renewal fees– they own the domain (or rather, NFT of their domain) until they wish to sell it.
Each domain is built on the Ethereum or Zilliqa blockchains and comes in the form of .crypto and .zil extensions and several other options.
An understated gem of Unstoppable Domains is that crypto can be sent directly to and from NFT domain addresses.
Ethereum Name Service: .eth Made Popular
Ethereum Name Service is one of the most popular blockchain DNS systems. It integrates innovative blockchain-based DNS with a traditional system, allowing users to enjoy the benefits of both systems.
One of its most unique features is its ability to let users transfer domains. For example, owners of traditional domains can transfer their domain to the blockchain DNS service if they can provide their DNSSEC registration, to transfer it to the blockchain DNS service.
The site has already reached over 300,000 registrations, with the top domain selling for $3.5 million. All domains use a .eth name and are available through an auction process. You can also check out more of the registry’s benefits here.
Namecoin: From Bitcoin Fork to Domain Registry Project
Namecoin was originally a fork of Bitcoin and became the first blockchain domain registry site. The site uses a .bit domain name, and functions similarly to most traditional DNS systems. Users on the site can register, renew and transfer domains using fiat and cryptocurrency.
Once purchased, users have to install separate software to manage their .bit domain in the form of a browser extension. This is relatively easy and can be completed in a few simple steps.
Emercoin: Decentralized SDK
Emercoin is an alternative to DNS; it supports the development of dSDKs (Decentralized Software Development Kits). These development tools allow users to create service and software solutions such as APIs, technical documentation, and domains, all without working with technical code.
Emercoin uses a unique Proof of Stake system that combines proof of ownership and proof of work systems. Using this system, Emercoin can offer a distributed DNS known as EMCDNS EMCSSL. It actively promotes its decentralized features, reducing the risk of censorship and blocking.
On the site, users can also choose from several different customization options. For example, they can choose the period they wish to own a domain. Should they no longer want their domain, they can also delete it from the blockchain and terminate it without waiting for the end of the lease period.
PeerName: Low-cost Competitor for .bot, .coin, .lib, and .bazar
PeerName is an easy-to-use blockchain plugin designed for Chrome, Opera, and Firefox. The platform is based on XNR, Namecoin, and EmerCoin cryptocurrencies and allows users to register .bit, .emc, .coin, .lib, and .bazar domains. Domain names cost $7 per registration which is relatively average for the industry.
To bring new users to the site PeerName transfers all domains for free and offers the next year of registration for free with each registration. Once transferred, owners can transfer their domain to their private wallets for greater control. When registering with PeerName, all data is stored in what is known as ‘cold’ storage. This means it’s stored ‘offline’ to reduce the risk of attacks and hackers, keeping domains safe.
Signing up for a domain on PeerName is an easy process. The site is designed like a traditional domain registrar. All users need to do is enter their domain name and PeerName does the hard work for them.
NEM Blockchain DNS
NEM Blockchain DNS is a Chrome extension that allows users to browse websites with the .nem extension. Although less comprehensive than many of the alternatives on this list, NEM offers several useful features that allow users to access domain names from the NEM blockchain name system.
NEM is extremely easy to install on browsers and doesn’t require users to download any additional software. Once installed, records can be updated with ease by the domain owner. Like other blockchain DNS extensions, sites cannot be censored or managed by a governing body, allowing domain owners to post content without needing it to be approved.
Final Thoughts: Which Blockchain Domain Registry Site Is Best?
With blockchain technology still being relatively new in the domain industry, we’ve yet to see a clear industry leader dominate the market. Each registry site offers its own unique advantages.
Blockchain domains have a few limitations, such as the lack of browser integration. Each blockchain domain registry has plenty of problems to solve, allowing them to further differentiate themselves.
Unstoppable Domains is great for business owners who plan to own their domain for long periods. However, competitors such as Ethereum Name Service have become popular for blockchain domain rentals amongst more general blockchain users.
As these businesses continue to innovate, users will have the opportunity to test out new features to see what domain registry works best for their requirements.