What: Understanding Blockchain Domain Names
When: July 24, 2019 @ 2 PM EST & July 31, 2019 @ 2PM EST
You might not understand how crypto-currencies or blockchain wallets work, but Facebook’s announcement of their crypto-currency, Libra, is a clear signal that these new technologies will soon become ubiquitous. Facebook’s introduction of its own crypto-currency to its 2 billion users means mass adoption of crypto-currencies and digital wallets are on the horizon.
This has implications that trademark owners need to be aware of.
One example is blockchain digital wallets for sending and receiving payments. These are represented as long unreadable strings such as: “1FloatSFTRjhEeobR5637HET76bprJK23T”.
These blockchain wallet identifiers are cumbersome to share. What is needed are human-friendly readable names. Essentially, blockchain wallets need domain names.
Blockchain domain names are not regulated like .COM or .ORG domain names. So, the traditional trademark protection mechanisms to prevent cyber-squatting of brand names are nonexistent. Thus, brand owners are advised to defensively protect their trademarks in the .ETH top-level domain as soon as possible.
We’ve identified over a dozen active blockchain domain extensions, including: .BIT, .COIN, .EMC, .ETH and .ZIL. With these blockchain domain names, sending and receiving crypto-currencies are now as easy as sharing a human-readable wallet such as Shoes.ETH or News.ZIL instead of a long unreadable string. To the end-user, these URLs are as easy to enter into the browser as EnCirca.COM.
Blockchain domain extensions will likely proliferate as more and more companies unveil their blockchain wallets and currencies. Clearly, trademark enforcement for blockchain domains is going to be much harder compared to ICANN regulated domains.