Published 24th April 2020
How are Handshake and Namebase Shaking Up The Web
At Avark, we love to see developments in Blockchain that are shaking up the internet and improving experiences for users. HandShake are doing just that, by reinventing the way naming works on the internet and giving the power back to the user.
How do domains currently work?
It’s fair to say that the internet is huge, and managing it is a big task. Currently, users are losing their privacy, security, and freedom of speech because of the current way that domains are managed by just a few organisations.
Lack of privacy
Ever seen that little green padlock in the address bar of a website? Well, that’s an SSL Certificate and we can trust those sites, right? The answer, unfortunately, isn’t always yes. These certificates which confirm that the website belongs to the business or individual, are only issued by selective Certificate Authorities.
These authorities don’t always put the users’ privacy interests at heart. They have been known to issue fake certificates to companies and also collaborate with governments to spy on website users.
Domains are expensive, with many single-word and other popular domains costing hundreds or even thousands to buy. This is a result of many companies and individuals buying domains that they never intended to use and holding them until someone else is prepared to spend big and take over the domain. The limited amount of Top-Level Domains also has a big impact on the price.
Huge organisations currently have the power to take down our content and websites and moderate freedom of speech. Governments also have the power to seize web addresses from users and ban sites altogether, this was the case in 2011 when a number of poker sites lost their .com domains to the US Government.
What is Handshake and what are they doing differently?
In short, Handshake is a naming convention. Allowing users to register domain names that will be stored and maintained on the decentralised Blockchain network. These domains can then be traded on the Namebase platform, which allows users to exchange domains in exchange for cryptocurrency. Handshake domains have a range of benefits for the user improving issues in security, price, and censorship.
Handshake removes the need to trust one central Certificate Authority and instead and removes any potential corruption. This is because domains are validated by evey peer on the distributed network. The lack of a centralised point also makes the domains almost impossible to hack.
Handshake doesn’t rely on popular Top-Level Domains such as .com, .org and .net which are extremely limited, and therefore also often expensive. As Handshake offers an endless amount of Top-Level Domains these are often a lot more affordable. Trading sites like NameBase have also implemented a much fairer way to sell and buy domains, through domain auctions.
Freedom of speech
As Handshake is based on Blockchain, no central authority has any control over it, preventing any Governments or organisations from having any control over domains and the content published on the web.
Handshake is a really exciting Blockchain innovation, but there are still questions. Who has the right to go by what name? And what happens if the content published on a domain, breaks the law or puts someone’s life in danger? Who will take this content down?
Handshake is currently in the experimental stage, with contributors adding to documentation regularly to improve the protocol.
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