Namebase.io is a cryptocurrency exchange where users can purchase and sell Handshake coins or use Handshake names. The platform also provides a cloud wallet and a registrar for top-level domains (TDLs).
The major product of the platform is an experimental project Handshake that was developed to make DNS more secure. With a P2P root DNS, it provides an uncensorable and permissionless root zone devoid of gatekeepers like ICANN, which is responsible for the root zone management.
The goal of the company is to provide a higher level of security to the web that lacks freedom of speech, security, and privacy. With the help of the dedicated naming protocol, Namebase returns ownership of TLDs to web resources, emails, and crypto wallet addresses.
The company highly appreciates the efforts of the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) community and its valuable contribution to freedom of the internet. Namebase.io launched the campaign via the Handshake project that raised over 10 million USD to pledge to FOSS. At this, the company offers its solution and a safer alternative to centralized and potentially insecure Certificate Authorities (CA).
The centralized nature of the web caused the situation, in which corporations get access to users’ private data and take advantage of it thus making the internet insecure. Therefore, the platform’s founders speak of the necessity to replace these authorities. Namebase.io offers its own alternative.
The Handshake project was launched to set up a decentralized network with a protocol serving as an alternative variant of the back-end infrastructure used to find the right destination over the web. Using this infrastructure, the members of the system become responsible for the management and the validation of the root DNS naming zone. It means that the system is independent and unbiased, and can’t serve the interests of some specific parties, consequently, it makes the internet less vulnerable to censorship and closer to its original concept.
Users should get Handshake coins (HNS) for transfer, registration, and update of the domain names. The company explains that the necessity to use the HNS coin helps to prevent spam on the p2p network. The biggest part of the initial coin supply is granted to FOSS as it has already been mentioned above. Also, individual FOSS contributors get their giveaways as well.
The domains are offered via auctions and bids. The company encourages active participants of the community to spread the word and share news about Handshake with the purpose of community development. The wide adoption of Handshake will help to reach the goals pursued by the founders of the platform.
The incentive design assumptions that lie at the basis of the platform originate from the Metcalfe's Law claiming that the value of the network increases exponentially as the number of its participants grows. It means that the platform becomes more profitable and credible as the number of community members grows. The founders of the platform consider that allocation of value to potential developers and users of this system will bring benefit to everyone, with network effect derived benefiting all users.
The platform uses 4-layer architecture with a SPVnode that synchronizes headers and requests name proofs and data from peers over the HNS network. It employs the root server translating the HNS name data to DNS responses, which appear at the moment of arrival from a root zone.
Along with the protocol, the platform offers its own API and a wallet where the members of the community can store their funds. There is a possibility to access your funds at any time via the cloud wallet.
A Vickrey auction is used on Namebase.io, which is a type of sealed-bid auction. During the auction, users can bid any amount, which is locked up until the end of the auction. It’s done not to let the participants bid more than they have on the account and not to bid on more names than they want to acquire. After the acquisition, the owner of a domain name can manage the DNS records or sell it later. Any name can be registered on Handshake if it’s available.
The mainnet for miners was released in February 2020. The first series of name registration began in February as well. At the same time, the platform also started educational series. In the opinion of the team, shared knowledge can incubate wonderful applications, therefore the project developers started providing ins and outs of Handshake’s protocol and explain the role of the resource as the custodian of Handshake’s names. After the poll was conducted, the team decided to focus on blogs and videos to share the educational content. Visitors can get it on a weekly basis.
Fees and customer support
On Namebae, the support of the operating company works round-the-clock without weekends and holidays. The trade fee is 0.10%. Users are charged with a mining fee only when they withdraw their funds from the platform. It means that the exchange doesn’t earn a withdrawal fee and it goes directly to miners. Customers with USD balances are charged with 1 USD for each withdrawal.
On the website of the platform, there is a Help section and a blog that explains how to buy, sell, and use Handshake. There are tutorials in different languages providing users with a detailed walkthrough for purchase of cryptocurrency and basics of Handshake auction and bidding.
The company founded by Tieshun Roquerre in 2018 is headquartered in San Francisco. Tieshun is a Thiel Fellow and a MIT graduate who studied Math and Computer Science. Prior to launching Namebase, Tieshun worked as a full-stack engineer at Teespring and was a founder of StrongIntro funded by Y Combinator and Greg Brockman (founder of OpenAI). He pursues the mission to improve the security of the Internet providing unstoppable names to web users. The company cooperates with the Purse.io team and is incubated by them as well.