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Domains on the Chain

Have you ever purchased a domain name? Every single time I have a "billion-dollar idea," I buy a domain name. It's a habit that I got into about 6 years ago. I've owned countless domain names but one of the annoying things about buying domains is that you have to renew them annually (so, it's really more like you're renting the domain name). You are also more or less at the mercy of the domain host, domain registrar, server host, and/or governmental and non-governmental organizations. These entities all have varying degrees of control over your use of your domain. This is a hallmark of the centralized digital world we live in. But, as I've said for many years now, blockchain technology presents the opportunity to change that.

I recently learned about Unstoppable Domains--a service offering domain names that end in .crypto or .zil. Domain names purchased from Unstoppable Domains are owned by the purchasers for forever (no annual fees), they are stored in a crypto wallet and can only transferred by holders of the private keys to that wallet. So instead of renting a domain name, you truly own it and can easily transfer it to another wallet. You can also take your domain name and build your website on the distributed web using the IPFS protocol. (I know, I know--what does this all mean? More to come.)

So the other truly great thing about Unstoppable Domains is that you can take your domain name and use that as your cryptocurrency wallet address. Mind. Blown. One of the painful parts about transacting in cryptocurrency is making sure you get the wallet address right. With all those numbers and letters, it is very easy to transpose characters and send a total stranger a bunch of crypto that you'll never see again. With an Unstoppable Domain, you can connect that domain name to a wallet address and use the domain name as your wallet address. So instead of a string of random numbers and letters, my wallet address would simply be blockchainblawg.crypto. Like I said, truly great.

This is obviously a brilliant idea but brilliant ideas don't matter if people don't use them. Well, Coinbase has recently added support for Unstoppable Domains. As a reminder, Coinbase is one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet service providers in the U.S. So them jumping on board is a big deal. I've secured my name (for $40 USD) because I think this is a brilliant idea with the potential to really take off. What do you think? More hype than substance?

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