The Domain Name System (DNS) ensures that we can use domain names instead of IP addresses to surf the Internet. But the web now has some stiff competition in the form of the blockchain. Blockchain domains are decentralised and are not managed by a single organisation. Another advantage is that you buy them as opposed to renting them.
Non-fungible token domains are blockchain domains, i.e., domains based on blockchain technology. Unlike Web2.0 websites, the data of these domains and websites linked to them are stored in a decentralised manner. Anyone can register a new NFT domain name, but addresses ending with .crypto or .nft tend to carry a higher price tag.
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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 the 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.
What are NFT domains?
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 specialise 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 specialises 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 percent 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 decentralised 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.
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How to register a NFT domain name
NFT domain names are often traded on NFT marketplaces like OpenSea and 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 pounds. To register, you just need to link yourCrypto Wallet (this must be supported by the provider). The NFT domain will then be ‘minted’ and stored in your wallet.