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ICANN puts blockchain on the agenda for good

Kevin Murphy, June 23, 2022, 15:57:44 (UTC), Domain Tech

ICANN’s board of directors is apparently worried about the rise of blockchain-based alt-roots.

Its Board Technical Committee voted in May to make blockchain a permanent agenda item going forward, according to just-published minutes.

“After discussion, the Committee decided to have a standing topic on the agenda to address Blockchain Names,” the minutes read.

The minutes don’t record the content of the discussion, but the alt-root topic has been addressed at every one of the committee’s meetings since last July and resulted in the CTO’s office putting together a briefing paper I blogged about last month.

Blockchain alt-roots include the likes of ENS, Handshake and Unstoppable. They are likely to present legal challenges and interoperability problems when ICANN finally opens up the next round of new gTLDs in a couple years.

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Comments (3)

  1. tom barrett says:

    This is a positive step, in my opinion.

    Blockchain domains are not going away.

    ICANN is unlikely to regulate them. But collisions are inevitable. However, the scope of NCAP doesn’t cover them (yet).


    • Rubens Kuhl says:

      The problem is not blockchain, the problem is alt roots that happen to be distributed via blockchain.

      If what you say holds up, that those alt roots are not going away, that would be most unfortunate since this is pure and simple fragmentation. And that decreases the value of the net for all its global users, not only for those holding identifiers (either ICANN root or alt-roots)

  2. Jared Arms says:

    What security measures will Unstoppable Domains, provide for criminals using their Blockchain Domains to create decentralize sites containing Child Abuse & Animal Torture?

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