One of the biggest questions to consider when looking into blockchain domains is what type of network they will rely on. No two blockchains are the same, and so it is extremely important that you look into the right one for you and your domain. Among the many options available, Polygon domains have become increasingly popular, due to market leaders like Unstoppable Domains providing their names on this network.
This has led people in the blockchain industry to wonder what benefits and potential drawbacks come with owning a Polygon Domain, and whether it is worth getting a Polygon domain name themselves. To understand this, we need to examine the network itself, the services using it, and what makes it stand out in this space compared to alternative blockchains.
With Polygon as a whole getting more popular due to its regular architectural updates and its Layer-2 capabilities on the Ethereum network, this has no doubt attracted more people to get domains that run on it. Its reliability and its name recognition in the industry is bound to entice some people. But is this interest warranted, and are Polygon domains really the best option for most users?
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Table of Contents
- 1. What is a Polygon Domain?
- 2. Polygon's Naming Service
- 3. Running a Domain on Polygon
- 4. What Makes Polygon Special?
- 5. Polygon Domains as Usernames
- 6. Hosting Websites with a Polygon Domain
- 7. How Do You Buy Polygon Domains?
- 8. Secondary Market Options
- 9. Polygon Domains and their Future Value
- 10. Conclusion
What is a Polygon Domain?
A Polygon domain is simply a domain that is run on the Polygon blockchain. This means that the domain is minted on the network in the form of an NFT, as all blockchain domains are NFTs. It also means that the network itself manages the domain, or is used in some way to manage or store it. This does not mean that the domain is run directly by the Polygon team, but rather an independent team has chosen to use its system.
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In the case of Polygon, there are several companies that provide domain names using it. An example of this is Unstoppable Domains, which have since chosen to use Polygon as their primary method for minting domains. They are not affiliated with Polygon; rather, they are simply a part of the Polygon ecosystem, meaning that they share its functionality and offer more capabilities to the blockchain's community.
Like other blockchain domains, these can be used as a substitute for your public wallet address, as a user name on social media services like Twitter or Discord, and can even be used to host websites. They have the same functionality as all other blockchain domain names, with the one difference being that they rely on the Polygon network itself.
Polygon's Naming Service
Polygon has a dedicated naming service, simply called the Polygon Domain Name Service, or PNS. Like other projects, this allows people to buy and claim specific domain names. This is similar to how the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) works, along with the Polkadot Name Service (which unfortunately has the same acronym), and Binance’s SPACE ID, which is a universal name service for the Binance network. PNS specifically issues out .pol names.
However, there is one difference that the Polygon Domain Name Service has. While it is a part of the Polygon ecosystem, its domain names are actually “resolved” on ENS. Resolving is the process of taking human-readable phrases and making them machine-readable. For instance, if somebody owns theirname.pol and uses it as a substitute for their public address, then a resolver ensures it points to the right place.
Usually, a domain name service will handle these resolutions themselves, but the Polygon Domain Name Service actually uses ENS to perform this. This means that .pol names will become machine-readable through another service, rather than via PNS themselves. There is nothing wrong with this, and it is not exactly surprising as Polygon and Ethereum share a strong level of symbiosis, but it is worth keeping in mind.
It should also be noted that not every Polygon domain runs on PNS. In fact, the Polygon Domain Name Service makes up for only a small portion of the domains that function on this blockchain. This is because PNS has only existed since late 2022, and only manages the .pol domain, which is relatively unknown in the blockchain space.
Other services such as Unstoppable Domains run on Polygon, but use their own naming service, called Unstoppable Domains Name Service (or UNS). This company provides a much wider range of Polygon domains, which do not exactly relate to Polygon itself, but which still run and are minted on its network. These include .blockchain, .bitcoin, and .NFT.
Running a Domain on Polygon
There are a huge range of blockchains in this industry that support domains, so why do people choose to get a Polygon domain? There are several reasons for this. For starters, Polygon is a blockchain ecosystem, meaning that it has the infrastructure and capabilities for people to build their own projects on it and develop on top of it. Not only this, but it also shares a lot of the same developers and fans as Ethereum does.
This is because Polygon has the benefit of being both its own fully-fledged blockchain as well as a Layer-2 solution for Ethereum, helping with its scalability. This naturally means it must be compatible with it, which led the team to create it in a way that is easy for Ethereum devs to build on Polygon, too. The upshot of this is that the Ethereum user base are also interested in Polygon, and consider it part of Ethereum ecosystem itself.
In other words, Polygon is interoperable with Ethereum. A great example of this is with Unstoppable Domains. This project used to mint domains primarily on the Ethereum network, but chose then to switch to minting on Polygon. The fact that Polygon has such compatibility with Ethereum meant that this was not only possible, but it was practically seamless.
Users who previously bought domains on Ethereum can even convert them into a Polygon domain through Unstoppable Domains. Not only this, but by using Polygon, minting can become free, with zero gas/transaction fees whatsoever. This is extremely important as Ethereum minting can be quite pricey when the network gets inundated and congested.
By switching to Polygon, Unstoppable Domains have even saved users around $100 million in gas fees. This is huge news, as eviscerating costs helps to onboard more people into Web3 and allow them to obtain a Polygon domain with more ease. Arguably the best part of this is that it means renewal fees do not need to exist. With no gas fees, there are no hidden costs to cover, allowing for a one-time purchase.
This is something that many other services, including ENS, cannot offer. What’s more, is that those who did buy an Ethereum domain on Unstoppable Domains are able to bridge their domain to Polygon and stop paying yearly renewal fees as well! This makes domain ownership feel more real, and less like simply renting out a name for a set period, where you must constantly pay to keep control.
The ability to banish subscriptions and embrace one-time ownership is huge. In an industry where autonomy is one of its core values, removing subscriptions is deeply significant as it brings Polygon domains more in line with the ideals of the Web3 space as a whole. It further makes subscriptions feel more like a Web2 relic, and makes single payments seem more like the norm.
However, while the capability for zero gas fees and renewals exists, this does not mean that every Polygon domain provider does this. In fact, the Polygon Domain Name Service itself does not offer one-time purchases. Instead, users must consistently pay to keep using them. This goes to show that while the technology exists, that does not mean every service is taking advantage of it and helping cut costs.
What Makes Polygon Special?
You might be wondering what exactly makes Polygon stand out in the blockchain space. As we mentioned earlier, this is a network that functions as both a Layer-2 solution, and its own independent blockchain. Naturally, this has helped it to gain a following, but this is only part of the picture. Beyond this, there are several other reasons why people gravitate to Polygon; especially when it comes to buying a blockchain domain.
One notable reason is that Polygon positions itself as a project that is deeply invested in onboarding newcomers, and making the industry more friendly to novices. This is easily visible by looking at the types of companies that utilize Polygon, such as Instagram, Reddit, and Adidas. All of these companies are using Polygon as a way of bringing people into the world of NFTs and digital collectibles.
This is also an important sign that Polygon has been working hard to present itself as an NFT-first network, which is partially why well-known companies are flocking to it as a way of making NFTs more mainstream and appealing to the everyday consumer. Bear in mind that Polygon domain names are also NFTs, and so they benefit from this rich digital collectible ecosystem.
Not only this, but Polygon’s focus on scalability and interoperability makes it an enticing choice for people who are looking towards blockchain tools that have a higher chance of being future-proof compared to the rest of the market. Its existence makes Ethereum more accessible and useable, but it also is able to function with other blockchains as well.
In fact, practically any Ethereum-compatible blockchain, such as Optimism and Binance Smart Chain can work with it. As the industry matures over time, people are nowadays more excited and enticed by projects that work towards creating bridges and connective tools between other chains. This is because the blockchain space is slowly getting more collaborative and compassionate towards different ideas and concepts.
In essence, people are waking up to the fact that this is not a zero-sum game, and that when one blockchain succeeds, it creates more room at the top for others to succeed alongside them. This is partially why Polygon domain names and other NFTs can be bridged over to various different blockchains. They are making their tools deeply compatible.
To understand this level of NFT compatibility better, we need to look at the protocol they use for them. This is named ERC-721. Essentially, these are tokens that have a unique value, and cannot be divisible, which makes them NFTs. This is a special standard that programmers use to make sure their NFTs all have certain compatibilities with one another.
You may have heard this term before when learning about Ethereum-based NFTs. This is because ERC-721 is actually an Ethereum-native concept. However, Polygon uses this standard for their own NFTs as well. The upshot of this is that it means people can move any Polygon NFT or Polygon domain over to the Ethereum network, or any other Layer-2 solution that is built on top of the Ethereum network.
Polygon Domains as Usernames
It is possible to use a Polygon domain as a username, and further as a substitute for your public address. This was touched on earlier, but let’s delve into it properly now. For starters, to use a Polygon domain as your name on a social media platform like Twitter, Telegram, or Discord, all you need to do is place your domain name as the name for your profile.
This is super straightforward and requires no complex actions whatsoever. All you need to do is ensure that you own the domain name you are using. Otherwise, somebody else may do the same as you, which would confuse potentially interested parties.
If you want to use your Polygon domain as a substitute for your public address, then this has a few more steps involved, although it is also not tremendously hard. If your domain is managed by Unstoppable Domains, then you get many options for integration, which in many ways makes this process easier as it makes your domain more compatible with a larger range of services.
Firstly, acquire your domain. You will then want to configure this so that it redirects to your public address. This is the process of resolving, which we discussed earlier. Unstoppable Domains makes this extremely easy through its management dashboard. There, you can simply enter your wallet address, and UNS will handle all the redirections.
You can even have your Polygon domain handle several different public addresses relating to a range of different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and XRP. Once this has happened, it will mean that people can easily send money to your wallet by using your domain as a substitute for it. However, you should note that this will only work with apps and programs that are integrated with Unstoppable Domains.
This means that the service somebody is sending money from needs to recognize what an Unstoppable domain is, and then know how to handle the redirections and resolving. For the greatest level of compatibility, you may want to use a .wallet address, as there has been a huge push for projects to build transaction capabilities for this domain in particular. This is called the .wallet Alliance, which works with 30 leading wallet services.
Hosting Websites with a Polygon Domain
You can host a site with your Polygon domain. This process is sadly more complicated than simply hooking it up to your public address, and to some extent, it is even harder than hosting a website with a traditional .com or .org domain name. But it is far from impossible; it just requires more effort. The first hurdle you will likely come across is that blockchain domain names are not currently supported by web browsers.
This means that there is no way for a website to be fully hosted on a .pol or .blockchain address without there being redirections. This is not a fault of the blockchain space, or of Polygon domains, but rather it is because most web browsers do not support non-traditional domain names. The likelihood is that this will change at some point in the future when they become more of the norm.
As of right now, this means that you need to find a way to redirect your domain to a more traditional one. One method of doing this is by using IPFS (or Inter-Planetary File System) as a way of hosting the content of your site, and then using it as a location for redirection. This offers a decentralized way of hosting a site whilst also using a Polygon domain.
It is currently only possible to create static websites on IPFS, rather than dynamic ones that can make full use of the modern-day internet’s capabilities. This means that it is best for hosting simple sites such as portfolios, resume sites, and directories for documents and whitepapers. If this is something you are interested in, then this could be a perfect option for you.
If you want a full blockchain website, that has both a Polygon domain and blockchain hosting that supports the Polygon network, then there are a couple of options as well. Although, this will require ample research, as complete blockchain hosting is still a relatively new field, and so it can be hard to find robust and reliable tools. Nonetheless, it is definitely theoretically possible, and a fascinating endeavor to embark on.
How Do You Buy Polygon Domains?
The way you buy Polygon domains will depend on the service you are using, and where you are buying them from. However, most will support payment in the Polygon/MATIC cryptocurrency, which is very much to be expected. The strong relationship that Polygon and Ethereum have means that payment in ETH will also oftentimes be a possibility. This is the case with PNS.
However, not every service is this restrictive. Unstoppable Domains, for instance, is capable of offering payment in a huge range of cryptocurrencies, which includes Ethereum and MATIC, as well as Bitcoin, Tether, other stablecoins, and even fiat via credit and debit cards. This is a huge deal as it ensures that people who are new to the industry can still buy domains without having to convert to any specific coin or token.
If you decide to pay via a cryptocurrency, then you should always keep an eye out for transaction fees, as they can often mean you end up paying a little more than you may have initially expected. While Unstoppable Domains allows for free NFT minting, this does not mean that your payment option will not have gas fees. For instance, paying in ETH for a Polygon domain will still incur an ETH gas fee.
Secondary Market Options
While many people claim new domains and go directly to projects that offer fresh minting, this is by no means the only way to do this. Another very popular option is via secondary marketplaces that allow people to sell and trade crypto assets. As all blockchain domains are NFTs, this means that Polygon domains can be sold in this way as well!
If you are looking for a well-known centralized marketplace, then OpenSea is a good option to keep in mind. This marketplace has a range of different NFT domains listed on it, including Unstoppable Domains. It even has specific Polygon integration, allowing people to mint NFTs via OpenSea on the Polygon network. This naturally means that there are many Polygon fans and users on this marketplace.
If, however, you would like to keep within the Polygon ecosystem, then there are marketplaces designed specifically for this network, which are worth considering. Nftically is a marketplace that is actually run by the Polygon team, and so it is perfect for all Polygon-based NFTs. It has fewer listings than OpenSea, but with a user base that is specifically dedicated to Polygon, you may still find good options available.
Polygon Domains and their Future Value
It can be tough to accurately predict any market activity or behavior. This is especially true when it comes to NFTs such as any Polygon domain, as they are all unique in their qualities and usages. However, the fact that they can be sold on secondary marketplaces means that it is at least possible for them to appreciate in value. However, it is hard to say by how much.
There is no telling whether Polygon domain names will be a great investment, or whether they will be worth buying purely for financial reasons, as the crypto and NFT space is extremely fickle. If the market was to follow a sensible trend, then it is definitely possible that some of these domains will appreciate as they are a great way to represent yourself in the Web3 space, especially if the domain is easily recognizable.
For example, a Polygon domain like address.wallet, defi.crypto, or decentralized.nft all could easily sell for more than they were bought for because they should be highly sought after. However, this heavily relies on the crypto market being predictable and logical, which does not always happen. In a similar sense, it is also very possible that these Polygon domain names do not appreciate all that much as interest could dwindle.
To illustrate just how nonsensical this industry can be at times, consider the meteoric rise memecoins like Doge and Shiba Inu have seen. These coins do not have a definitive use case or selling point beyond gaining media attention for being glorified jokes. This is not to say these coins are inherently bad or worthless, but rather it shows that the industry does not always make the most sense from an investment perspective.
Returning to our discussion about domains, it should also be considered that these names could depreciate in value, too. Despite most Polygon domains being affordable, if bought from Unstoppable Domains, their value on the secondary market could still fall below their initial price. This could be because the name is not as enticing as the buyer initially thought, or it could be due to Polygon losing credibility for whatever reason.
Essentially, the thing to keep in mind is that the crypto space is notoriously hard to predict, and so it should never come as a surprise that a seemingly sure bet does not work out as intended. This is the nature of the industry– it is both what makes it extremely exciting, as well as extremely frustrating. The best option is to be open-minded, and to be cautious about what you invest in.
There are many great reasons for getting a Polygon domain. The network they run on is well-regarded and scalable, they are interoperable, they are one-time purchases (when you purchase them from Unstoppable Domains), and they can be affordable. Overall, they can be a great way to represent yourself online and help to build a Web3 image for yourself or your project.
The fact that they are NFTs means that they can also be bought and sold on secondary markets as an investment option, although, it is hard to say whether this is worthwhile as it is always tough to identify good investments in such a volatile and sometimes nonsensical industry. Regardless, it is still an option for people to consider if they are looking to make extra money with domain names.
Investing might be risky, but if you are planning to buy a Polygon domain for yourself, then it very well might make sense to get one. The Polygon blockchain has a good track record and is well-respected in this space, plus if you go to a place like Unstoppable Domains then you can get one of these domains for as low as $15, making them a great choice for those who want to get more involved with blockchain Web3 technologies.