What might be the future of Domain Names ?


Domain names have been in existence since the dawn of Internet (world wide web). In fact, domain names are the most crucial aspect of this internet revolution. They are the addresses of all the amazing applications that were built on it. Facebook, Google, WhatsApp, WeChat,  PayPal and lot more are all basically websites/applications that can be accessed through Internet protocols. So the question is,  will this industry keep growing or is it about to be disrupted? This is not about newGTLDS vs.COMs, this is about domains or NO domains!

Domain names are URLs i.e. Uniform Resource Locators which means whenever we try to connect with an Internet application we basically are querying the server on which the resources are located. For example, when I type in X.com (let’s assume its hosted on a server in USA) then the domain X.com is the address of that resource. So every time I want to view that resource my connection has to hop over many intermediaries and travel all the way across to USA and back. Chances are that someone near to my location could have already visited the site or in future would have wanted to. I could have saved all the trouble and fetched from him and could have saved it for sometime for the other guy who wants to visit it later. Another problem with this type of connection is that if the central server goes down then no-one can visit that site.

These were the problems that were overlooked for quite sometime. It may be due to lack of technological innovation to solve them. But now comes IPFS ( Interplanetary File System), a protocol that aims to solve this challenge. Instead of resources being fetched through addresses, IPFS fetches resources through cryptographic hashes of the files. These hashes are unique for every file and hence the user can verify locally that he is being presented the same file that he was trying to access.This creates a completely new ecosystem where files can now be fetched from anywhere in the world without the need of central servers. If this becomes the new reality, we would then no longer be using traditional domain names.

There are other projects working on similar lines like Blockstack which uses entirely new system for domain names.  Blockstack DNS node independently calculates the current, global state of all names in the network, without needing to trust a 3rd party principal. This system is thus capable of providing unprecedented technical and socio-political resilience.

With the rapid advancement of technology, we are witnessing change like never before. Old businesses are being challenged and disrupted by new technologies. Change is never-ending , but it’s pace is increasing exponentially.

If IPFS or Blockstack ( amongst many others) are adopted by masses, then it can disrupt entire domain name investing industry.  People would no longer need a .com or nGTLD to host their websites .  Hence in my opinion taking a long term view on domain names pricing is a bit difficult. Yes you can expect returns on maybe 2-5 years window but 10 years from today, I don’t think we would be dealing in domain names buying & selling business. Atleast, not .com or other newGTLDs.

The above are my views on the future of domain names space. Let me know yours in the comments below. Also feel free to ask me any questions and I would be happy to answer them in the next post.

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Prathmesh Tokekar
I am an innovator with a passion to learn. My interests lie in technologies of future and of course the INTERNET. I invest and broker Domain Names and follow the markets of Cryptocurrency. Connect with me via Facebook or LinkedIn if you have any questions or would like to buy or sell domain names.

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  1. I think there’s more than 10 years left in the domain industry. It’s way to early to be putting a cap on domain names. Especially if comparing it to any technology that isn’t fully scalable yet.

    1. If we think optimistically then yes we might have more than 10 years. But seeing the advancement of Blockstack ( who have released their browsers ) and IPFS ( who also have launched their application ), I guess 10 years to shift the entire web might be achievable. But 15- 20 years from now, I definitely imagine a full-fledged decentralized web.

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