San Francisco crypto exchange Coinbase has partnered with Unstoppable Domains, a decentralized domain name registrar that mints “uncensorable” .crypto web domains.
These domain names are now supported by Coinbase’s wallet. Within Coinbase Wallet, users can buy and sell .crypto domains, as well as pay other users.
That means that instead of sending a payment to a user to a long cryptographic address, Coinbase Wallet lets you send payments to, for instance, Decrypt.crypto.
On top of that, .crypto domain names allow you to host decentralized websites. These are websites that run on IPFS, or the Inter Planetary File Service, a peer-to-peer protocol for website hosting. These domains are different from domain names like .coms, .govs and .co.uk, because they’re minted by Unstoppable Domains, which is also based in San Francisco.
Regular domain names on the centralized web are created by ICANN, the UN standard-setter for the Internet. ICANN has the power to shut down domain names whenever it wants, and authorities can force regular websites offline. Not so for .crypto domains, which live on the Ethereum blockchain and can only be controlled by those who hold the private keys.
Though the idea may sound novel in the broader tech world, human-readable crypto addresses and blockchain-based web domains aren’t new: the Ethereum Name System sells .eth domains and Zilliqa, which has since partnered with Unstoppable Domains, offers .zil addresses. The .crypto domain names that Unstoppable Domains sells are, in fact, Ethereum NFT tokens minted by the company.
But now the tech is embedded into Coinbase, the popular crypto exchange. Brad Kam, co-founder of Unstoppable Domains, said in a statement that “By supporting blockchain domains, Coinbase is single-handedly moving this market into the crypto mainstream.”
Kam told Decrypt in late July that about 21,000 people have bought crypto domains, including several Fortune 500 companies.
Unstoppable is embedded into several other crypto company’s products, such as Huobi Wallet and MyEtherWallet. Its domains are natively supported by the Opera browser and the company recently partnered with Gemini Custody, the custody arm of the Winklevoss’s crypto empire.