Donuts, the largest operator of new domain name extensions, announced today an investment in Netki, a digital identity startup dedicated to democratizing digital currency. Netki uses the domain name system (DNS) to make usable typically complex numbering mechanisms needed to exchange digital currency.
Donuts, which claims to be one of the most profitable and fastest-growing companies in the domain name industry says that partnering with Netki further advances its strategy to invest in emerging technologies that have the potential to dramatically expand the addressable market for domain names.
This news comes on the heels of Donuts’ investment last month in GeoFrenzy, a company that has developed an infrastructure for defining and managing smart geofences. Both investments originated from Donuts Labs, an in-house unit that leverages Donuts’ capital and registry expertise to invest in emerging technologies that promote new uses for domain names, utilize the DNS, and otherwise complement Donuts’ interests.
Blockchain Technology and the DNS
As a distributed database, the blockchain maintains a continuously growing list of data records. Blockchain-based applications, such as bitcoin wallets, utilize complicated, 32-character alphanumeric wallet addresses; Netki’s Wallet Name Service makes blockchain applications user-friendlier by generating easy to remember “wallet names.” Netki leverages “secure DNS” (known formally as domain name system security extensions, or DNSSEC) to map wallet names to blockchain-based public addresses. End-users can then safely share their wallet names in a way that improves security and privacy when compared to current practices.
Donuts co-founder and CEO Paul Stahura commented:
Netki is addressing an unmet market need in the rapidly growing blockchain space. Their use of the DNS to simplify the sharing of wallet addresses by creating wallet names is novel and is an idea that will make this technology more secure, adaptable, and user-friendly.