10 min read
In this day and age, few people are unaware of what a domain name means to the Internet world. The transformation of an IP address into an Internet address, as we know it today, simplified access to Web pages.
Our crypto ecosystem is characterized by replicating external functionalities and then enhancing them with the intrinsic characteristics provided by a blockchain.
When we say that NFTs can tokenize anything, we mean it. PolkaDomain is a project on the Polkadot network that will provide the possibility to create your own domain and register it on this blockchain, in the form of NFTs.
What is PolkaDomain?
As I said, it is a platform that will allow its users to generate their own domains. They will be created in a decentralized way, registered in the Polkadot blockchain as NFT and powered, thanks to this network, with cross-chain interconnectivity.
Since the birth of the web, whoever wants to register a domain must first check its availability, and if it is free, reserve it in the corresponding organization in their country. This centralized organization will check certain data and after this process will grant the domain reservation. Finally, you just have to go to a website to purchase it for the time you want. Literally, it is a process that takes only a few hours.
But blockchain technology arrived on this planet to change the way we conduct certain activities, and its benefits continue to expand its sphere of influence.
The future, which we can glimpse with PolkaDomain, presents us with a new way to register our domains. Once PolkaDomain is among us, registering a domain will be a much simpler process.
How will we register domains at PolkaDomain?
If you want to buy a Polkadomain, it will be as simple as entering the platform, write the domain you want and click “search”. If the domain is free, you can buy it for as long as you want. For a few moments, the platform will perform a search, to avoid collisions in case another user is registering the same domain at that precise moment. After a few seconds, the reservation is enabled. We execute the transaction using our NAME tokens (which I will explain below) and the domain will be ours for the time we have selected.
But why do I need a domain name?
Perhaps this is the first question that crosses your mind and it is not a bad thing. A good exercise, before the emergence of a new project or platform within the blockchain ecosystem is to question its usefulness.
Quickly, by analogy with the web world, we can think that these domains could be used to replace the complex public addresses of our cryptowallets. Something like what Bitnovo’s New App does, but transforming public addresses into “contacts”.
But the reality is that in order to have a domain replace a public address, it is necessary for wallets to support the integration of these domains. Then, instead of copying and pasting a long string of numbers and letters every time we need to request a payment, we can provide our domain and wait for the payment.
But, privacy lovers will quickly expose their arguments against this practice. Knowing our domain, any user could, in a matter of seconds, link our identity with the capital we hold in that wallet. Also, with some knowledge of logic, they could intuit several of our crypto-movements.
Such a criticism would be far from justified. From the dock, it could be argued that the tools for “anonymizing” movements are growing day by day. They have grown so much that we have not only platforms, but also networks created specifically for this purpose (see Secret Network).
Beyond identifying our wallet with this domain, it is interesting to think about the construction of our identity within the blockchain, which leads me to the next title.
Other uses for PolkaDomain
There is a lot of talk about identity these days. The lines that delimited this concept in the past are now blurred. That is why today, we find ourselves talking about and forming identities within the blockchain ecosystem.
A domain, registered on the Polkadot blockchain in the form of an NFT, is not just a nice name to identify a wallet and facilitate transactions. We are reaching a stage where it is possible to create an identity around an NFT. And domains, simplify or facilitate this idea.
Many users hide their human face behind an NFT registered on a blockchain and it is around this image that they build their identity in the Internet universe. In this sense, a domain in the form of an NFT can provide the same virtues.
We are not only facing a new way to identify ourselves, but also a way to reinforce our identity, in this case, by registering it in a blockchain. This adds certain characteristics such as decentralization, immutability and simple proof of authenticity.
Well-known or incipient brands will register their domains in the blockchain, reinforcing their identity within the new ecosystem. The possibilities, from this simple reflection are enormous. But better, let’s look at some examples of existing domains, to list some advantages of PolkaDomain.
There are other projects that have put PolkaDomain’s proposal into practice. It is not minor to be able to review them, to be able to contrast which is, in my opinion, the competitive advantage of PolkaDomain.
ENS – Ethereum Name Service
The subtitle says it all. This platform, created more than four years ago on the Ethereum network, allowed its users to register different types of domains ending in “.eth”.
At that time, the attention that the crypto world generated was different, of course much less than today. This allowed many “smart” people to register domains with the name of well-known brands.
The news came this year, with the explosion of the crypto world and the new attention from large institutions, some of these domains were sold for exorbitant prices.
Beyond the economic benefit achieved by these users, others were able to build their identity in the ecosystem with a “.eth” domain.
TNS – Terra Name Service
Just weeks ago, Terra’s network saw one of its milestones come to fruition. A large number of “.ust” domains were created in a few hours. An imminent update of this blockchain wallet will allow these domains to be used as a public address.
At last, those forwarders who tweeted their name accompanied by the “.ust” were able to register their possession on the blockchain.
PolkaDomain and its advantages
Now, what is the advantage of registering a domain on the Polkadot network, using the PolkaDomain platform? It’s simple, the philosophy behind Polkadot.
These domains, beyond being hosted on the Polkadot blockchain, will have an extra benefit, which stems from the idea behind Polkadot, and that is interoperability.
The projects I mentioned above, although they have their benefits and use cases, are only confined to their own blockchain environment. On the other hand, PolkaDomain promises to expand its domains to all those networks capable of connecting with Polkadot.
Undoubtedly, this expansion will give this project a great deal of attention on the day we find it productive.
NAME, PolkaDomain token
This project has its own token, which was identified with the ticker NAME. As a method of launching this token, the team used two major events.
First, an AirDrop of 200,000 NAME for all those who completed a few simple steps, which required no more than registering on a website.
Second, a public sale. 312,500 NAME were placed for sale, with a value of $0.16 per token. This sale was held on the Ethereum network and had a limit of $250 in ETH for buyers. Among all those who registered to enter this auction, which proved successful, 100 lucky ones were chosen to reserve their PolkaDomain.
The functionality of this token will be to be an exchange currency in the Marketplace that Polkadomain will create and, of course, it will be used to acquire these domains.
We are at a pivotal moment. New ways of understanding old concepts are unfolding as I throw these letters on this article.
As always, we have three options in the face of these socio-cultural developments. To be reactionary and defend the old values to the hilt, to remain completely indifferent or, finally, to be enthusiastic about the future.
It is clear that the PolkaDomain team is in the latter group and they decided to take matters into their own hands. Perhaps next year we will be able to see if PolkaDomain with its cross-chain interoperability is the project in charge of the new identity.