As of October 2022, there are 219,400 .SOL domains created
An Introduction to .sol
A .SOL is run by the Solana Naming Service (SNS) and these domains can be used to simplify transferring of funds, developing projects, and more. Wallets like Phantom and Sollet.io support .SOL domains already, more wallet apps will undoubtfully follow. So instead of sending funds to a long wallet address you can simply use a .SOL domain that points to a wallet address.
SNS has a simple mission of providing a decentralized and yet affordable way to map domain names (represented as .sol) to on-chain data. Where on-chain data can be anything from a Solana (SOL) address to IPFS CID, images, text, and more.
One of the clear benefits of the name service is a human-readable name that maps to a SOL address. Essentially, creating an identity for users in the metaverse.
How does .sol work
The mechanics of purchasing a .sol domain are a bit different than ENS — they don’t expire and most domain sales are run via auction. You can also pick up some for a fixed price either in FIDA (purchasable through Coinbase) or USDC. You will also need to connect a Solana Wallet (e.g. Phantom).
Ownership of a .sol domain name
It’s work mentioning that because it’s a smart contract that can be edited. You don’t own the domain, to the opposite of an NFT it’s “just” an account on Solana. The actual owner is the Name Service Program.
Storage on the Solana blockchain
While registering your .SOL domain, you have to choose the maximum storage size, that you’d like to attach to it. Basically you get storage on the blockchain, for saving text, images or alike. It’s just bytes in the blockchain. Not sure how much space your need? For most cases 1 kB will just be fine. But please note: the storage size you select here is fixed. It will not be possible to increase it later.
.SOL Twitter Handle Registration
SNS is a primitive of Solana that allows the mapping of names to a Solana account. This permits many things including associating your Twitter handle to your Solana address.
.SOL Brand Protection for owners
Like with .ETH there are no protection mechanisms for brand owners. The SNS runs on a first come first served basis, irrespective of domain name registrations infringing on major brands intellectual property. The best defensive options are as follows:
Defensive Registrations: The first step is to register your brand and products in the major blockchain projects. In some cases, you will find that your brand is reserved and can be claimed for free. If your brand is not reserved and available, we recommend registering it as soon as possible to prevent 3rd parties from squatting on it.
No Dispute Mechanism: The growing popularity of blockchain domains has seen a landrush of people registering their stake(s) in the new internet. Unlike traditional domains, there is no dispute mechanism such as the UDRP. The owner of a blockchain domain name is not likely to publicise its identity. Therefore, it is often impossible to ascertain their identity. This presents challenges in determining the proper party, jurisdiction, and venue with respect to anti-cybersquatting, infringement, or other legal claims.
Buying on OpenSea: We are seeing many branded domain names for sale on NFT marketplaces, especially OpenSea. Brandsec can negotiate on our client’s behalf to acquire domain names for a fee for service, which includes defining a budget, communication strategy and purchase management.
Dispute Notice to Marketplaces: Trademark owners cal also send takedown notices to the marketplaces selling infringing .eth domains. OpenSea, Rarible, and Nifty Gateway all have procedures in place (with varying degrees of effectiveness) to deal with intellectual property violations. Once a takedown notice is sent to OpenSea, for example, OpenSea will notify the owner of the domain that the listing has been removed due to a takedown request (meaning it’s no longer for sale to the public). The notice will allow the owner to contact the brand holder, which might spawn more reasonable negotiations since the domain has been delisted. This approach could result in a more permanent remedy.