With the rise of blockchain technology, many people are investing in personalized domains. But if you are going to be using a domain for years to come, you don’t want to risk losing ownership. So, does an address from Unstoppable Domains expire?
Unstoppable Domains don’t expire. After paying the initial fee to purchase the domain, it’s yours indefinitely unless you decide to sell it, transfer it, or burn it. There are no recurring fees to own the domain and since it’s decentralized, there’s no way to censor or cancel the domain.
Ownership is a big deal in web3 due to its decentralized nature. As a result, brands like Unstoppable Domains are striving to deliver products that you own outright and have full control over. Let’s take a deeper dive into the longevity of these NFT domains.
How Long Do Unstoppable Domains Last?
Unlike traditional domains that operate on the Domain Name System (.com, .org, .net, etc.), Unstoppable Domains are built on the Crypto Name Service (CNS). These domains are a set of smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain that govern how domains are created and used.
Although CNS domains function similarly to DNS, there are some key differences that make Unstoppable Domains unique.
- CNS domains are irrevocable
- CNS domains don’t need to be renewed
- CNS domains can’t be reclaimed by Unstoppable Domains
- Owners have complete control over their CNS domain
- Every CNS domain is issued as an ERC-721 token (NFT)
Considering Unstoppable Domains are minted on the Ethereum blockchain as NFTs, they will remain there indefinitely unless the holder decides to sell, transfer, or burn them.
Since Ethereum is one of the most decentralized blockchains in existence, the likelihood of your NFT domain being censored or canceled is minimal.
That being said, it’s important to understand exactly how your decentralized domain works.
CNS Smart Contract Overview
When it comes to your Unstoppable Domain, there are two central components, the registry, and resolver smart contracts.
Registry: A map (or dictionary) from domain names to an owner address and a Resolver address. There’s only one Registry smart contract that exists on the Ethereum Mainnet.
The Registry is the most important smart contract in CNS as it defines ownership rules, how domains are minted, provides token metadata, and stores a list of all the domains.
Additionally, the Registry stores:
- Owner address
- Approved operator address
- Resolver address
- Domain name
Most importantly, Registry’s smart contract was designed without an admin. This means as the owner of your Unstoppable Domains’ address, you have full control.
Domain owners can:
- Transfer domain ownership
- Set a new resolver
- Mint a new subdomain
- Burn a domain
Resolver: A map from the domain names to the records associated with that domain (wallet addresses, etc.).
The Resolver smart contract is used for resolving domains and storing domain records such as cryptocurrency addresses, chat IDs, and InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) hashes for decentralized websites.
For example, you can view my Unstoppable Domain, cyberscrilla.nft, at this IPFS hash: https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmYvYLL2aMZAd1NSyZBKz4kwu9V92pLZzreHkaitVenKLD
There are numerous versions of the Resolver smart contracts.
Technically, each CNS domain could use a different Resolver address, but for simplicity, the majority of domains are managed by the same smart contract (like Resolver 1 in the example above).
Moreover, each NFT domain (ERC-721 token) is identifiable by a unique number called its tokenId. This is standard amongst all Ethereum-based NFTs.
A tokenId is achieved by using a process called Namehashing (an algorithm that converts a domain name into a readable format).
For instance, example.crypto namehash appears as a string of characters: 0xd584c5509c6788ad9d9491be8ba8b4422d05caf62674a98fbf8a9988eeadfb7e
Are There Any Fees to Own an Unstoppable Domain?
There are no fees to own an Unstoppable Domain except for the initial cost to purchase it. Since your domain is stored on the blockchain, there’s no way that you could be charged an ongoing fee. The initial cost to buy an Unstoppable Domain cost between $5 and $50,000, depending on the name you choose.
This is a key difference between a traditional domain (DNS) and those offered by Unstoppable Domains. When you have a traditional domain, you will are essentially renting a space on the server.
Because of this, traditional domains incur an annual fee. Though some services allow users to pay in advance to receive the domain for 10 years.
Due to this format, if you forget to re-register the domain in time, it will lapse and become public. This allows someone else to buy your domain and erase all your hard work. This format also means that you will be left paying for the domain for the rest of your website’s life, spending thousands in renewal fees.
Can Unstoppable Domains Be Censored?
Since Unstoppable Domains are decentralized, governments and other entities will have a difficult time trying to censor or cancel your domain.
One of the biggest reasons why people turn to Unstoppable Domains is to get security. There are a few ways that a traditional domain can be censored, including:
- Blocked regionally. Governments will be able to determine what websites are shown in their country. If they choose, they can block access to a domain.
- Deregistering. Sometimes, a government can even deregister a domain. This is akin to wiping it from existence.
Sadly, governments around the world don’t hesitate to use these powers. For example, China currently blocks over 8,000 sites. The decentralized websites that you can create using Unstoppable Domains are immune to this type of interference.
There are a few reasons for this. First, the domain address is stored on the blockchain. This is impossible for centralized power, like a government, to control. Furthermore, the domain holder maintains complete control over the domain. That means you decide how it is used.
Do You Own Your NFT Domain Outright?
When you buy an Unstoppable Domain, you gain complete and exclusive control over the domain. Once the transaction is complete, your domain is sent to your wallet address, which is then recorded on the blockchain which verifies your ownership.
This ability to own the domain will give you several options on how it can be used. Options include:
- Transfer your domain. If you prefer you can move it from one web3 wallet to another.
- Sell your domain. We’ll discuss how this process works in the next section.
- Control your domain. This includes the ability to link website content with your domain. You can also use it to receive payments.
How Do You Sell Your Unstoppable Domains?
There are two ways that you can sell your Unstoppable Domain.
- List on Unstoppable Domains. This is the easiest way to sell your domain. You just need to add a valid email address along with access to your wallet where the domain is stored, and you’ll be able to start advertising it within minutes. Just remember to wipe the data from your profile, as this doesn’t occur automatically.
- List on OpenSea. If you want to get exposure to a wider range of potential buyers, an established exchange like OpenSea might be your best option. Opensea enables you to entertain offers, set a reserve price, or set a buy now price.
Should You Buy an Unstoppable Domain?
You should buy an Unstoppable Domain if you want complete control over a secure and uncensored NFT domain. Also, if you want to simplify your cryptocurrency address or host a decentralized website, Unstoppable Domains is the perfect option.
Here are some reasons you might want to consider buying an Unstoppable Domain:
- One-time payment (no renewal fees ever).
- No minting fees or gas fees (thanks to Polygon).
- You can send and receive crypto to your domain.
- You can host your own decentralized website.
- Native support for decentralized apps.
- You can buy and sell them easily on an NFT marketplace.
It’s important to note that NFT domains are still in their infancy. As a result, there are some drawbacks to consider before purchasing an Unstoppable Domain as well.
- They’re not supported on all browsers (only Brave and Opera natively support NFT domains).
- Web hosting for Unstoppable Domains is still early so there are limited things you can achieve over traditional domains.
- There’s no telling if Unstoppable Domains will reach mass adoption. Only time will tell what these domains are capable of.
How to Buy an Unstoppable Domain
Buying an Unstoppable Domain is easy. Follow these four simple steps below.
1. Search for a domain
First, head over to Unstoppable Domains’ website to search for your domain. You’ll notice that there are numerous domain endings (TLDs) to choose from (.nft, .crypto, .x, etc.). All the endings provide you with the same functionalities. However, the domain endings can all be utilized differently depending on your goals.
After you decided which ending you want, enter your desired domain name into the search box. From there, you will be directed to the purchasing page.
2. Buy your domain
Once you have confirmed that the domain you want is available and the price is acceptable, you can buy your domain. Generally, Unstoppable will display the same domain name with different ending options in case you want to purchase a variety of endings for that same name.
Currently, there are four payment methods to choose from:
- Credit card
- Crypto (BTC, BCH, ETH, DAI, LTC, USDC)
- Crypto.com pay
If you are sending your payment from a crypto exchange like Coinbase, make sure you send enough to cover the fees implemented by the exchange. These fees are typically only a couple of dollars. You can preview the transaction before sending it to know exactly how much the exchange fee will be.
3. Connect your wallet to your account
You can buy your NFT domain name without connecting your web3 wallet. However, if you want to mint your domain, you’re going to need to connect your wallet.
To connect your wallet:
- Go to your Account Setting, and choose Add Wallet.
- Sign the transaction using your wallet to connect it to the Unstoppable Domains website.
If you don’t have a wallet, I recommend using Coinbase Wallet to get started. That being said, you should learn how to properly store your NFTs for maximum safety before buying one. Otherwise, you risk losing your NFTs to hackers and scammers.
4. Mint your domain
Your domain is not functional until you mint it. After you purchase your domain, it will appear under the My Domains section of your profile. This is where you will go to officially mint your NFT to the blockchain.
Follow these steps to mint your domain:
- Go to My Domains
- Click, Free Mint
- Enter your 2FA verification code
- Connect your wallet
- Confirm and sign the transaction
That’s it, you are now in complete control of your decentralized domain. After minting your domain you can set up your domain profile, add your cryptocurrency addresses, create your own decentralized website, or try to sell it for a profit.
Buying a traditional domain is an expensive process, and people are forced to renew the agreement each year. Unstoppable Domains changed this dynamic. Their domains don’t expire, are completely owned by the user, and only incur a one-time purchase fee.