A lot of people know about Bitcoin and the inherent security that blockchains provide.
But what they might not know is how versatile this technology is, especially in the world of domain names.
This article will go over 10 different ways for businesses to utilize blockchain domain names.
If you’re just looking for a domain name registrar, there are plenty to choose from.
If you want, say, an online marketplace or an on-demand tech support site then those are use cases for Ethereum Name Service (ENS).
But what about a simple domain name like “weather”
that could be used for a weather app, an app that checks the weather, or an online streaming service?
In short: everything.
1. Domain Acquisition and Parking
Domain names are a central part of our everyday lives. We use them every day to research products, services, companies, etc.
Blockchain domain name technology allows us to do so with security and relatively inexpensively through the use of smart contracts.
A blockchain domain name could be used to secure a purchase.
Both the buyer and seller could benefit from using a blockchain domain name
To secure a purchase because of the time it takes for these transactions to be verified.
The weather example above could work as a service provider on top of ENS.
There are several ENS domains already that simply serve as placeholders.
“weather” is one. This is exactly what they call it: WEATHER. No website, no services, nothing.
The website could be built using a blockchain domain name which would be cheap and expedient.
2. Logging and Tracking Assets
Blockchain technology can streamline the process of recording assets.
There are several use cases for this in the world of business.
A blockchain domain name could be used to register and track ownership with even less effort
Than current methods by simply entering in a wallet address.
There’s no need for a long, drawn-out process complete with signatures and insurance policies when everything is recorded on the blockchain.
3. Securing and Authenticating Git Commits
Similar to registering domain names, blockchain domains can be used to secure other information.
Git commits are just one example of something that could be secured with a blockchain domain name.
However, two distinct problems would need to be solved before this could work:
The first being GitHub’s verification process and the second being securely storing the private key for the GitHub account.
If GitHub’s verification process were to change so that a blockchain domain name was necessary.
Then the blockchain domain name could serve as a simple way of recording the authentication for the commit
If GitHub’s verification process remained unchanged then securing commits with blockchain addresses
Could still be beneficial to a company or individual because it would allow for easier, more secure communication between teams.
4. Asset Tracking and Chain-of-Custody
Another use case for assets on the blockchain is to track their chain of custody.
Each time an asset changes hands the blockchain acts to track its entire history.
Whether it’s tracking a painting or a diamond, blockchain domain names would be able,
to act as an immutable record of every step in the process.
For instance, say a piece of art is stolen and reported.
Any of the chains of custody records could be checked to see if that art piece passed through any specific company or individual.
This is something that could be useful for insurance claims as well.
5. A Better Way to Communicate with the Public
Thanks to blockchain domain names, businesses have an easier way to communicate with the public using a decentralized system.
Anyone who wants can create a human-readable name like “[email protected]” and point it at any valid address on the Ethereum blockchain.
Then, they can use that address for anything from chats to auctions.
6. Domain Squatting is a Thing of the Past
Domain squatting is when someone purchases a domain name intending to sell it back to the person who wants it
This practice is common on the internet where some domain names are worth thousands or even millions of dollars.
A blockchain domain name would be able to prevent this by recording permanent ownership information tied directly to a specific address on the blockchain.
7. Smart Legal Contracts
When you’re dealing with legal contracts, the devil is in the details. No matter what company you work for or what industry you’re in, legal contracts are a requirement for doing business.
These contracts could be simplified by using blockchain domain names to record important information about a contract: who owns it and who it’s intended for, for instance.
A smart contract could also be created and recorded on a blockchain address to make them easier to verify if necessary.
8. A Better Way to Sign Contracts
When it comes to signing a contract, smart contracts could significantly reduce the risk of fraud in the traditional process.
Although there are certain risks involved with a smart contract, the ability to define the rules of a contract would save time and possibly money for businesses that are facing legal action from others.
9. Online Shopping with ENS as an Escrow
Anyone who’s ever bought anything on the internet has probably had at least one person try to rip them off online.
Now imagine buying something from an anonymous avatar on a foreign website.
You’re going to need some way to ensure that you’re getting exactly what you’re paying for.
ENS can serve as a smart contract as well as an escrow that could be placed on any item or service purchased online.
This could help prevent online shopping fraud, and make sure nobody scams anybody else.
10. Fair Use
When you’re putting something on the internet, it’s important that everything you put on the internet is yours to use however you want
A blockchain domain name can be used to create a permanent digital fingerprint that would allow for fair use of the content on the Internet
This could be used for all kinds of things that don’t require the intellectual property rights attached to physical copyright.
Everything from images and videos to audio files would benefit from this kind of ownership information.
11. Intellectual Property Rights Protection
Blockchain domain names could be used to protect intellectual property rights on the internet
The same kind of ownership information that could be recorded for images, videos, and audio would also work for creating a rights management
System for music, software, textbooks, or anything else with an author.
In other words, all those fancy “intellectual property rights” on the internet would have their blockchain domain name just like everything else.
12. Decentralized Crowdfunding
When crowdfunding first hit the mainstream, it was seen as a way to raise money for a specific project
The problem with this is people can use it to raise money for anything they want, but they don’t necessarily need the service of crowdfunding to make their project a reality.
Blockchain domain names could be used to create an escrow and record information about an ICO that would allow potential investors to avoid contributing to scams.
As you can see, blockchain technology has a lot of potentials to provide new ways for people to transact and communicate.
So many uses already exist that it’s hard to imagine that there won’t be even more when the technology is released and widely adopted.
The world needs decentralized communications to help level the playing field with large corporations and government entities.
The best part about blockchain technology is that it can decentralize anything from digital currency transactions to domain name ownership registries.