An uncensorable decentralized internet alternative is being launched by Ethereum developers. Ethereum Name Service (ENS) and Unstoppable Domains are taking on the hierarchical nature of the internet and the Domain Name System by building out a blockchain-based alternative.
The internet architecture is currently controlled by select bodies including non-profits, businesses, and governments. The ability to name, buy and control a domain depends upon these hosting providers. This is in full view with the sale of the .org domain name to a private equity firm.
Unstoppable Domains is launching its own browser and TLD .crypto built on Ethereum with the purpose of protecting online free speech. The .crypto address can’t be taken down by a third party, like a government. This recently happened in Spain. The co-founder of Unstoppable Domains, Brad Kam, said “Censorship is happening. For example, the .cat registry, which was supporting Catalonian independence, was raided by the Spanish police. They arrested the founders and they took down a bunch of websites, all to stop them from running independence votes”.
He also explains that Turkey has banned 150 words from being hosted anywhere in the country including the words “gay” and “naked”.
“With decentralized hosting, we focus on replacing the current internet,” said Kam.
Domainer interviewed Brad Kam one year ago.
Ethereum Name Service has focused on the TLD .eth. “Our ambition is that ENS, long term, upgrades the tech stack of the domain name system of the internet,” said Brantly Millegan, the Director of Operations for ENS. “Practically, it means that you can have a name that you own, that has all the decentralization and censorship-resistance and programmability of Ethereum.”
ENS is currently only compatible with certain browsers, like Opera. But it has over 100 APIs and applications integrated so far. And the .eth domains are not dependent on web hosting partners but on the decentralized Ethereum network.
Could this be the start of a blockchain-based revolution in the way the internet works?
Only time will tell.