There are many words used to describe Web3, the latest iteration of the World Wide Web: decentralized, verifiable, trustless, permissionless. Now, you can add "human" to the list…specifically ".hmn".
On Tuesday, Butterfly Protocol, a decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, and Cortex Application announced that they're launching new .hmn top-level domains (TLDs) on the Polygon protocol -- free to the public -- making Web3 available to everyone. Butterfly Protocol will be giving away the .hmn domains indefinitely and can be claimed on its website.
According to Cortex App's press release, the .hmn domains are full NFT domains that cross-chain with lifetime ownership, intended to be given away to any person who wants one. The .hmn domains resolve across Ethereum, Polygon, and the current web (or legacy DNS) using name.hmn.link. The .hmn domain also bridges to other crypto projects such as the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), with name.hmn.eth. ENS is an open, public, decentralized identity protocol that runs on the Ethereum blockchain.
In the spirit of Web3 as a decentralized form of the internet, not controlled by a centralized cabal of corporate players, the .hmn domains never expire and don't require renewal fees, enabling the user to truly own their domain, unlike other TLD offerings. What's more, the .hmn domains allow for a single identity that works with next-generation projects such as the newly-launched Cortex App, alongside existing browsers and crypto wallets, Cortex said.
Also: What is Web3? Everything you need to know about the decentralized future of the internet
As metaverses start popping up and coalescing in the digital universe, domain NFTs are needed because they represent a user's Web3 identity and online "home." To improve user experience, the .hmn domains are free of charge and last forever, according to Cortex. "All of your activity, from published content to collaborative documents, will be tied to it, and that opens the door to making efficient use of decentralized, person-centric data," said Leonard Kish, CEO and co-founder of the Cortex app. "A domain is an identity, but also an address for your digital home on Web3. We can now provide all that at near-zero cost," he said in the announcement.
Cortex said that its app is being constructed with domains as a core component and gateway to a crypto-enabled, human-centric data infrastructure and will allow users to build on a complete Web3 stack where wallet addresses and URLs are synonymous. So, each page will have a human-readable crypto address, just like current URLs, but can also store tokens belonging to the person who owns it. "While regular DNS points to a server, a .hmn domain points to a human. So we need these to reach across protocols, just like humans do," said Cortex chief technology officer and co-founder Josh Robinson.