For almost one year now, users and investors can buy blockchain-powered domain names from organizations like Unstoppable Domains and Ethereum Name Service. These companies give users more control over .crypto and .eth domain names by storing the ownership onto the blockchain. Just recently one domain exchanged hands for 90 thousand dollars.
On August 28th an investor who's online known by the alias MaxStealth purchased the domain name sex.crypto for 230 ETH. That's $89.796 at the exchange rate on the day the corresponding non-fungible token switched from owner. The sale instantly became the biggest domain name sale thusfar. One month earlier the domain bitcoinuk.crypto sold on the secondary market for 14 WETH ($3835).
When it comes to .eth domain names, we've seen some big sales in the past. In October 2019 someone bought wallet.eth for 75 WETH, which was more than 13 thousand dollars at that time. One month ago art.eth sold for 30.9 ETH, which was little more than ten thousand dollars. However, the 230 ETH for sex.crypto is thusfar the biggest sale for a blockchain domain ever.
*** CHART - TRADING VOLUME .ETH and .CRYPTO DOMAINS -- .crypto are UD tokens. .eth are ENS tokens https://etherscan.io/token/0x57f1887a8bf19b14fc0df6fd9b2acc9af147ea85 -- https://etherscan.io/token/0xd1e5b0ff1287aa9f9a268759062e4ab08b9dacbe
At the moment of writing there are 33.627 holders of one or more .eth domains. At the same time there are 24.963 addresses that contain one or more .crypto domains. These numbers are nothing in comparison with the 137 million registered .com domains, and then we're not even mentioning all the other DNS domain names out there. There's a total of more than 1.7 billion websites right now.
Adoption of blockchain domain names
Most of the people on the internet use Google Chrome, which has an estimated marketshare of 62 percent across all platforms. Safari follows with almost 20 percent, after which Firefox has a 4.2 percent marketshare. None of these browser support .crypto and .eth domain natively. In order to visit a blockchain domain, most users will need to install an extension. To visit an .eth domain all you need is Metamask, while the extensions can be downloaded by Chrome and Firefox users.
It's safe to say that the amount of traffic generated by blockchain domain names is very little. Additionally it's rather complicated to actually use a blockchain domain, creating a technological hurdle. Thankfully the domain names also serve as a human-readable cryptocurrency wallet, giving them an additional purpose.
For many investors these domain names are pure speculation. Buying them and try to sell for a profit on the secondary market. When Unstoppable Domains and Ethereum Name Service launched their products, there was a rush on domains based on major brands. However, it looks like domains based on insurances, bitcoin, financial services and general product sales are more popular.
*** NUMBER OF TRANSACTIONS OF "UD token" AND "ENS token" IN PAST 30 DAYS
Slowly we're seeing adoption of blockchain domains by mainstream web browsers. Since March 2020 the Android version of Opera is the first mainstream web browser that supports these blockchain domains. Decentralized apps like Coinbase and Huobi offer integrated support for the decentralized web. It's in the line of expectations that more browsers like Brave and Firefox will follow the example of Opera.
Even though the domain is stored on the blockchain, content can be hosted anywhere. Domain owners can forward visitors to other websites on traditional web, or content on the decentralized web. Filecoin's IPFS, BitTorrent's BTFS, and Skynet by Nebulous are some examples of companies working on decentralized hosting for the next evolution of the world wide web. The sale of blockchain domain names will continue and people will continue speculating over their potential value. However, when the decentralized web becomes mainstream, trading volume of these domains will really skyrocket.
About the author
Robert Hoogendoorn is a content optimization expert and worked for press agencies and video production companies, always with a focus on the video games industry. Now he's a communication consultant for blockchain start-ups and writes for Dapp.Review, his own blog Playtoearn.online and tech magazines in The Netherlands. You can find him on Twitter @nederob.