How To Buy a Handshake Domain: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Handshake Domains | Benefits | Drawbacks | How To Buy | Supported Browsers

In this step-by-step guide, I am going to show you how to buy a handshake domain. The process is not as simple as going to a name registrar and buying a new domain. Is a bit more complex process.

Also, at least a the moment, a Handshake domain is not suitable for everyone – in my opinion.

If you like to experiment and dive first into new technologies, then go for ii. On the other hand, if you are looking to start a new website, you should wait a little bit and take the “traditional” route.

  • Handshake domains operate on a decentralized blockchain network.
  • They offer benefits like decentralization, security, and lower fees.
  • Handshake domains require HNS tokens and auction participation.
  • Limited adoption and compatibility issues are current drawbacks.

What are handshake domains?

Handshake domains are a type of domain names that operate on a decentralized blockchain network (the Handshake blockchain network) providing a more secure and censorship-free Internet infrastructure.

What’s the blockchain network handshake domains operate on?

Unlike traditional domain name systems that are controlled by centralized organizations, Handshake domains are registered on a blockchain network, which allows for greater freedom and control over domain extensions.

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) being the primary authority responsible for managing domain names and mapping them to IP addresses. ICANN oversees the Domain Name System (DNS), which is a hierarchical structure that facilitates the translation of human-readable domain names into IP addresses.

Handshake domains are obtained through auctions, using a Vickrey auction system where bidders are unable to see the value of other bids placed on the domain.

The winner pays the second-highest bid amount, which can incentivize users to place higher bids.

According to the Handshake protocol’s website, it was created to provide a more secure and censorship-free Internet infrastructure.

It uses a hybrid proof-of-work and proof-of-stake system to secure the network and prevent fraudulent activity.

When a user registers a Handshake domain, they receive a unique blockchain asset called an HNS coin, which represents ownership of the domain name and can be transferred or sold like any other cryptocurrency.

The handshake network also includes a decentralized name server system called HNS, that maps domain names to IP addresses, maintained by a network of nodes that work together to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the name server system.

Handshake domains have several potential applications, including censorship-resistant websites, decentralized e-commerce platforms, and content monetization platforms.

They offer advantages such as decentralization, security and lower fees compared to traditional domain name systems.

However, they also have some disadvantages, such as limited awareness and adoption, complexity, and compatibility issues with certain browsers and internet service providers.

To register a Handshake domain, users can participate in auctions using HNS or use domain registrar services like Namebase and Namecheap.

Once a domain is successfully registered, it can be associated with website hosting, email services, or any other online services, similar to traditional domain names.

Handshake domains are decentralized domain names on a blockchain network, offering secure and censorship-resistant Internet infrastructure. Users can acquire these domains through unique auctions, ensuring ownership with HNS coins and enabling various online services like websites and email hosting.

😀 What are the benefits of handshake domains?

Handshake domains offer several benefits over traditional domain names:

  1. Decentralization: Handshake domains are not controlled by any centralized organization or government, making them more resistant to censorship and providing users with greater control over their online presence.
  2. Security: Handshake domains are built on blockchain technology, which provides a high degree of security and resistance to hacking or cyber attacks, making them a safer option for users who value security and privacy. On top of that Handshake domains create a trustless system that does not rely on Certificate Authorities, minimizing the risk of bad actors creating redirects, phishing attacks, and spying on your traffic.
  3. Lower fees: Handshake domains eliminate the need for intermediaries such as domain registrars or ICANN, significantly reducing the cost of domain names, making it easier and more affordable for users to create and manage websites.
  4. Enhanced privacy and security: Handshake domains offer secure registration that is resistant to censorship and less prone to domain hijacking attacks. Moreover, WHOIS lookups, which can reveal owner information, are not available with Handshake domains, providing a level of privacy.
  5. Greater flexibility with TLDs: With Handshake, users can register any Top-Level Domain (TLD) they want, providing more choice and creative freedom compared to traditional domain systems.
  6. Unrestricted registrations: Handshake allows anyone to register a domain, contrasting country-specific TLDs that often require specific criteria.
  7. Potential investment opportunity: As decentralized domains become more widely accepted, the value of Handshake domains could potentially rise, making them a valuable long-term investment.

🥴 What are the Drawbacks of a Handshake domain

Although there are many benefits of using a handshake domain, there are several drawbacks as well:

  1. Limited adoption: Handshake domains are not widely adopted yet, which means that there are fewer websites and services that support them, making it more difficult for users to access content on these domains.
  2. Compatibility issues: Handshake domains are not compatible with traditional DNS infrastructure (at least for the moment), which means that users may need to use specialized software or services to access content on these domains.
  3. Complexity: Handshake domains require users to have HNS coins to participate in auctions, which can be a barrier to entry for some users.
  4. Browser support: Most web browsers are not yet compatible with Handshake domains, which means that users may need to use specialized software or services to access content on these domains.
  5. ICANN TLDs: If ICANN releases TLDs that conflict with Handshake’s TLDs, domain usage may become more complicated, as resolvers would need to decide whether to resolve the Handshake TLD or ICANN TLD.
  6. Centralization concerns: ICANN is a large and powerful organization, and it remains to be seen whether it will yield to decentralization. Additionally, the process for domain infrastructure turnover in the direction of decentralization is complicated, which may make switching to HNS a major player once ICANN domain names are phased out (if at all).
  7. Uncertainty: Many questions remain unanswered about the future of Handshake domains, such as whether they will become widely adopted or fade into obscurity.

How to buy a handshake domain?

Having compared the pros vs the cons of handshake domains, let’s see how we can buy one.


Now, the easiest way is through Namecheap. Here’s a step-by-step -tutorial on how to buy one.


The second, more complex method is via Namebase. While I don’t have a step-by-step tutorial as of yet, here’s a generalized walkthrough on how to buy a handshake domain.

  1. Get Handshake Tokens (HNS): Handshake domains are bought using special coins called Handshake tokens (HNS). You can get these directly on Namebase or on MEXC.
  2. Pick a Registrar: In that case, Namebase.
  3. Set Up a Wallet: You need a special wallet to keep your Handshake tokens (HNS). Namebase has you covered here as well.
  4. Find a Domain: Use the registrar’s website to look for available Handshake domains.
  5. Join an Auction: When you find a domain you like, you can bid for it using your Handshake tokens (HNS).
  6. Register Your Domain: If you win the auction, you get to own the domain! Follow the steps given by the registrar to finish the registration. This might involve paying the final amount, giving some details, and connecting your domain to your wallet.
  7. Set Up Your Domain: After registering, you can set up your domain. This could mean linking it to your website, email, or other online services.

Which browsers support handshake domains?

Currently, Opera browser is the only well-known browser supporting Handshake domains natively. For users seeking a balance between security and usability, open-source third-party software like Fingertip by Impervious offers a trustworthy solution for resolving Handshake domains.

Bottom Line

Handshake domains are an interesting new way to own domain names and use the internet.

While they have good advantages like being spread out instead of centralized, being safe, and being cheaper, their small usage and issues working with other things mean they are not a common solution yet.

For those who like to try out new technologies, joining a handshake domain auction could be worthwhile.

However, for starting a new website today, sticking with the normal way of registering domains is the more practical choice until handshake domains get more users and fix their current problems.

As the technology gets better and easier to use, handshake’s spread out model may eventually change the traditional domain name system controlled by big centralized groups like ICANN. But that future is still uncertain for now.


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