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One of the NFT projects we’re most excited by is Handshake (HNS).
It’s building a vital piece of internet infrastructure for our digital future, a Web3 world which values decentralization, collective ownership, and open-source philosophy.
That piece of infrastructure is our internet naming system. When you visit facebook.com, you’re using it. When you open CoinMarketCap’s mobile app, you’re using it. When you build any piece of technology that touches the world wide web, you’re using it.
But today, that naming system is centralized, highly regulated, and controlled by a small group of companies and decision makers. And it’s incredibly valuable — after all, if Michael Saylor can sell voice.com for $30M, what do you think it would be worth if you owned .voice itself? Or if you owned .com?
What if anyone could own any word that comes after that “dot”, what’s known as the top level domain (the TLD)?
What if we could do it in an open and permissionless way? For any language, and for any word, and even for emojis? 🤯
That’s what Handshake is trying to do.
It’s so important that the great Satoshi himself mentioned it as a potential use case.
The value would be enormous. Internet scale enormous.
👯 Handshake builders and investors:
3️⃣ ways to participate in Handshake:
- Buy a Handshake domain name with a service like Namebase or Bob Wallet
- Buy the Handshake (HNS) token
- Build your own Web3 linktree page
As a US citizen, we’ve found Namebase to be the easiest to use, both for buying HNS, and for bidding on top level domain names. But it comes with some restrictions.
📚 Additional Resources:
Names on the internet (top level domains, social networking handles, etc.) ultimately rely upon centralized actors with full control over a system which are relied upon to be honest, as they are vulnerable to hacking, censorship, and corruption. Handshake aims to experiment with new ways the internet can be more secure, resilient, and socially useful with a peer-to-peer system validated by the network’s participants.
You may not be aware, but today, website addresses are governed by a non-profit body called ICANN, which sets standards for what letter combinations can be used after the dot in any domain (such as .com, .org, .net and the many other varieties). Handshake seeks to replace ICANN’s role as central authority for creating and issuing top-level domains with an open auction system operated by its computing network. Since ICANN isn’t in the picture, Handshake believes it can offer an unlimited range of top-level domains.
The idea of replacing Certificate Authorities (CAs) with a blockchain solution has been around since the early days of bitcoin. After all, the Domain Name System (DNS) is essentially a protocol for maintaining a secure, distributed list of which URLs point to which IP addresses. And what is a blockchain but a more-secure, distributed way of maintaining a linked list?