NEAR Foundation applies for .near top-level domain

If a TLD is obtained, it could help close the gap between Web3 and Web2


NEAR Foundation and Adobe modified by Blockworks


Non-profit organization NEAR Foundation, the team behind the NEAR protocol, will partner with D3 Global, an interoperable domain name company, to apply for a .near top-level domain (TLD) in the upcoming ICANN application window.

A TLD is the highest level in the hierarchy of root-level domains. Some of the most generic TLDs include .com, .net and .org, for example. 

ICANN applicants must meet specific requirements before they are eligible to apply, like having relevant operational, technical and financial capabilities to ensure that the company can successfully operate a TLD. There is a nonrefundable fee that totals up to over $270,000 and an additional accreditation fee of $1,000 per quarter for successful applicants.

Fred Hsu, co-founder and CEO of D3 told Blockworks that the D3 team has decades of experience operating TLDs and navigating the application process. 

“We have an incredibly distinguished staff with deep registry-level expertise, process know-how, and key industry relationships that have allowed us to successfully register and/or manage more than 300 TLDs that were approved in the prior application round. Many of these TLDs have grown to substantial scale today including .xyz, .inc, and more,” Hsu said.

If NEAR Foundation successfully obtains the TLD, it can use a single domain on its website, email and wallet addresses. The TLD can also serve as verification credentials across different platforms, enabling developers to develop dapps that tap into existing internet infrastructure.

Read more: The crypto infrastructure is here, but where are the apps?

“We’re excited to work with D3 to secure the .near top-level domain and extend the power of NEAR accounts across the entire internet. Illia Polosukhin, the co-founder of NEAR Protocol, said in a press release reviewed by Blockworks.

Polosukhin added, “as the functionality of NEAR accounts expands with Chain Abstraction, combining Web3 identity with existing internet infrastructure will help drive mainstream adoption.”

NEAR Foundation is not the first team to have made moves in the domain space in hopes of connecting Web3 and Web2

Most recently, Ethereum Name Service (ENS), an Ethereum domain naming service, teamed up with GoDaddy, a popular domain registrar, to link wallets to web pages.

Read More: ENS partners with GoDaddy to enable users to link wallets to domains

By integrating with one of the largest web hosting providers in the world, users will be able to easily connect their simplified ENS wallet addresses with their Domain Name Systems.

Updated Feb. 8, 2024 at 4:08 pm ET: Updated ICANN applicant fee information.

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