NFT Domains: A New Generation of Domains
NFT (non-fungible token) Domains are domains that live on a public blockchain and give users complete ownership of their stored data. The main benefits to owning one are simplifying crypto transactions by replacing wallet addresses with the domain name and easily creating and hosting websites on web3.
What you need to know about NFT domains
To understand how NFT domains work, it’s important to understand what a non-fungible token or NFT is. NFT is a unique, digitally protected object. NFTs are widely used for digital artworks. If an artist creates an NFT for a GIF or a video, for example, they can then sell it, including associated rights that are individually defined. In many cases, an NFT is therefore a kind of title deed for digital objects.
The basis for NFT is blockchain technology. Object information is stored in the blocks strung together to form a chain and is stored decentrally in a peer-to-peer network
How does blockchain technology make these NFT domains so special?
NFT domains are essentially a suite of smart contracts, which is a fancy term to describe software written on a public blockchain. This means that instead of one company controlling your data online, the power is transferred back to you as the user. And by being built on blockchains, anyone can look at the data stored there, creating a level of ultimate openness and transparency.
On top of that, there is the benefit of enhanced security — only you hold the power to make updates to your NFT domain, which minimizes worries about servers getting hacked or domains getting stolen.
All that to say, blockchain superpowers give everyone a safer way to surf the internet while also giving control back to you over what gets shared and where it gets shared.
The same technology is used for an NFT domain. The blockchain contains information about the owner of the domain as well as the content of a website or domain. The NFT domain is stored in a wallet, just like cryptocurrencies or NFTs. This means you’re independent of the actual Internet and any third-party providers. NFT domains are also used to facilitate cryptocurrency trading.
There are several providers that specialize in NFT domains. A few examples of available domain extensions are:
Unlike domain endings (top-level domains), which are officially released by ICANN, NFT domain endings are released and managed by the respective providers. These can be various players of the so-called Web3, such as Unstoppable Domains which specializes in NFT domains.
The fact that NFT domains are not released by ICANN means that they are not registered in the root directory of the Domain Name System (DNS). Therefore, they cannot be accessed across all browsers or only with the help of a plugin. Another problem could be that ICANN could, in principle, approve the same top-level domains for the official Domain Name System in the future.
Advantages of NFT domains
The fact that an NFT domain is 100 per cent yours and you can host websites independently from the traditional Internet is one of its advantages. You can also use the domain to log in to other decentralized applications (so-called DApps) and turn your wallet address for trading cryptocurrencies into an easy-to-remember URL. Instead of a complicated string, you then buy and sell via your NFT domain.
Unlike traditional domains, which incur an annual fee, NFT domains are registered once and incur a one-off payment. An NFT domain is yours permanently, without incurring additional fees.
How to register an NFT domain name
NFT domain names are often traded on NFT marketplaces like OpenSea and are typically purchased using cryptocurrencies. Some providers allow you to purchase the domain directly and pay in currencies like US dollars. NFT domains cannot yet be registered with classic domain providers that act as registrars.
First of all, the purchase or registration process is the same as for a “classic” domain. Simply enter the desired domain name into a search bar to view the availability and prices for the available domains. The latter can range from less than $100 to several thousand US dollars. To register, you just need to link your crypto Wallet (this must be supported by the provider). The NFT domain will then be “minted” and stored in your wallet.