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Blockchain startup gets $5 million to apply for gTLDs

Kevin Murphy, September 5, 2023, 19:58:13 (UTC), Domain Registries

A company backed by some familiar industry names has raised $5 million in seed funding to apply to ICANN for new gTLDs and, it says, bridge the gap between the traditional DNS and blockchain alternate roots.

Las Vegas-based D3 Global is being led by Fred Hsu, one of the founders of aftermarket pioneer Among its listed founders are Paul Stahura, one of the triumvirate that launched Donuts, now Identity Digital, to apply for hundreds of gTLDs in 2012.

Also listed as founders are Shayan Rostam, who’s currently building Internet Naming Co into a prominent new gTLD portfolio player, former Network Solutions engineer Shay Chinn and investment banker Michael Ho.

These are people with domain industry experience going back in some cases to the 1990s and track records of building successful disrupters, so it’s worth paying attention no matter what you think of blockchain stuff.

D3 says it plans to apply to ICANN for traditional TLDs but will also introduce interoperability with blockchain-based “Web3” naming systems.

Hsu said in a press release: “We are committed to driving forward the convergence of the traditional DNS system and Web3 to make domain names more versatile, secure, and universally accessible.”

It also talks of introducing a marketplace that combines traditional DNS names with blockchain to “significantly reduce the friction traditionally seen in domain name transactions, such as low transparency, high broker fees, transfer delays, and escrow services.”

The funding round was led by Shima Capital with participation from Lightshift, Dispersion Capital, VentureSouq, Infinite Capital, MZ Web3 Fund, Kestrel0x1, Nonagon, CĀ² Ventures, Arthur Hayes’ Maelstrom, Stahura himself.

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Comments (3)

  1. Irfan Habib says:

    Daps are coming ahead. It will be overload and outperform traditional domaining / internet.

  2. Matthias Pfeifer says:

    Thats a lot of money which will break out some another stones out of Fort ICANN’s wall.

    But I would guess they waste their money..

  3. Anthony Mitchell says:

    Any Web 2.0 gTLD these gentlemen come home with will likely have more features bundled into it than the existing crop of display domains. This could encourage other registries to follow suit.

    Before reaching escape velocity, they’ll likely need to go out for another round or two of capital. Their Series A is modest enough to enable them to show increased valuations in each successive round.

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