Who needs dot-com when you can have dot-crypto?
Unstoppable Domains, a domain registry for decentralized websites, now has its own browser for sites that use peer-to-peer networks. That's predominantly the InterPlanetary File System, or IPFS, an immutable storage system that inserts links to data into blockchain transactions. However, you can also use the browser to visit standard .com websites. Either way, Unstoppable Domains says you'll be fighting censorship.
A handful of crypto celebrities and organizations already have one of Unstoppable Domain's .crypto domains, among them notable investors such as Morgan Creek Digital’s Anthony Pompliano and Tim Draper (who led the $4 million funding round in Unstoppable Domains last May). According to Brad Kam, co-founder of Unstoppable Domains and its head of business development, these blockchain domains have two advantages.
First, they work as a payment gateway: Instead of needing to enter long address strings into a wallet, you can pay someone in cryptocurrency by typing in their domain name, similar to the Ethereum Name Service. Not only can they send ether, they can also send bitcoin and 50 or so other coins.
Second, he says via the company website, blockchain domains are uncensorable: "In the current Internet, it's extremely easy to have your domain seized from you, and therefore your website will be taken down."
Moreover, if your content is stored with, say, Amazon Web Services, it can be removed. "With a blockchain domain, this is impossible," he continues. "No one can put up the website or take it down other than you."
That's because the owner stores the domain in their wallet—and because there's no renewal fee. Once a user has bought the domain, it's theirs forever.
The browser, announced today, is the logical next step for viewing decentralized domains, which currently must be accessed via mirroring services, browser extensions, or a browser that supports them (e.g., Opera for Android). The Unstoppable Browser is meant to be easier; the URL for Pompliano's podcast website reads simply: ipfs://offthechain.crypto/.
The browser benefits users interested in a decentralized Internet in other ways. They can make a standard website more censorship-resistant. Kam told Decrypt, "You can, with one click, turn on the IPFS code and store and share that website to the network, which means if you believe in a website, you can make it more decentralized. The more popular a website gets, the more decentralized it gets."