Namecheap CEO Plans to Sell .wallet Handshake Domains Again

The battle over blockchain-based domain names heats up as Namecheap steps back into the arena

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  • Namecheap’s CEO announces the return of .wallet Handshake domains for sale.
  • Legal battles continue between different blockchain naming systems.
  • Handshake is a decentralized system used for crypto wallets and web browsing in some cases.
  • There are concerns about “name collisions” due to the technology’s decentralized nature.
  • The issue raises questions about future conflicts with traditional DNS top-level domains.

The world of online domain names is getting more complex, especially with the rise of blockchain technology.

Richard Kirkendall, CEO of Namecheap, has recently announced plans to start selling .wallet domains using the Handshake protocol again.

This move signals not just a new product offering but also reignites debates and legal battles over who has the right to sell certain types of domain names.

A Tug-of-War Over Domain Names

Handshake represents a newer way of managing and owning domain names on the internet.

Unlike traditional methods that rely on centralized organizations like ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), Handshake uses blockchain technology to distribute control.

This approach allows users more freedom in how they use these domains—for example, as addresses for cryptocurrency wallets or even as URLs in some specialized web browsers.

However, this freedom comes with its own set of challenges.

Last year, Gateway Registry started selling .wallet domains through Handshake but faced legal action from Unstoppable Domains—a competitor that also sells a version of .wallet domains.

Although Unstoppable Domains initially sued Gateway Registry leading them to stop sales temporarily, they eventually dropped their lawsuit when sales were halted.

Despite this pause in sales, Scott Florsck—who owns rights to sell these specific kinds of domain names—has continued his fight against claims made by Unstoppable Domains.

With financial backing from Namecheap, he seeks a court ruling confirming that his sale of .wallet Handshake domains doesn’t infringe on any trademarks held by Unstoppable Domains.

What Does This Mean For Internet Users?

This ongoing dispute highlights an important issue within both blockchain communities and traditional internet governance structures: name collisions.

Because anyone can create a version of any name within many decentralized systems like Handshake without oversight from central authorities like ICANN, there could be multiple owners claiming rights to similar or identical domain names across different platforms.

As ICANN prepares for another round of releasing top-level domain (TLD) names—the last part after the dot in website addresses—concerns grow about potential conflicts between these new TLDs and existing ones sold through blockchain technologies.

While efforts by blockchain entities to preemptively secure rights might not succeed fully against established processes like those managed by ICANN, they certainly introduce uncertainty into what was already a complicated process.

In essence, while advancements like those proposed by Kirkendall promise innovation and broader accessibilities within digital spaces—they also bring forth significant challenges regarding ownership rights and technical compatibility issues that will need careful navigation moving forward.


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