Can we finally expect ICANN’s overthrow by a decentralized, blockchain-based DNS ecosystem?

Dana Farbo
Nov 24, 2020 · 5 min read
To the Moon

The era of Internet suppression is now omnipresent. What once used to be openly available and transparent has now been fully regulated and censorship-tolerant by government officials. The control was merged into the hands of online conglomerates such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google. As they aim to stay within the regulatory borders, they subjugate our freedoms and privacy for their personal gain.

Besides censorship, conglomerates are now monitoring vast amounts of personal data. Colossal data breaches included 1 billion accounts from Yahoo! in December 2016, 145 million records from Equifax in December 2017, and 110 million records from Target in November of 2013 and are repeatedly arising. The public is becoming aware that they need to have greater control of their data, which means the need for a new, more decentralized, and anonymous internet is called-for. The existing infrastructure was not designed to allow for this. We believe that the decentralized web naming system is a necessary starting point to fill this void. People need to be able to find resources within the new decentralized internet that is forming, and they will demand that the naming system becomes decentralized.

ICANN has been raining censorship and opacity down on us — thereby being solely responsible for delegating Top-Level Domains such as .com, .net, .org, etc. extensions to name a few. The global domain name registrars GoDaddy, Bluehost, Hostgator, Namecheap, and others have had a firm grip on domain names.

However, the suitable permutation of blockchain tech and P2P networks can produce a system parallel to ICANN without the capricious control and fallacies of humankind. It can be fault-tolerant and censorship-resistant.

Zooko’s famous triangle and corresponding Blockchain benefits

1) Human-meaningful: the name provided to users should be meaningful and easy to remember and write without errors.

2) Secure: a name can only be resolved to one, unique, and correct entity, even in the presence of untrusted nodes.

3) Decentralized: no central authority in the system and untrusted nodes are probably present.

In terms of Zooko’s Triangle theory, blockchain-powered DNS systems possess all three attributes. They fall heir to most virtues of Distributed Ledger Technologies as the underlying blockchain tech is decentralized by design.

Dissimilar to the existing DNS which is governed and managed by organizations, no institutions in blockchain-centric DNS can seize the power. Only the DNS proprietors can make modifications to present records with their private key. It is next to impossible for authorities to dictate any changes to the domain name records.

As far as security is at stake, blockchain-based DNS has palpable benefits as well. DNS as we know it is susceptible to a range of mishaps due to protocol weaknesses. Even with the enrichment of ICANN, the technology still cannot avert robust DDoS attacks. In contrast, as all domain names are locally stored on every node, there is no need for the client to query the names by interacting with remote servers. Therefore, all lets-exploit-the-middleman attacks existing within traditional DNS no longer pose a threat in blockchain-based DNS.

What is even more, the DNS system presently doesn’t encrypt data, meaning that sensitive information can be easily misemployed by online eavesdroppers.

Butterfly’s metamorphosis of DNS into its decentralized counterpart

Butterfly’s sole purpose is to begin a new age in Domain Name creation and ownership, using blockchain technology as its spearhead, battling for the creation of a decentralized internet future for all of its users. It is undeniable that presently the DNS system is going through a development predicament, whereas the blockchain substitutes allow for reshaping an entire industry by delivering solutions to the inefficiencies that presently hinder this area. Butterfly offers ingenious solutions to them to achieve that goal.

Besides, with Butterfly the system tolerates highly-adaptable domain names and extensions. As per the previous example, users would be incentivized to attain “identity.sports”, thereby empowering them to showcase their own individual brand most precisely. This feature has been put into motion as Butterfly’s proprietary DNS along with an auxiliary Governance Smart Contract. Butterfly’s users will also reap the liberties of being able to use all kinds of symbols in domain names that they create (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Khmer, Indian, etc), even including emoji icons for very distinguished domain names.

With Butterfly, sponsoring a new domain creation will be powered by a native token. This feature eradicates any government interference and also counters domain parking.

Ultimately, the unique feature all privacy advocates will find astounding is Butterfly’s global identification. The moment a user acquires a FQN (Fully-Qualified Name — eg. John.Doe.ID), full control over social media accounts, cryptocurrency wallets, and everything associated with the given identity will be credited to the given FQN. Using this feature, users will be able to record wallet addresses in the domain, support different digital currencies, and allow transfers via easily-comprehensible FQNs instead of confusing wallet address symbol combinations.

Conclusion

While decentralized domain naming systems have been developing for a while, only a few match and address the industry’s challenges as thoroughly as Butterfly. Users own their domain names outright without any renewal costs, and the platform employs a web-browsing extension to counter censorship and content blocking.

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