Scarcely a year after inception, the Web 3 domain provider, ‘Unstoppable Domains’ has withdrawn its ‘.coin’ product from the marketplace, leaving SLD (Second Level Domain) owners who built upon it, high and dry.
The news was broken by a Discord member popularly known as ‘dis0wned’ on his e-publication/blog ‘HNSLIST’.
Unstoppable Domains made history earlier this year, getting Series A funding from Pantera Capital – $68m for a fraction of one %, valuing the whole business at close to $1Bn.
As with some other Web 3 service vendors, Unstoppable Domains claim to offer token-based domain names that not only can be linked to crypto wallets but can also be used to create a decentralized website.
‘The significance of a decentralized web or internet is that it is based on blockchain technology. Like cryptocurrency, it is meant to be autonomous, secure, anonymous, and free from the control of any central entity. It is intended to provide a system that operates outside the central governance of ICANN and in a different way from them’.
Emersion in this decentralized, container like, ecosystem is the core criteria for virtual products to carry the ‘Web 3’ tag. Without it, they are simply a disparate set of blockchain assets, sometimes referred to as ‘Blockchain of Things’ (BoT).
According to Unstoppable Domains, the reason for the discontinuation of its .coin domain was to avoid domain collisions with another Web 3 SLD (Second Level Domain) provider ‘Emercoin’.
Apparently Emercoin, had been issuing .coin domains since 2014, but had been an obscure operator making no promotional effort and so, didn’t reach Web 3 industry’s radar. Unstoppable Domains claim they released .coin in good faith.
Recall last month, John Mc Keown’s ‘9ja Cosmos’ made its own history, by releasing the first country centric Web 3 domain in the world. ‘.9jacom’ was released through 9ja Cosmos retail partner EnCirca, resulting in Nigeria being the first country to have such a domain.
Asked about the collision issue, John said the product strategies of Unstoppable Domains and 9ja Cosmos are very different. 9ja Cosmos is marketing a collection of geo centric domains. They are priced extremely affordably ($2) to empower youth, though they are available at the same low price to everybody to encourage mass adoption. We are targeting EMDE (Emerging Market & Developing Economy) countries and have started with Nigeria first, with .9jacom and followed up shortly after with .9javerse.
‘9ja’ is local slang for Nigeria
Unstoppable Domains are building on TLDs (Top Level Domains) that are ‘cult speak’ with ‘Blockchain Communities’, example: .crypto, .blockchain, .nft .dao and of course, the .coin they have now withdrawn.
As both 9ja Cosmos and Unstoppable Domains build out on their TLD choices, maintaining a fit with existing offerings creates two very different themed product stables, so it’s almost impossible for them to collide in the future.
‘We would also prefer not to build off Ethereum layers and EVMs’ said John. ‘They scale well, and speed things up, because only a piece of the key, called ‘meta data’ is on the blockchain, while the scaling solution or EVM holds the majority of the data.
But this makes them vulnerable to hacking, interference from US authorities since the SEC decision.’(See https://www.tekedia.com/as-ethereum-goes-proof-of-stake-has-uncle-sam-via-his-sec-just-got-a-new-tool-to-spank-binance-and-chinas-rising-crypto-experts-and-what-does-this-mean-for-ethereums/) or simply the scaling solution or EVM’s commercial owner going bankrupt.
Once one piece of the key is lost, the piece on the blockchain is useless, and the customer’s assets are beyond reach forever.
John said: ‘9ja Cosmos TLDs are minted off the Handshake project. At the start, the blockchain founders exercised a cooling off period for existing domains to express their interests. Node activity to the blockchain has the ICANN and Alexa libraries integrated to avoid conflicts with backward compatibility…’
‘Still. we take the identity and data freedom and security of our ‘9jammers’ (a phrase for the 9ja Cosmos community) very seriously. We still don’t take the superior security of the Handshake Blockchain for granted, and we will invest revenue in ‘redundancy’ technologies.
Back to Unstoppable Domains, and their decision to ditch .coin represents a policy U turn. After noticing a previous conflict on the ‘.wallet’ TLD with a Handshake TLD owner, Robert Florcsk, they litigated against him, despite he being the one to own it on Handshake first.
This new .coin decision has left a bitter taste in customers mouths. The only compensation they have been offered is a credit for their online store.
Secure your own Nigerian Web 3 Domains ($2) at:
For a company which previously boasted no renewal fees ever, Unstoppable Domains product .coin has shown ‘forever’ to be a very short time indeed. Perhaps they have met the immovable object.