Technology is in a constant state of change and impactful innovations have become almost commonplace, with many of these changes majorly impacting the business world. In February we published an article featuring a technological development that is disrupting  the way domains are registered and websites developed.  This new protocol, called Handshake, has undergone significant changes in the last six months that are worth noting, as they may impact you and your business in the future.

Traditional Barriers, New Solutions

Before diving into Handshake’s current evolution, you might be wondering, “What is Handshake?” Handshake is a Blockchain based top level domain (TLD) registry that answers accessibility issues of the traditional domain name system.  The TLD is the suffix found in domains after the “dot” symbol (i.e. .com, .org, .net, .edu, etc) and TLDs are the highest rank of the hierarchical domain system after the root domain.  Handshake, however, replaces the root domain system as Handshake is the blockchain itself.  In other words, Handshake is revolutionizing ownership of the internet itself.

Traditionally, rights to TLDs are leased to users by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).  ICANN has managed internet protocol, address space allocation, and TLDs for over twenty years. ICANN is a major barrier to individuals and businesses seeking new domain ownership and Handshake domains are disrupting that, providing an alternative solution.  Handshake’s goal is to change that and bring ownership to individual parties, a better alternative to being limited to leasing domains.

Handshake seeks to provide users with naming solutions far superior than what ICANN provides, allowing users naming rights and maintenance of the root domain naming system (DNS). In addition to better accessibility and affordability, Handshake is powered by blockchain technology and its own token, HNS, leading to the following benefits:

  • Full Ownership
  • One-time purchase of domain
  • Unlimited TLDs, including foreign characters and emojis
  • High level of security based on trustless system
  • High privacy with anonymous and encrypted ownership information
  • Censorship and tamper resistance

When looking at these benefits, it’s clear to see that this new decentralized protocol for ownership rights has the potential to disrupt the current ICANN system.

Big Changes

Shortly after our last article highlighting Handshake was published in February, Namecheap, the largest domain registry in the world after GoDaddy, bought a controlling interest in Namebase, the platform responsible for the HNS token. This increases the viability of Handshake domains, as Namecheap is an established ICANN-accredited domain name registrar providing domain name registration and web hosting. While blockchain technology has been used for some years now, Namecheap’s acquisition of Namebase only brings more visibility to Handshake and makes it a truly viable and more beneficial alternative to its traditional TLD registry counterpart.

Namecheap is now offering second level domains (SLDs) of select Handshake TLDs on their website.  Alternatively though, Handshake TLDs can be acquired via an auction system on namebase.io.  All that is needed to purchase one of these domains is the monetary value associated with the domain in question, using HNS tokens which are easily purchased at namebase.io. The auction system will be described in a following article

This new technology that is easily accessible to the public could potentially change the landscape of the internet.  Like all new technologies, early adoption can pay dividends and ownership of domain names associated with different industry specific keywords could potentially be worth much more than they are now.  For example, the difference between buying the name, “.support”, today and buying it two years from now could be quite large when Handshake domains gain more traction in the mainstream.

Explore the future of Domain Registry

With the recent developments in Handshake, there is plenty to be excited for as a business owner.  While Handshake has always provided a more affordable and customizable alternative to traditional “.com” TLDs controlled by ICANN, it is more accessible than ever after Namecheap’s acquisition of a controlling share of Namebase.  With this increased visibility and accessibility , business owners will have the opportunity of more control over their TLD than ever. The recent changes Handshake has undergone could be a look at things to come, especially with the coming adoption of web 3.0, the Blockchain based internet. 

Stay tuned for ongoing developments in the Handshake ecosystem.

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