EnCirca’s Altroots DotBrand Service Helps Brands Search and Secure Decentralized Web and Metaverse Domains
BOSTON, MA – EnCirca (EnCirca.com), a 20-year ICANN-accredited domain name registrar, today introduced Altroots, the industry’s first Web3 search bar and domain registration service. Altroots enables brand trademark owners to secure their own Web3 internet address in preparation for participating in e-commerce in the decentralized web and metaverses.
World-renowned brands across a variety of industries, including McDonalds, Microsoft, Chase Bank, YouTube, and Epic Games are flocking to the decentralized web and private metaverses to establish their presence. Rather than rehashing the mistakes of Web2 (the internet), now is the time for brands to establish themselves, protect, and prepare for Web3.
While alternate roots like .eth, .crypto and .nft, have emerged, these second-level domain extensions can cause potential confusion for consumers seeking to interact with the brands they know and love on the decentralized web.
Brand Future-Proofing on Web3
Savvy influencers, creators, and organizations of all sizes are showing that they “get it” while future-proofing their brand on Web3 as a stand-alone top-level domain (TLD) that is portable across multiple blockchains and metaverses. For example, Amazon has already claimed ‘.amazon’ and ‘.aws’ rather than using “amazon.eth,” or “amazon.nft,” etc.
Encirca’s Altroots provides an industry-first ability for trademark owners to search dotBrand TLDs on the decentralized web and securely register their own.
“Altroots is designed to help trademark owners secure and protect their dotBrand TLD on the decentralized web,” says Tom Barrett, President of EnCirca. “Our search engine of over 4 million existing Web3 domain extensions can also be used to spot trademark variants that could indicate trademark infringement.”
Web2 vs Web3 Domain Names
Web2 has 1,500 TLDs regulated by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit organization that was established in 1998 to help maintain the security of the Internet. Any time you register a domain on the Internet, you agree to legal terms dictated by ICANN policies as part of the domain registration process. ICANN policies and laws provide trademark owners with multiple methods for shutting down trademark infringement. ICANN also manages the approval process for new extensions, such as .facebook, which requires a hefty application fee.
Brand owners executing blockchain strategies–ranging from decentralized finance to supply chain tracking, NFT’s, and metaverses–would traditionally have applied for their dotBrand TLD via ICANN. However, ICANN is not planning to accept any new dotBrand applications for several years.
Uncertain Environment Requires Proactivity
In the meantime, blockchain developers have introduced their own Web3 TLDs. The cost of the Web3 TLDs is closer to the cost of a second-level Web2 .com domain. There are already over 4 million Web3 TLDs, including .eth and .crypto, which respectively have about 1 million second-level domains each. Unlike Web2 domains, Web3 domains inherit the blockchain features of being anonymous and immutable.
Since there are no ICANN policies or laws for protecting trademark rights on the blockchain, companies have no recourse if their trademark is taken on Web3.
“The proliferation of NFT top-level domain names presents both an opportunity and a threat for trademark owners,” says Barrett. “For any trademark owner planning to offer blockchain services, or even a presence in a metaverse, now is the time to secure their TLD on the decentralized web.”
Web3 domain names are a type of non-fungible token (NFT) that operates in blockchains, metaverses, and the decentralized web. They are used for digital wallets, digital identities, website hosting, email, and metaverse storefronts. They can be top-level, such as .brand, or second-level, such as brand.com.
The services offered by EnCirca include:
Acquisition of corporate dotBrand NFT domains in blockchain namespaces
Activation and integration of the NFT corporate domains
Backup custodian of the dotBrand NFT domains
EnCirca is an ICANN-accredited domain name registrar founded by Tom Barrett in 2001. EnCirca provides trademark protection, domain portfolio management, cybersecurity, DNS and website hosting, and other domain services. EnCirca is distinguished by specializing in restricted registry operators such as .BANK, .REALTOR, .PHARMACY, and .CPA. EnCirca is active in the blockchain Web3 domain space, helping trademark owners acquire their brands on various decentralized namespaces, including the Ethereum Naming Service, the Handshake Protocol and others. Barrett is also the Chair of the Blockchain Subcommittee for the International Trademark Association. He previously led the development of the industry-leading SAEGIS trademark research platform for Thomson-CompuMark.