Use Case of Blockchain in the World of Web

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09 November, 2022

Ever since the development of bitcoin and the dawn of smart contracting through Ethereum and other networks, Blockchain has been evolving over the years with more integrations in various industries such as retail and events by using NFT-based ticketing systems to Blockchain-based loyalty programs. Blockchain started as a technology that powered cryptocurrencies, which helped in the transaction of digital currencies without any middleman interference, but now it is being used beyond this purpose by bringing in new ways of using blockchain.

As we all know, the World Wide Web is a game-changing technology that has revolutionised the way we access and interact with information all over the world at the tips of our fingers. As of now, we have millions of websites and trillions of web searches around the globe, which has helped in the development of various online businesses, helped many people achieve fame, and helped in establishing the digital identity of various people and brands, All these were possible thanks to modern day web hosting and domain marketplaces, which have helped people make websites and host them for millions of people across the nations.

Despite being a powerful positive technology, there are still some flaws that are present within the existing web industry, or I could say the web2 industry, starting off with expenses. Over the years, web hosting has become quite expensive. Web hosting these days isn't as cheap as it used to be, and especially for people such as uprising bloggers, influencers, and journalists who want to host one on their own, now they must pay hundreds of dollars every month for hosting their websites on high-speed servers that have more capacity and for other website development packages and subscriptions. The second major flaw that we could see in this industry is the website host themselves, It might look from the outside that server hosts are the foundation of the website world, but sometimes it’s even worse than we could ever imagine, At times, server hosts comply with high-level organizations such as governments of various countries and big technology brands, which enables them to take down a website or ban website content, forcing people out of their digital existence in this modern web world. This is a major threat, especially for journalism/whistleblowing websites, where they wouldn’t be able to bring cases to light or expose corruption when their basic right to "freedom of speech" gets violated thanks to web hosts. 

Digital identity is something a user must own, and it should not be taken away from them, which raises the question, "Is there an alternative to the Web 2 environment?" "What can be done to overcome these flaws and help people protect their digital identity?" This is where blockchain comes into the bigger picture of web development. 

Web3, also known as the blockchain-based web ecosystem, is currently in the early stages of the web, just like our traditional web world back in 1994. Web3 development consists of 2 major solutions that would completely change the modern web system, which includes decentralised website hosting and blockchain domains. 

 Blockchain domains are just like our traditional domains, which are used for the development of websites, but these domains live inside the blockchain, unlike traditional domains. Traditional domains are controlled by centralized systems such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, abbreviated as ICANN. These domains can be controlled by domain providers at the instruction of big technology companies or governments since they are being rented out to people on a monthly/annual basis rather than giving people the power to actually own their paid domains. On the other hand, blockchain domains are those that are owned by the people, and these domains are completely decentralized, which means that big technology companies and the government would be able to shut down these domains since they are owned by the people and are on the blockchain, which means domains are immutable. Apart from using the blockchain domains for website development, these domains can also be used as a payment gateway for sending and receiving cryptocurrencies, depending on the blockchain domain issuer and their partnerships with different cryptocurrency wallet companies and exchanges. These blockchain domains can also be sold as Non-Fungible Tokens on various marketplaces, such as OpenSea and Rarible, which proves a point that not only could you use your blockchain domains for payments and website developments, but you could also buy and sell domains for profit just like a traditional domain.

Despite of having so many good reasons on why one must use blockchain domains, there are some disadvantages to using them compared to traditional web domains, Since blockchain domains are not centralized or controlled by ICANN, you wouldn’t be able to use a traditional browser to search for these websites hosted under blockchain domains. You will require a web3 extension on your traditional browser (just like metamask for payments ) or you must download a web3 friendly browser such as opera or brave browser to view these websites directly by their blockchain domain names, Companies like Pinata Clouds are providing gateways for blockchain domains, through which, you will be able to view website content on traditional browsers if you have the link given by Pinata Cloud. The second major flaw that can be found within blockchain domains is that, since people actually own the domain, it's quite hard to buy domains that you actually like. 

For instance, if someone pre-buys a domain that you wanted to buy, the only way to get it back is by paying the amount of money to the holder of that particular domain which would be really expensive, unlike the traditional domain system where you could wait until their domains expire and you could have some amount of chance to at least have access to it if the holder doesn’t pay on time.

Blockchain domains are still in the early stages of web development. There's a huge amount of potential for these kinds of domains in the future. Platforms such as Google have started services where they host blockchain nodes, as well as help people, access Google clouds using cryptocurrencies, which proves a point that some way down the line, blockchain domains will have the opportunity to partner with ICANN if necessary to make the domains visible on traditional DNS. There may be technologies developed that enable the searchability of blockchain domains without the need for ICANN. As of now, websites can be built on top of blockchain domains using IPFS, which is a decentralized platform that hosts your website on the blockchain without the need to pay hosting fees, unlike traditional website systems.

Currently, blockchain domains are being sold on various platforms, such as Ethereum Name Service, but the one you could actually get started with as a new beginner without the requirement of knowing web 2 development is "Unstoppable Domains." The following company sells blockchain domain names from .crypto, .bitcoin, .x, and .dao for web3 businesses and .888 domains. These domains can be minted either on Ethereum or Matic blockchain, the choice of freedom is given to people since in Ethereum, gas fees are quite high, while on Matic polygon it's nothing since gas fees are being paid by unstoppable domains. People who want to mint a domain on other chains, such as "Solana," can use Bonfida Name Services, where they can mint.sol domains. 

Big-time influencers have started using unstoppable domains, one such example is the professional wrestler "Chris Jericho," whose web3 website is currently being built on top of unstoppable domains and will be launched months later to showcase his NFT Comic Collection. There are still other people who have launched their Web 3 sites using the following domain services, check out their actual websites to learn more about their products and services. With that being said, get started early by acquiring your web3 domains in order to protect your future web3 identity.

Thank you for reading my article, Hope I have given you back something valuable worth your time. I wanted to share this so people would know more about the upcoming blockchain technology.


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