Idea: community owned DNS system on Cardano

I know this has been done a bunch of times before, with Unstoppable Domains being the most popular attempt at a company using the blockchain as a landgrab to usurp ICANN.

I’m thinking of a fairer system owned by everyone that could have first mover advantage on Cardano, and still be compatible with the current DNS infrastructure.

Voting stage

Every N months, there’s a vote for a domain name. N starts at 1 and increases up to some fixed number, say 12.

People submit proposals in the form TLD, Subdomain Count. Giving the text of the top level domain (i.e. .com) and the maximum number of subdomains respectively. Room for sensible / algorithmic minimums and maximums here.

People vote on proposals by sending ADA to the proposal address. Each vote increases the total for the proposal and updates the winning proposal if it’s greater than the current winner.

At the end of voting, users can withdraw their ADA from losing proposals. They can burn ADA in the winning proposal and get a share of registration credit for that TLD.

Domain registration

You can spend 1 domain token to register a subdomain of that TLD. This gives you an NFT that you can change the IPNS record of.

You can destroy a domain NFT for 1 domain credit.

Integrating with existing systems

  • Browser plugins that does DNS first then this system.
  • bind integration
  • Public DNS server and DNS over HTTPS gateway, that also resolves and is linked in the existing system.
  • An RFC for a nameserver that’s an IPNS file reference.


We get a transition path to decentralised DNS that isn’t owned by anyone. People choose which TLDs they want, how scarce domains should be and how much they want to pay. Creating them permanently burns ADA, locking in value. There’s no renewals or ongoing costs, they’re paid for by network fees.