Freename is a platform for the creation and purchase of Web3 domains, i.e. names registered on blockchain to represent decentralised Internet sites, crypto wallet addresses and many other applications. Let’s delve into its unique features such as creating top-level domain names (TLDs) and turning them into registered trademarks.
What is Freename?
Before correctly defining what Freename is, it is necessary to take a step back and clear up a few points. Online content is closely interlinked, each page calling up dozens of others, so that users can easily find what they are interested in. This dense interlinking would be impossible without a system that precisely identifies each website. Internet domains are designed for this purpose: ‘labels’ that give a unique name to web pages, such as academy.youngplatform.com, so that they can be easily recognised.
This string of words, divided by dots in subordinates, replaces the IP address, i.e. the sequence of numbers that locates the server (host) where the site content is hosted. Thus, in order to display Internet pages in the browser, domain names must be traced back to the relevant IP addresses. This is possible thanks to the DNS, the server system controlled by ICANN, a centralised entity that then relies on intermediaries to actually assign domain names to Internet pages. Domains, in fact, must first be purchased from registrars, who then communicate the purchasers’ information to the registry.
This administrative structure is centralised by nature, although its functions are delegated to various entities: ICANN has power over registrars and registries, so it indirectly controls the entire Internet domain system. This means that it could arbitrarily decide to censor a website by intervening in the redirection processes. Similarly, domain names are not really sold, but simply ‘leased’: the buyers do not own them, but only have the right to use the domain until the expiry of the contract stipulated.
Freename, the Web3 registrar, has the solution to these disadvantages of the traditional web: it allows everyone to register Web3 domains, stored on blockchain and out of ICANN’s control, thus decentralising the Internet system. In practice, the domain name becomes a non-fungible token (NFT), tied to the owner’s wallet from creation. In fact, names purchased on the freename.io platform are truly owned by users, who do not have to pay any renewal fees and can even resell their domains.
Web3 domains created on Frename are compatible with the Ethereum ERC-721 standard.
Web3 domains purchased on Freename are also not simply names for decentralised and unencrypted websites: they are used to represent digital identity in Web3, replacing the wallet address or giving you a single username for all social networks, or even providing unique credentials for accessing decentralised applications (DApps). There are many other ways to use your Web3 domain, so let’s dive into all the distinguishing features of this provider, so as to discover the advantages over other Web3 registrars.
How does Freename work?
First, the minting of Web3 domains purchased on Freename can take place on several blockchains: currently, Polygon, Aurora, Cronos and the Binance Smart Chain. In the future, however, domains will be issued on many other networks, including Avalanche, Ethereum, Solana and Near. This multichain approach opens up multiple possibilities, i.e. the broad spectrum of applications provided by all supported blockchains. Freename ‘aggregates’ this potential into a single platform, where you can choose the ecosystem of your choice to mint your Web3 domain.
Customisation is not limited to the decision of the blockchain, the domain itself can be tailor-made for your site; let’s briefly review the composition of a domain name, so as to fully understand how Freename works and why it differs from other registrars. Starting from the right, at academy.youngplatform.com, we have the Top Level Domain (TLD) or domain extension, namely .com. This component, in the traditional web, is ‘pre-formatted’: users can choose the best TLD for them from the list of extensions already issued by ICANN, but cannot create new ones. The second level, and the subsequent subordinate ones, are the components over which users traditionally have more freedom, choosing the combination of letters and numbers they prefer, provided it is still available.
On Freename, on the other hand, users can also register original TLDs, purchase them and own them: you can choose the domain name from the first level, significantly increasing your online recognisability. The owner of the TLD will also be able to become a registrar in effect: they will receive 50% of the amount paid by anyone wishing to register a name with that extension on Freename. Imagine buying .airdrop, .chain or .reward, you would earn royalties every time someone uses your TLD; you only need to ‘activate’ the passive income of your TLD by paying $50. In addition, any TLD or Freename domain in general, being an NFT, can be sold and transferred to other wallets.
On the other hand, Freename protects domains that can be traced back to brands with an established online presence, as well as to well-known organisations or individuals. In practice, some names will not be available for sale on the platform unless you can prove that you represent the protected entity. However, if you would like to register a new trade mark, associated with one or more purchased TLDs, Freename can act as an intermediary with the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IGE.ch) to legally protect your name. You must provide proof of identity (KYC) and of the purchase of the TLD: after due verification, for 6 months your brand name will be legally protected worldwide from unauthorised use. You can find information on the cost and other specifications of the service at the Freename support page dedicated to trademarks.
Freename also simplifies the everyday web experience: with the Freename Browser Extension plug-in – available for Chrome, Brave and Firefox – you can send and receive e-mails on the Web3 with your own domain and browse both traditional and decentralised sites.
Security and Roadmap
The first step in obtaining a Freename Web3 domain is to check the availability of the name. In addition to the simple search bar, available on the platform’s homepage, another tool is available: the WHOIS explorer, which, given a Web3 domain, makes it possible to find the owner’s wallet address, and vice versa shows the names owned by a certain address.
This tool can also search directly on-chain for domains registered through Unstoppable Domains and Ethereum Name Service, as well as having a dedicated database for Freename domains only.
The Web3 WHOIS is also an important tool to support user security: before interacting with a Web3 site, users can identify the wallet associated with the domain name, so as to assess whether it is involved in fraud or scam attempts. Likewise, this database of Web3 domains allows owners of a TLD to check whether names have been improperly created with that extension, or whether its trademark has been illegally used.
The transparency of Freename is such that users can view and even contribute to the project roadmap. In a nutshell, you can know all the updates (past and future) that have defined what Freename is and how it works, but likewise propose changes. The ‘community suggestions’ section collects all user ideas awaiting review, those planned to be developed, those in the process of being implemented and finally those already integrated into the platform. In particular, anyone can fill in a form to formalise suggestions and ‘vote’ those of others, a process at the heart of any decentralised governance system.