What is the Web3 Domain Buzz About?
Web3, or the read-write-trust web, is the third iteration of the internet, powered by smart contracts, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and blockchain technology to achieve a decentralized web. This means that instead of being centrally controlled, it is distributed across a network of computers, making it more secure and resilient. Additionally, the decentralized web introduces a change in domain names from the conventional domain name system (DNS) to a web3 domain name.
Web3 domain names are blockchain-based DNS addresses that allow users to create and manage their own personalized domains. They are addresses representing users' wallets. The decentralized crypto domain names are NFTs that users can trade on NFT marketplaces. Web3 domain name extensions are .eth, .crypto, .dao, .blockchain, .nft, etc. Registering a web3 domain name requires using a domain registrar that supports the service, like Ethereum Name Service (ENS) and Unstoppable Domains.
How to register a web3 domain name
Users need to use an Ethereum wallet that supports ENS when registering a web3 domain name. Once the domain is registered, users can set up a DNS record for it, which will allow people to find the website or application using traditional domain name lookup tools.
Users should choose wallets supporting ENS that meet their needs, like MetaMask. MetaMask is a popular browser extension that allows users to store and manage their ETH and ERC20 tokens.
Once users have chosen an Ethereum wallet, they need to register their web3 domain name via a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain. This can be done using the MetaMask extension or a service like MyEtherWallet. Once the domain is registered, users can set up a DNS record for it via services such as ENS or Unstoppable Domains. People can then find the websites and applications using traditional domain name lookup tools.
ENS and how it works
ENS domains work similar to traditional domain names, but with the new web 3.0 infrastructure, they can create decentralized applications and websites, and store data or files on the blockchain.
The ENS is the new domain naming system built on top of the Ethereum network that enables users to create memorable and distinctive addresses or usernames. It utilizes Ethereum's smart contracts to provide supplementary services to the conventional DNS and manage domain name registration and resolution. ENS allows users to create a single username for all their wallet addresses, decentralized apps, and websites in a distributed ecosystem.
ENS utilizes three types of smart contracts: the registry, the registrars, and the resolvers.
The registry - The registry is the top-level contract of the ENS responsible for storing all the domain names and their corresponding resolver smart contracts. It also defines the rules for setting up and maintaining a .eth domain name, such as who can create one, how long it lasts, how to renew it, etc.
The registrar - A registrar is a contract that allows users to claim and manage .eth domains. It maintains domain names and permits users to subdomain names based on criteria. The permanent registrar and registrar controller concept allows name holders to outsource their names. There are currently two types of registrars: open and auction.
The resolver - A resolver is a contract that provides the mapping between an Ethereum address and a .eth domain name. When users type in an address or username in their browser or wallet, the resolver will return the corresponding Ethereum address. The resolver contract is deployed by the domain name owner and can be updated to change the mapping. In short, the resolver stores the name-to-record mapping.
What are the benefits of web3 domain names?
It allows complete control over the user's online identity - Unlike traditional domains, which large companies or organizations often own, web3 domains can be owned by individuals or groups. It enables users to use their domain to represent themselves or their brand in a more personal way with unique identifiers in NFT form.
They are much cheaper than traditional domains - Web3 domain names do not require a centralized registrar, and there are no middlemen involved, making them budget-friendly. A regular domain name starts at $6.98, while Web3 domain names like Cortex app’s .hmn are completely free.
They are more secure - Since they are stored on the blockchain, web3 domain names cannot be tampered with or taken down by anyone, making them ideal for hosting sensitive data or building censorship-resistant applications. They are also more resilient to hacking and other attacks as they do not have a central point of failure.
They are more private - Unlike traditional domains, which are often registered using personal information, web3 domain names can be registered anonymously. User identity will not be linked to their domain, giving them more privacy online.
They are future-proof - As the internet moves towards a more decentralized model, web3 domain names will become increasingly popular.
ENS Use Cases
Crypto wallets: Trading and storing crypto wallets can be done via the ENS since it supports all cryptocurrencies.
Decentralized webs and apps: A dApp or website can use an ENS domain as its URL, similar to a standard URL but without DNS servers.
Censorship-resistant messaging: A user can send an encrypted message to another user via an ENS-registered email address. The message will be stored on the blockchain and can only be decrypted by the recipient.
Token swaps: Two different tokens can be swapped between two users without a centralized exchange since both tokens are represented by their respective ENS domain names.
Name registration: Any name (company name, brand name, etc.) can be registered on the ENS, similar to registering a domain name, but on the blockchain.
Identity management: The ENS can be used to manage digital identities and avatars in a decentralized manner to allow users to control their own data.
Reputation systems: A decentralized reputation system can be built on the ENS to allow users to rate each other based on their interactions.
Certificates: The ENS can be used to issue and verify credentials in a decentralized manner to allow users to vouch for the authenticity of a certificate without the need for a central authority.
ENS plays a major role in reducing the technicality involved in blockchain technology by replacing inconvenient alphanumeric codes with human-readable user names. Furthermore, simplifying the user experience will attract increased adoption of the technology and the inception of web3.0.