Butterfly Protocol today announced the launch of its new distributed ledger blockchain-based web naming system built for the decentralized internet to support distributed applications as an improvement of the Domain Name System.
The internet’s DNS is currently under the control of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, an American nonprofit organization. Its role is to curate several databases related to the namespaces that keep the internet working by resolving names such as “google.com” or “siliconangle.com” to internet protocol numbers.
According to Butterfly, that funnels the management of domains through gatekeepers such as GoDaddy Inc., Google Domains and BlueHost. In turn, that creates centralized control of the internet and the potential for censorship.
Butterfly Protocol allows anyone to suggest, sponsor or bid on the creation of new top-level domains – beyond the standard “.com,” “.org,” “.edu” and the like – and receive a share of tokes associated with the name. That can be used to create subdomains or Dapp ecosystems.
“Private, secure alternatives for web browsing, search and messaging are quickly gaining traction,” said Dana Farbo, president of Butterfly Protocol. “Decentralization is becoming more and more attainable, but still more tools are needed to make it a reality for the masses.”
Beyond registering and managing domain names, Butterfly Protocol will also allow for each domain address to be used for several unique functions, including cryptocurrency transactions, messaging and social media.
“Butterfly offers a way to own, author and secure your data, giving users infinite control,” said Farbo. “Whether you want to own your personal domain forever, or you want to create an ecosystem of DApps, Butterfly gives you the framework and flexibility to do that.”
Early users will gain access to the “.human” subdomain name, which can be used to publish any type of content. No person or organization can block, censor or cancel this subdomain.
Upon launch, Butterfly will be offering multiple clients: a browser extension to search for new domain names, a dedicated browser installed separately that always uses Butterfly and a special DNS server that serves as a bridge to the decentralized web name system.
Other examples of existing blockchain-based DNS include projects such as Namecoin and the Ethereum Naming Service. Although Butterfly has similarities to these other projects, unlike Namecoin it’s not necessary to renew domains once they are registered and it’s possible to trade and sell domains as tokens. Butterfly has similarities to ENS as well but intends to extend top-level domains to include language-specific names and emojis.
Butterfly Protocol uses Ethereum for its initial environment and owners receive a native currency, BFLY, which can be used to sponsor domains. Other such domains include “.learn” for lifelong learning management, “.repo” for GitHub type repository Dapps, “.defi” for decentralized exchanges and more.
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