Thanks to the continuing democratization of the internet, public access to web domain names has never been easier. People have an unprecedented wealth of opportunities and options at their fingertips when it comes to buying and using domain names. From industry-specific names, to specially tailored Escrow services, it’s clear that domains remain a valuable product of internet business. They are so valuable, in fact, some people have paid millions for domain names with a predicted future value.
Case in point: one of the most expensive domain sales took place in October 2017, when a domain was purchased for a whopping $2 million dollars. This transaction, and the domain in question, bears clues to what is seemingly a new opportunity in the blockchain revolution.
When new technologies emerge, new industries, categories, and ecosystems form around them. As the “gold rush” on blockchain continues, tailor-made domain names could be the latest game-changing innovation to accelerate mass adoption of cryptocurrency.
The Shortcomings of Blockchain Hindering Mass Consumption
There are several factors hampering the public’s uptake of block chain and cryptocurrency in their daily lives. There’s still a huge need to educate the masses on how it works, and experts cannot foresee its viability for mass use until the model is made more scalable. According to ICOscoring, another massive roadblock which throws a spanner in the works, is the ease of the transaction or lack thereof.
In order to transact in cryptocurrency presently, you need a wallet address of the person you’re sending money to. The address is a hexadecimal set of lengthy and complex numbers and letters. As exciting as cryptocurrency is, these wallet addresses make it hard for people to adopt it, and make it part of their financial habits.
Cryptocurrencies are competing with existing transactional protocols and methods that have a decades-long head-start. Banking today has become as easy as second nature. With just a few in-app clicks, you can pay someone on the other side of the world. Money can be sent in seconds without a moment’s thought. Sending money has become as easy as sending an email or typing in a web address, but that ease hasn’t extended into the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain.
The Opportunity with Domain Names
This is where blockchain domain names come in as a worthy solution. DNS allows us to use web and email addresses instead of IP addresses to communicate online. A protocol known as ENS has been developed in cryptocurrency so users can transact using domain names instead of the complex wallet addresses.
Developed on Ethereum, ENS has set the trend and many cryptocurrencies are following suit, including NNS on NEO. These protocols can make all the difference in normalizing cryptocurrency transactions and making it more attractive to end-users.
How the Media Plays Into This
There is still a vast amount of untapped potential in blockchain and cryptocurrency, especially as innovators work to put it in the hands of the average consumer. Domain names have a bright future when it comes to their use in the blockchain economy, which explains the scramble for lucrative domains in today’s market. According to Forbes, domain names with the word bitcoin in them have quadrupled in popularity over the last 2 years. According to Verisign, in November 2017, 9 out of 10 domains that were registered were related to bitcoin and blockchain. In the same year, how to buy Bitcoin and how to mine were among the 10 most searched questions on Google.
But an important question still remains. Is the uptake of blockchain-related domain name purchases really being driven by demand for a solution to the shortcomings of blockchain? Or does it have more to do with the media frenzy around cryptocurrency?
According to Verisign, whenever events rush to the top of internet searches, breaking news reports and dinner table conversations, people start anticipating huge opportunities, and they buy related domain names in response. It is simply reactionary purchasing driven by the increased global interest in a subject.
To Wrap Up
So is the increase in bitcoin-related domain purchases coming from a huge untapped market ready for business, or is it just a response to how newsworthy and trendy blockchain is right now?
Will Bitcoin-themed domains become as common to the internet and as convenient to the masses as email, website builders like WordPress, their WordPress hosting counterparts, and domains themselves are? Or is it still an tech elite thing? It appears the latter is at play.
While great strides have been made to bring web domains to cryptocurrency transactions, research is still in its infancy, and the domains in this realm are too expensive to be in the reach of the average consumer any time soon. It’s unlikely that bitcoin-related web domains will be as easy and accessible as shared hosting plans for example. It’s an exciting development but it’s not near enough on the horizon just yet.