Unstoppable Live AMA, February 4th, 2020


01:54 When using the website builder, how is the website viewable to others? Do you need to use a DApp browser?

Brad: The way that it’s going to work for viewing websites is you can use a browser that Unstoppable Domains will be releasing, more on that very soon. You’ll be able to use a browser extension, there are browser extensions being worked on for lots of different browsers or you’ll be able to use a native integration with a larger browser.

We told you all that 2020 was going to be the year for the decentralized web. There’s a lot of stuff coming, not a lot of huge announcements right at this moment but there’s going to be a lot of different ways to do it. Not in DApp browsers initially but it’s a really good question because any of you who’ve been playing around with DApp browsers in Coinbase wallet or Trust wallet or all those others probably realized: ‘hey, my wallet is basically my browser too’. So this is another direction. After they started supporting blockchain domains for payments that wallets with DApp browsers can also show websites. So completely new business for them, completely new direction a whole bunch of new ways that people can get access to decentralized web. So yeah great question.

03:15 When will premium .crypto domains start?

Brad: So there’s going to be an announcement on this very soon, as we mentioned before we are working on this, we’ve been doing a whole bunch of upgrades to our system after we launched .crypto. We went and spent a while cleaning up the eCommerce store. Hopefully you all noticed that doing searches and things like that on the website are a lot faster. That’s a result of a huge effort on the part of our development team to upgrade everything. So premium domains coming very soon, we needed to do those upgrades first.

03:51 What is more important to the Dweb ecosystem browser integrations or wallets?

Brad: This is a really good question. So I think the short answer is the direction that this is is that wallets and browsers aren’t really that different. Wallets are already turning into browsers, browsers are already turning into wallets. It’s kind of weird to have an application that doesn’t have access to a wallet. If you’re in an application, you’re probably going to want to buy something. So I think the future is that most applications are gonna have wallets.

The idea is that power comes from both. The power comes from having the ability to pay but also the ability to see the content. I’ve got the stuff I want to sell you and then I’ve got the way that you can pay me so the two are together and it’s important for the two to be together. Wallets for the payment side are crypto native applications that are good places to start with, so that’s the reason why you’ve seen us focus there first But browsers are a huge piece of it and I’m sure you all have noticed that on Brave browser, Opera browser and there are several others.

05:07 Why did you pick Ethereum for .crypto?

Brad: Ethereum is the most mature smart contract blockchain. By mature, I mean that it has been live for several years in production and has been used for a lot of applications. Ethereum is predictable and has a lot of developer tools available, so it’s very easy to build stuff and it has the integrations. If you all noticed, when we went live with .crypto, you were able to store domains, manage domains all through DApp browsers that’s because web3 libraries are standardized across all these different applications for Ethereum.

This is the benefit of having a mature ecosystem, on day one .crypto worked for management inside of Coinbase wallet, Trust wallet, imToken, several others without us even having to do any sort of special integration with them. Each worked you could store your domains in their DApp browser so that’s kind of one of the superpowers. You were also able to have .crypto domains listed on any open exchange that supports ERC 721 tokens which is what .crypto domains are. So that’s a big benefit of having a network with all these users already

06:22 Has anyone been accepted to the community grant program?

Brad: Yes, I know it we’ve been a little quiet on this, we do have projects and we are getting ready. We’re at a later stage of it, so you should expect to see some of the first announcements coming very soon there.

06:42 If Google wants to implement Unstoppable Domains do they have to implement in Chrome or in their search engine?

Brad: So this is a really good question. These are two separate things, so the first thing is being able to view a website so you want to view a website inside of the browser that you’re used to using. Of course, it would be great if Chrome browser supported blockchain domains and you could just type in a .crypto domain or .zil domain just like a .com and it worked - that would be amazing and we absolutely hope they do that. We are reaching out to see if there’s interest there and we do think that eventually even the biggest browsers are gonna are going to want to support the decentralized web but for now it’s probably going to be Chrome extensions if you want to use Chrome in order to see these websites.

Separately we want these websites to show up in search engines. Now Google is of course the biggest the most mature, so from their perspective it’s probably going to be something they do once they feel a little bit more confident that there’s demand. They’re going to want to see some websites. So we don’t expect google.com search engine to be the first but there’s a lot of alternative search engines. There’s a lot of search engines that are very focused on crypto and very focused on privacy and decentralized web tech. So there’s a lot of interest I would look at some of the alternative browsers that’s where I would expect us to see it starting.

We’re actually also working on this as well, working on helping to make it easier for search engines to support and index decentralized websites. You’ll even see some RFP stuff from us around this subject because what we really want is to have it be open and easy so that 5, 10, 20 different search engines could all go and index these websites.

8:37 With UD being a one-time purchase, it could very quickly lead to abandoned and dead domains. Have you thought about time locks?

Brad: It doesn’t really matter. Yeah, it sucks if you lose your domain of course and we don’t want that to happen. But the idea of having dead domains out there just doesn’t really matter. There’s kind of an almost endless number of names if you want to keep getting more and more complex with them. It’s not as if we’re gonna run out so it’s just a solution searching for a problem as we see it. All that kind of stuff is not necessary if anything it actually makes it a little bit more risky for the user. It’s much more important to us to be able to ensure that everybody completely owns their asset forever with no element of renting it or anything like that.

In the traditional domain world, you’ve got this subscription model which means that you rent your domain from somebody, and then you have to worry about the registry that you’re renting it from. What happens to them in the future? What if they go out of business? What if they get acquired? What if they raise prices 10x or 100x? And then, in the case of time locks, what if I forget pr what if it’s too complicated and hard for me to be able to access my domain?

All of that stuff, it’s not how crypto works in general. In general, you have Bitcoin in your wallet, it’s yours and no one can do anything with it. We think that’s a better framework for domains that you completely control. Yes you could lose it, yes that would suck but it’s much more important for you to own your asset free and clear forever. No questions, it doesn’t matter what happens to UD, it doesn’t matter what happens to the registry as long as Ethereum is okay and your domains are there.

10:55 Could you appoint brand ambassadors for Unstoppable Domains by region?

Brad: We would love that, I think that we’re very interested in promoting and getting the word out all over the world. I think this has already happened where community members are taking various roles. If you have ideas for how to reach out, things that you might do, campaigns etc in your area please let us know, we’d love to hear your ideas.

11.29 Will Unstoppable Domains always focus on IPFS or is there communication with other decentralized storage networks?

Brad: We are network agnostic. We’ve been blockchain and cryptocurrency agnostic and we are storage network agnostic. There are a ton of great storage networks out there. IPFS has the most developer interest right now, that’s the reason why we started with IPFS but we’re already looking at several others. The way that we think this should work for you - the user - is that when you want to store content, you store it and launch it on multiple storage networks and not just multiple devices on a storage network. Because, why not be even more secure where you have protection across different networks? So, you’re going to see a lot of IPFS right now but there will be a lot more different networks soon.

12:27 Will domains be able to be used as an email address like other web hosting services?

Brad: You can always connect traditional tools to blockchain domains, so there are ways to do that. There are projects that are working on this even with UD domains, so this could be a useful feature in the short term. I think you’ll also see a more decentralized approach that works a little bit different than traditional email coming soon.

13:03 When will the problem with Ledger be solved?

Brad: We are still working on it. There are issues on multiple sides in terms of what we need to do but we are working on it and it’s the top priority for us. We’ll keep you updated.

13:31 Will there be more templates on the website builder?

Brad: Definitely. Not only that, we want you all to build templates - we don’t want to build every template that’s needed for the internet to be decentralized. So please, throw out some ideas, we would love to help you launch templates that you think people would use.

14:00 Besides ENS, who is the biggest competitor to Unstoppable Domains?

Brad: I would say Verisign, the owner of .com, and that’s the market that we’re ultimately after. Whatever is happening in the crypto world regarding blockchain domains is pretty small. The bigger market is the traditional domain market which is in billions of dollars in digital assets. They’re sitting on a centralized server somewhere and they don’t function for payments, have subscriptions and they can be taken away. They’re very easy to be censored. They’re the old tech and we can replace it with an open Internet. That’s ultimately the competitor, that’s what we’re out to do. Anything that’s kind of happening in the blockchain world is small potatoes. At this point, we should be working to help rise all of these systems, there’s really no reason for the crypto community to be fighting with each other. The much bigger market is this centralized asset registry.

15:22 Are there any plans for an Ethereum blockchain Explorer integration similar to the Viewblock integration for Zilliqa.

Brad: Great news there, Viewblock is the block explorer, they have just gone live with .crypto so you can now search .crypto domains on Viewblock. You can find your IPFS hashes, you can do all the things that you could do with .zil domains. I believe it’s all live now, I was playing with it over the past couple of days so I think it’s already working. Let us know if you see any issues there.

15:58 What is the cost of IPFS for users?

Brad: IPFS, by default, doesn’t have any costs. What’s happening right now is that there are enterprises, or pinning services, that you can pay and then they give you a really good uptime. But there are also ways to just incentivize users or visitors of your website to store it. There’s going to be a lot of different ways, some websites are going to pay much more like traditional hosting in order to ensure that they have really high uptime. Others are going to pay small amounts of money to lots of people or just convince people to store and share their website because they believe in it. So a lot of different ways that this can be done.

16:45 How about DuckDuckGo implementing UD domains? Have you contacted them?

Brad: Without getting into any specific conversations that may have been happening with specific players we are talking to some of the alternative search engines that we think are philosophically aligned with us. Of course, DuckDuckGo is amazing, we love their privacy centricity and it’s a great product. It’s a great company so they’re obviously in the top of our mind but we are talking to several alternatives that we think are philosophically aligned and we expect to see something regarding this in 2020. We as a community have a pretty clear task which is to make awesome websites that people want to check out and then it shouldn’t be very hard.

17:50 Is there a future for dynamic websites on decentralized web?

Brad: Yes, absolutely. It’s a bit harder than static so we’re starting with the things that are easy but this is stuff that we’re going to need help with. There is going to be a lot of different builders that are going to build the tools to make this stuff work so it’s not going to be just us, there’s gonna be all kinds of plugins and continuous integration of various other things to make this happen.

18:38 Any plans to add fiat currency to the domains?

Brad: We’ve actually had several conversations on this and there are several ways to do this. There is a company called Wire that makes it very easy for you to start with to receive cryptocurrency and essentially have it automatically sold and then transferred to a bank account - so that’s something that we can and will add eventually.

19:07 Will Unstoppable Domains buy other companies and competitors?

Brad: No immediate plans for this. We’re pretty focused on our current team but who knows what may happen in the future.

19:27 What options do I have to upload a decentralized video of myself talking on my unstoppable domains website?

Matthew: We’ve had a few people that already have done that. If you go to the browser page you will see it. So it is totally possible today.

19:53 How do we get a UD t-shirt?

Matthew: We will have some at ETHDenver so if you’re there we’ll be handing out t-shirts from our first print. We have a couple of different print versions. We’re trying to figure out which one we like and then I’m sure we’ll start giving them out at conferences. We’re just getting started on the swags so thanks for asking.

20:18 What happens if a .crypto domain offers illegal content on IPFS and the legislature requires the data of the owner from UD?

Brad: We don’t have any specific information other than the email address and whatever else you attach to your domain. So that and the payment information is the only information that we have - if you pay with a credit card. So, be careful if you want to protect your privacy, you’re gonna have to take steps on your side that works for you.

20:50 How big is the UD team and how many domains have been registered to date?

Matthew: We’re proud to announce that we have crossed 200.000 registration mark sometime last week. That’s across .zil and .crypto. That’s the domain registration number we’re pretty proud of that we’re on a great trajectory. We’re feeling confident that we’ll hit 1 million registrations by the end of this year and that would be a huge accomplishment for us. If we look at the top ten TLDs on the planet, I think number 10 has something like 7 million registrations so we’d really like to get there sooner rather than later

Regarding our team, we’re just over 20 people. It’s an imperfect answer because some people are full-time and some people are part-time. It’s basically 20 full-time people plus another five or so part-time contractors.

21:56 Will Unstoppable Domains branch out their services to become a web hosting service?

Brad: You have to keep in mind that the hosting part is going to decentralized storage networks like IPFS but we are building tools to make it easy for you to build and launch websites. Effectively yes, you’re gonna have an easy way to launch websites through some of the stuff that we’re building but we’re not actually the hosting service, the hosting service is the decentralized network.

Matthew: There are a couple of things there we want to do that may be different than how other people are attacking this problem. We want to allow users to store content across a variety of storage networks. We’re not committed to one network and IPFS is the first one we are supporting. Within IPFS, believe it or not, there are several different private networks that are currently running in addition to just IPFS. What we are going to do is offer easy deploy, construction and pinning services. Those are different than hosting and are called seeding. Once you have a website up that has been accessed by enough people that are running their own nodes, then the website is effectively stored across everybody’s computer at which point you don’t need seeding services anymore. So that’s kind of where we see our position as opposed to hosting providers. We’re in contact with a lot of hosting providers, you’ve probably seen Pinata, Temporal and there’s at least two dozen that we’ve talked to and all of the people are very eager to provide ways to ensure that the content is deliverable in different geographical regions across the planet so we see that as their business and not ours.

23:41 Hackers are everywhere, even banks get hacked. How do you protect the user’s account?

Brad: Our system is self custody by design, which means you store your private key on your device. Even if our system is compromised for whatever reason, we don’t have your key and no one can move your funds or your domain. So we are not putting ourselves in a position where we are holding your assets, unlike a bank.

Matthew: We are still working on a mobile app that was approved last October and then we decided to keep it internal so we could update it to support .crypto. The goal of the app is to make it easier for people to claim their domain so they can keep it in custody. We really want to encourage people to take all their names into their own hands.

26:14 Will you all be putting meetups in major cities?

Brad: No immediate plans for this, but we have an office in San Francisco. It’s actually in a little crypto hub so we’ll definitely be doing some meetups there. We will also do some meetups whenever there are conferences in San Francisco so more announcements about that soon. But, yeah, I’m definitely open to doing some in-person stuff up to meet everybody.

26:43 If I sell a domain, what happened with my wallets and addresses?

Brad: Right now in our transfer feature you have a setting where you can erase all of your addresses and your IPFS hash. or you can send it with the information attached so it’s kind of up to you.

Matthew: The default setting right now is that you keep information on transfer. When you record all your information on the blockchain, it will be there forever so someone will be able to go read the blockchain and see previous history. But if you think about it, that’s also a benefit for a domain name transfer because one of the problems you have in the traditional domain world is determining who the proper owner of this domain name is. There are entire services like escrow.com and their whole job is exactly that. Whereas, our transaction information is all recorded on the blockchain so it’s much easier to do that programmatically. So we think that it will make it much better for the transfer escrow secondary market.

28:00 What are the advantages of UD compared to competitors with the same model?

Brad: We’re actually not sure of any competitors with the same model as ours. We are the only company that I’m aware of that sells domains for a one-time fee. We’ve also spent the past year building our integrations. I think those are the key things that we’re doing differently. And as I mentioned previously, we don’t see whatever is happening in the crypto world as the competition. Verisign, owner of .com and the traditional domain industry is the competition. Whatever kind of happened in the crypto world or might be happening in the future in the crypto world is kind of small potatoes compared to the traditional market.

Matthew: Some of our competitors out there are launching their own separate blockchain I would just say that that’s a completely different product than what Unstoppable is offering. And then the other one that has a similar genetic technology history is ENS and we don’t really see them as a competitor. They have a stated mission to really advance the Ethereum community and that’s different than our mission. We’re much more radical trying to attack this existing ICANN system and we’re a commercial operation and we’re going after that market in full force.

29:35 Has UD thought of working with Tron and Dlive streaming platform?

Brad: We actually announced a partnership with Dlive pretty recently. We’ve been talking with several of their creators on how we can also launch using BitTorrent as a storage network so there are a lot of opportunities there. A lot of streaming content providers are already getting paid in crypto so it’s definitely a great market.

Matthew: I am a personal believer in BitTorrent protocol so we’re working on that but obviously there is only so much you can do in a certain period of time. As I said earlier, we are very interested in supporting multiple storage networks. I think that’s going to make a healthier and more competitive ecosystem with lower hosting costs for our users.

30:32 When are you releasing less than 8 character domains?

Brad: Announcements on this and premium domains very soon. Earlier on, we had some stuff that we were doing in terms of upgrading the eCommerce store and it led to the system being a lot faster. I hope you all noticed that when you search for domains. So this is coming very soon and look out for our future announcements.

31.00 Have you heard about FIO foundation and how does UD compare to them?

Brad: We have heard of them. I believe they are not live yet so I can’t speak to every piece of it but as I understand they are just doing wallet addresses and aren’t focusing on decentralized web. Our IPFS features are working now and there are hundreds of websites that are already live.

31:30 I purchased a lot of .crypto and .zil domains. I’d like to know how to sell or how to use a domain for receiving crypto. Does your team have YouTube how-to’s on how to use domains?

Brad: Yes, I would check out our YouTube channel, there are how-to’s in terms of transferring a domain but also how-to’s for what you can do inside the software. We encourage you to check them out and if you still have questions I would hit up an admin in our Telegram channel. We also have a lot of guides in our community forum.

33:06 Can you explain more about security? Are your crypto funds safe with UD?

Brad: We don’t hold your crypto funds, we have nothing to do with that. All you are doing is attaching your wallet addresses to your domain so that when someone types in the domain, they can pay the wallet you already have. So we don’t touch your funds, your wallet is sitting wherever your wallet is, you’re just pointing your domain to that address and getting paid.

33:31 Can I send my assets using a network that UD does not yet support?

Brad: The only way to send a specific asset is if you add the address to your domain. That would mean that you would need to go into our manage section and add a specific crypto address. If that currency is not yet supported by us you would not be able to add that address. If there’s one that you would like to use that we’re not currently supporting, please reach out and let us know. You can request new cryptocurrencies with this form.


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