As the world is becoming a global village, websites have been a gateway for people to use and interact with the web. Since the first website was hosted in the early ‘90s, the "dot com" extension has been widely adopted to date.
This led to the popular “dot com bubble” a couple of years back. But with the coming of blockchain technology and its subsets, the gears of domain names are shifting from the Domain Name System to NFT domains.
Cryptobriefing reported that “win.crypto”, an NFT domain name, was sold for $100k. As of February this year, Unstoppable Domains—one of the leading NFT domain companies—announced having over 2 million registered domains.
This makes it clear that NFT domains are gradually taking over from the traditional domain name system; NFT domains are the new vogue.
In this article, we’d be taking a deep dive into how domain names work, why you should get them, and where you can buy them.
An NFT is a unique item that is stored as data on the blockchain. On the other hand, a domain name is a customized IP address that points to a website on the internet.
Following that, NFT domains are decentralized, unique, human-readable addresses of entities on the blockchain. These entities may be individuals, protocols, projects, and even corporate organizations.
Perhaps you have seen some people on Twitter with their names ending with “dot sol” or “dot eth” and you’re wondering about the benefits of those NFT domain names.
Here are the advantages of having an NFT domain:
Crypto wallet addresses are always full of lengthy numbers and letters that could be up to 35 characters. These alphanumeric addresses cannot be memorized and are always copied and pasted during crypto or NFT transactions.
Meanwhile, there are possibilities of making mistakes and sending funds to an invalid address when these addresses are neither copied nor pasted accordingly. Last year, one Damien lost $98k as a result of this.
But customizable wallet addresses help you to convert these long alphanumeric addresses into understandable addresses. An example may be nftify.nft. This makes crypto or NFT transactions to be less prone to mistakes and memorizable.
On a more critical look, NFT domains go beyond mere wallet addresses to become your “username” and identity in Web3 because people will become familiar with it.
For example, Branthly Millegan—the Director of Operations at ENS—is popularly known as branthly.eth in the blockchain space.
Although NFT domains are wallet addresses, they can also be website addresses at the same time. But please note that this is not automatic.
Once you’ve bought your NFT domain name, you have to develop the website and host it on decentralized hosting platforms like HostCoin. A popular example is Beefy.finance
At this point, you might input an NFT domain name into your Chrome browser and notice it is showing anything. It is the case that NFT domains are not yet supported by major browsers because they are not saved in their root directories.
Therefore, browsers' algorithms can't crawl and bring up NFT domains in their search results. Nonetheless, you can make use of DApp browsers to gain access to websites with NFT domain names.
You can simply use the DApp browsers that come with decentralized exchanges like MetaMask and Trustwallet.
If you are quite conversant with the traditional domain system, you’d agree that it is majorly controlled by a centralized entity called “the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).”
Being the sole administrative body, the ICANN has the right to take down any website for a couple of reasons. This suspension can last for 12 months or even more. One Katie Hellmuth Martin, among several other reported stories, confirmed that ICANN has taken down two of her websites in the past.
Moving on, we should draw a line of difference here between traditional domains and NFT domains. While traditional domains are centralized and monitored, NFT domains are not.
As a matter of fact, once you have minted NFT domain, not even your NFT name service provider like Unstoppable Domains has any control over your domain. It totally comes under your custody.
When you buy a domain under the Domain Name System, you don’t own it. Instead, you rent it for a while. That is the reason you’d have to renew hosting fees per year or the specified period. Renewing hosting plans can cost up to $100 per month and around $1,200 per year.
Unlike traditional domains, the majority of NFT domain service providers sell the NFT domains to you once and for all. You become the sole owner of the NFT domain as you’ll have the private keys to it.
Having read about the advantages of NFT domains, the major question on your mind now might be, “where can I buy NFT domains?” These are the list of the top seven places where you can buy NFT domains:
Ethereum Name Service, or ENS for short, is an NFT domain provider that seeks to play the role of DNS in Web3. In fact, if you had earlier owned a traditional domain, you can simply turn it into an NFT domain through the ENS.
It is also important to clarify that the ENS is not limited to only Ethereum, The name rather suggests that it is built on the Ethereum blockchain. As a result, ENS domains include other chains, especially the ones compatible with the EVM.
In addition, it is also possible for you to create NFT subdomains under your ENS domains.
For example, if you have “denverfood.eth” as your main domain, you can register a subdomain like “buydenverfood.eth.”
At the moment, the ENS boasts over 327 thousand owners and 760 thousand registered domain names.
Founded by Matthew Gould in 2019, Unstoppable Domain has become one of the leading NFT domain companies with over 2 million registered NFT domains. It sells the following NFT domain extensions:
Its NFT domains are supported by popular browsers including Chrome and Opera. In addition, Unstoppable Domains are integrated with more than 140 DApps like Graph Protocol and Chainlink.
According to a recent TechCrunch report, Unstoppable Domains is presently raising funds to become a unicorn.
Namecoin is one of the earliest NFT domain providers because it was forked from the Bitcoin network in 2011. Since it is an adaptation of the Bitcoin network, Namecoin has only one NFT domain extension which is “dot bit.”
It is an open-source DNS company whose code can be viewed and audited by anyone. To get your “dot bit” address, you’d need to first download and install a NAME wallet, then proceed to purchase some namecoins.
Primarily, Bonfida was majorly an API provider for the serum ecosystem – a DEX on the Solana blockchain. But on the 22nd of July 2021, Bonfida was announced as the official naming service of the Solana blockchain network.
To get a “dot sol” NFT, you’d need to go to the Bonfida website and search if your desired Solana NFT domain name is available. If it is available, go ahead to connect your Solana-compatible wallet and purchase it.
You can also trade NFT domains on Solana; where you buy some domain names and sell them at a higher price later. As the latest development, Bonfida made an official tweet that it is in talks to make Solana NFT domain names available on OpenSea.
TNS is quite similar to how ENS operates, just that it is for the Terra ecosystem. Its extension is in “dot ust.” A TNS address is not only useful for a website or crypto wallet, you can also use it for your email and Twitter accounts.
Your registration cost depends on the number of characters your proposed NFT domain has. While 5+ characters can cost you around $16, 3 characters cost $640.
If you wish, you can trade your Terra NFT domains on NFT marketplaces like randomearth.io.
This is the official naming service provider of the Tezos ecosystem. The NFT domain extension is usually “dot tez.” Once you have bought your NFT domain, there is no limit to the number of subdomains you can have.
To prevent people from hoarding domains, Tezos places an initial auction period before anyone can finally purchase a Tezos domain name. But if it were the case that someone else outbids you, you can always withdraw your funds.
At the moment, Tezos only supports NFT domains that are up to 5 characters or longer. For the records, more than 84k NFT domain names have been registered on Tezos, and the highest big so far is 3,500 XTZ – approximately $13,370.
Trust Domain is a more encompassing NFT domain company that gives you access to register and mint NFT domain names from four different blockchains including BNB Chain, Hecochain, Conflux, and Ethereum.
As a result, you can register domain names with the following extensions:.
It has partnered with various NFT platforms including xNFT Protocol and tofuNFT. With almost 40k users and integration with 36 ecosystems, Trust Domain is one of the top NFT domain name service providers.
Blockchain technology seeks to make the internet free from centralized control and put individuals in charge of their internet domains. The more Web3 is widely adopted, the more there is a need to get an NFT domain.
Bearing in mind various advantages and use cases of NFT domain names, it is only a matter of time before people abandon traditional domains. Indeed, the NFT domain is the actual future of DNS.
Therefore, the best time to buy an NFT domain name is now.
Perhaps you’re thinking of creating and selling NFT domains, NFTify is a great marketplace builder platform to make your business thrive. Our platform helps you to build, sell, and market your NFT domains.
You can register your account within minutes and customize your storefront. Kickstart your NFT domain business today by registering on NFTify
1. What makes NFT domains better than DNS?
NFT domains are better than DNS because they are not controlled by a central entity, they serve as a human-readable crypto wallet address, and they can be used as your website’s domain name on Web3.
2. Where can I buy my NFT domain name?
You can buy your NFT domain name from Unstoppable Domains, TNS, ENS, Bonfida, Trust Domains, and so on.
3. Can I turn my traditional domain name into an NFT domain?
Yes, this is possible through the Ethereum Name Service provider.
Why don’t I often see websites under NFT domains come up in Google search results?
NFT domains are not yet “supported” by major Web2 search engines like Google and Yahoo. This might take a while. But you can always access websites under NFT domains through DApp browsers.
4. Can I also start an NFT domain business?
Yes, you can start an NFT domain business, especially on an NFT marketplace builder platform like NFTify.