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Draper-backed Unstoppable Domains is giving away $250,000 in grants

Nicholas Marinoff


Imagine creating a website that you controlled entirely, could never be shut down by a third party, and also served as your personal cryptocurrency wallet address.

That’s what the San Francisco-based, blockchain startup Unstoppable Domains is trying to build, and it’s putting up a significant chunk of change to do it.

The Tim Draper-backed company, which aims to build "uncensorable websites" for both individuals and businesses on the Zilliqa blockchain, recently unveiled the second wave of recipients for its $250,000 Blockchain Domain Grant Program. The grants aim to fund digital wallet companies who agree to integrate the firm’s .zil domains into their infrastructure.

The latest recipients of the grant money include Coinomi, a multi-asset wallet platform; CoinRequest, a digital wallet that aims to simplify daily cryptocurrency transactions, and Viewblock, a blockchain domain explorer. Each company will receive part of a $250,000 pool of funds to support their development teams and integrate Unstoppable Domains’ Zilliqa-based products.

Unstoppable Domains raises $4 million to make “uncensorable websites” a reality

The Blockchain Domain Grant Program, which began in late July, operates through a community voting system. Unstoppable Domains’ users vote publicly to select which applicants should receive funds. From there, the firm’s executives tally up the votes and announce the winners. Members taking part can vote for as many as 10 applicants at a time.

Unstoppable Domains launched in late 2018 with financial help from organizations like Boost VC, Draper Associates and the Ethereum Foundation. Its mission is to replace complicated BTC and cryptocurrency addresses—typically comprised of several letters and numbers—with easier, “human readable” addresses, not unlike the goals of the Ethereum Name Service. 

Typically, users seeking payment to their cryptocurrency accounts are often required to copy their wallet addresses and forward them to the sending party. If a single letter or number is off, or not included in the message, the funds being sent can be lost permanently or sent to an incorrect address.

The company’s primary goal is creating .zil domains. Addresses are simplified into a word or phrase of a user’s choosing (i.e. their first and last name) followed by .zil. A user can then send crypto funds to that address without worrying about the money being lost or stolen.

Brad Kam—co-founder and head of business for Unstoppable Domains—told Decrypt that one of the primary benefits of having a .zil domain is that a user can attach all their crypto wallets to the address, thereby directing all future payments to a single source and easing the transaction process.

The .zil domain “is cryptocurrency agnostic, so users can connect any cryptocurrency address to their domain,” he said. “Blockchain domains provide a system that can easily work across any crypto application. The more wallets that support blockchain domains, the more currencies that can be sent to a single domain.” 

In addition, .zil domains provide companies with unique, blockchain-based websites that cannot be compromised or seized by third parties. Purchasing a domain from a company like GoDaddy or HostGator means that, in certain cases, your domain can be taken back by the selling party.

At the moment, more than 90,000 individuals and businesses have pre-ordered .zil domains, many of which went live over the weekend, according to Kam.

“Blockchain domains benefit parties by providing owners with full control over their assets,” Kam said. “Your keys, your domain.”