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Web2 vs Web3 Domains: What Is the Difference? cover image

While we are transitioning from Web2 to Web3, even the simplest things are subject to change. Web addresses that we enter in our browser bar to visit web pages get their fair share of this shift. 

At first glance, both Web2 and Web3 URLs seem just like a combination of characters. However, there is more to that.

What are Web2 Domains?

Web2 domain names are online addresses of websites. They are the addresses that you enter in your browser when you want to visit a specific website. However, they were not as human-readable as they are now.

Before Domain Name System or DNS was created, domains were strings of numeric characters we call an IP address that indicates a website. They are like phone numbers, yet harder to remember. That’s where DNS comes in by translating domain names to easier-to-read, human-readable addresses.

What are Web3 Domains?

Web3 Domains are domain extensions you might know as decentralized domains, blockchain domains, or sometimes crypto domains. Similar to traditional Web2 domains, Web3 Domains are strings that are used to access websites. 

Even though both traditional Web2 and Web3 domains are fundamentally used for a similar purpose, they work differently. Traditional domain names operate through Domain Name System (DNS). Meanwhile, crypto domains are launched as smart contracts on public blockchains. 

How do Web3 Domains Work?

Since Web3 Domains operate on blockchain, they offer several unique advantages thanks to decentralization and overall Web3.

Replacing wallet addresses 

Instead of your long, complex wallet address, you can use your Web3 domain to make crypto transactions. This enables you to receive or make payments solely through your domain name.

Imagine how convenient it is to type in an easy-to-remember Web3 domain like me.crypto (we are not sure if this exists) rather than a long string of numbers. 

One-time fee

When you buy a Web3 Domain, you only need to pay for it once. Afterward, you own your domain forever without having to pay renewal fees. 

Meanwhile, domains that operate on DNS work on a subscription basis. That means purchasing a traditional domain doesn’t grant you ownership. If you want to keep your domain, you need to pay monthly or yearly fees for hosting services. 

No censorship

DNS systems are regulated, which makes them centralized. That means if a central authority wanted to have your traditional domain taken down, they could. On the other hand, the blockchain system is decentralized, and there is no centralized body controlling it.

In other words, no entity or third party can cancel your domain or censor your content.

Reselling a domain

If the Web3 domain you purchased doesn’t feel HODL-worthy anymore, there is an option to sell it. Unlike traditional domains, Web3 domains are 100% user-owned, so you can make a profit by acting early and claiming a hit domain name.

Using as a handle

One of the coolest things you can do with a Web3 domain is to use it as your social media handle. Twitter has already integrated a way to use your Ethereum Name Service as your name. 

Create decentralized websites

You can use your Web3 domain to create decentralized websites by using the IPFS protocol. IPFS is built around a decentralized system. Thus, it creates a space for file storage and sharing, allowing you to build decentralized websites in Web3.

Where to get a Web3 domain?

Just like traditional domains, you can buy your Web3 domain from several places. Here is a short list that can give you an idea of where to get a crypto domain.

1. Ethereum Name Service (ENS)

The Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is a distributed and open naming system based on the Ethereum blockchain. With ENS, you can have a domain with an extension of .eth.

ENS allows you to have human-readable names just like the one that Vitalik has (vitalik.eth). The system also maps these names to machine-readable identifiers such as Ethereum addresses, other cryptocurrency addresses, content hashes, and metadata. 

2. Unstoppable Domains

On Unstoppable Domains, you can find Web3 domains with extensions like .crypto, .bitcoin, and .888. These Web3 domains are pretty affordable, starting at $5. Unstoppable Domains also provides you with a guide to help you configure your browser for Web3 domains.

3. FIO 

FIO is simple to register, easy-to-use platform where you can find crypto handles that work with every token or coin. You don’t have to see or even know about your public addresses, as your handles will cover that for you. With your FIO handle, you can attach standardized metadata to any of your crypto transactions, request from the sender and more.

Now you know what Web3 domains are, how they work and how to obtain them. If you are inclined to get one, we have an exciting opportunity to offer you!

How to Get a FREE Web3 Domain?

Take the Learn&Earn course we launched with our educational partner FIO, and earn yourself a free Web3 domain. 

There will be four unique domains you can choose from, @nerd, @learn, @Learnoverse and @BitDegree. You also can customize these domains with a name you wish to pair with.  

Take this Learn&Earn course now and start learning! 

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Written By

Rahsan from Learnoverse