Do we have our first confirmed blockchain-themed new gTLD application? Looks like it.
A group of pseudonymous individuals have announced plans to apply to ICANN for .dao in the next round, and are currently crowdfunding the project by asking for donations in the Ethereum cryptocurrency.
Going by the name DomainDAO, they say they’ve raised 230 ETH so far, which appears to be worth over $430,000 at today’s rates, already probably enough for a bare-bones new gTLD application.
They want to apply for .dao, an acronym for “decentralized autonomous organization”, a type of entity where token-owning participants set the direction of the DAO via rules laid down in software and votes encoded into a blockchain.
DomainDAO’s web site takes a few pops at the likes of Verisign and Identity Digital owner Ethos Capital for alleged unethical practices and says the goal is for .dao to one day “supersede” .com.
The concept differs from other blockchain-based TLD projects, such as Unstoppable Domains, in that it’s not alt-root. The plan is to apply to ICANN to get into the authoritative, consensus DNS root, so that .dao domains can be used by all.
Unstoppable already runs .dao in its own alt-root, selling domains for $20, and has recently proven litigious when it smells a collision from a competing project.
But the main roadblock to the root may well be ICANN itself.
While the rules governing the next round of gTLD applications are not yet set in stone, it strikes me as incredibly unlikely that ICANN will entertain a bid from an applicant that is not a recognized legal entity with a named board of directors that can be subjected to background screening.
DomainDAO is itself a DAO, and the DAO concept is reportedly prone to corruption and hacking, which could make ICANN nervous.
In addition, people funding DomainDAO today are offered crypto tokens that can be redeemed for second-level domains if the TLD eventually goes live — it’s essentially already selling pre-registrations — which could interfere with rights protection mechanisms, depending on implementation.
But DomainDAO claims to have an industry Greybeard on the payroll, a senior advisor going by the handle “Speech-less”, an “Executive with 20+ years experience in domain and ICANN”.
If that’s you, we probably already know each other. Why not get in touch to tell me why this thing is going to work?
The post Group crowdfunding crypto to apply to ICANN for blockchain gTLD first appeared on Domain Incite.