The BitcoinTaxes Podcast
Blockchain and a Decentralized Internet
Guest: Bradley Kam, Co-Founder of Unstoppable Domains
Bradley Kam is the co-founder of Unstoppable Domains. Unstoppable Domains, at its core, is a blockchain registry. Blockchain-based domain names offer unique advantages over traditional domain names. Brad enlightens us about the major advantages of blockchain-based domains: they can be used as a payment gateway – that is, your blockchain domain name can be used as a wallet address to receive payments of multiple cryptocurrencies. In addition, Brad discusses a second key advantage of these types of domains: the inability to censor them, due to how they are stored, and because of a lack of ICANN governance.
Brad highlights how these domains work, while pointing out how these new domains will address existing flaws in the traditional domain system. He shares how the Ethereum Blockchain is helping to shape the future of the decentralized internet.
Episode Highlights & Discussion
The Core of Unstoppable Domains (02:00)
Brad: [We are] a blockchain domain registry…except that we’re launching our registries on blockchains instead of as part of the DNS system. And so what this means is that domains are stored by the user inside of their wallet; instead of stored by their registrar. Just like having your cryptocurrency in your wallet… having your domain stored by you means no one can take it from you. We sought out to build tools for a decentralized web.
Uncensored Internet and Potential Hurdles (04:10)
Brad: Having the technology tools not decide what’s “okay”…is critical for having a robust system that allows all of us to participate. If we have a system that decides what’s okay and what’s not, it means that a very small percentage of the world is going to be able to actually get access to those tools and use them.
The pro-censorship argument is really: …most people shouldn’t get to use the internet…or shouldn’t be able to get to use the internet in the fullest sense. So technology tools need to be agnostic at the base level because you can’t trust any one person or any one group of people to decide what’s okay. I mean this has just been proven out over the past 20 years. There’s all kinds of problems with what gets taken down on the internet.
We’re a domain business – meaning that we don’t know what you’re going to do with a domain when we sell it to you. It’s really going to wind up coming down to what the browsers think is okay. That’s going to be the shift here – wherein the traditional internet world we’ve got YouTube and Facebook and companies like that where they kind of decide, you know, is this over the line or is this not over the line? They’re empowered, or actually, kind of forced to do this filtering.
In a decentralized web world where that information is shared, you’ve got multiple applications and they all say: “hey, this address or this website is associated with some fishing or some bad stuff. We suggest you don’t resolve it”. They can share that. Then they can create filters around that. You’re not going to have one version of the internet.
Right now Facebook also needs to be our moral authority on free speech. They need to be the Supreme Court – deciding what’s okay and what’s not okay to say. YouTube used to do the same thing. That’s ridiculous. That system is completely not working. It’s leading them down a path. First of all, it’s way too much work. It’s not their core business. Second of all, it leads them to be manipulated by various powerful forces.
I would remind everybody who’s thinking about this question, this problem of filtering – it is a problem with the current internet too. The only thing that’s changing here is now we’re going to be more empowered to organize and share information across applications. That’s what we’re going to get with a decentralized web. We can have a hundred different applications all working together together on here’s the bad stuff, here’s the good stuff. And if something really does need to get out because it’s important that it’s heard, then a system like this will ensure that it does.
A Convenient Crypto Payment Gateway (10:55)
Brad: You can use them to receive cryptocurrency – they can be your payment gateway. I’ve got Brad.crypto. You could send me Bitcoin or Ethereum or Litecoin or any cryptocurrency to that domain. You can just type in Brad.crypto, you don’t need to know my addresses anymore. It’s this kind of like a Venmo payment gateway for your crypto.
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