Talking about the Butterfly Protocol and its past, present and future and summarizing this revolutionary project for the 21st century Internet.
How many times have you obtained a domain and how many times did you actually like your name?
There are not that many probably.
The Butterfly Protocol is one project that may solve this issue. The Butterfly Protocol is a naming and DNS system for decentralized ownership of digital assets. The platform leverages standardized tokens to enable integration with existing marketplaces and exchanges.
We sat down with Matthew Dickson, CEO and Founder of Butterfly Protocol, to shortly sum up some of the most pressing questions about the project and its vision and future plans.
How did you come up with the idea of Butterfly Protocol?
We had trouble with domains being taken down with our business.
We started witnessing people being de-platformed on Twitter and websites being shut down by several different governments.
And then with Microsoft acquiring GitHub it was a strong reminder how bigger companies are taking over popular internet services and how easy it is to suddenly become beholden to these large companies.
Butterfly Protocol is quite an unique name for a Blockchain project. How was the name born?
We originally called the project DwNS which stood for decentralized web name system. We decided to brand it using a more approachable name to the everyday person. Butterfly came from butterfly effect, which means a small action can create huge effect. The name also references a social butterfly since the platform is about connecting with people and sharing your thoughts.
You have an outstanding team of professionals behind the project, how you pitched those professionals to join? (A/N For more information, visit the team page on the Butterfly website)
The company was founded about 5 years ago in Denver when i saw the potential for blockchain tech in the gaming space. Then I started to build a local Denver team when Josh Robinson, Chief Architect and Founder, joined and began building decentralized and peer to peer solutions. Cortland Langworthy
Chief Creative Officer and Founder, Justin Laue Chief Engineer and Founder, and Alex Shore, Chief Technical Officer and Founder, joined shortly thereafter. The team has expertise in public blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as private chains such as MultiChain.
How can you explain Butterfly Protocol to a person that is not so much tech savvy?
The Butterfly Protocol is a game-changer for the current domain naming situation where you actually only rent your business domain name. The idea is to offer a decentralized solution built on Blockchain, that will offer a whole ecosystem of features and benefits such as true ownership, flexible naming and a marketplace for auctioning domain names. With the Butterfly Protocol you can own your Internet identity forever and even customize it with emojis and Asian characters.
Its important to persuade the developers’ community that Butterfly Protocol is a very different project from the existing endeavors on the market – how would you do that?
The majority of other projects require annual renewals of domain names and and they are still very limited to what top level domains (TLD) can be used. In fact most are scoped to just a single TLD, which could be broken by ICANN if that TLD were to be sponsored by a large company. For example Google recently did this with .dev. The Butterfly Protocol also has many other differences with competitors such as how the it stores data and allows the community to creates TLDs. This is not everything, according to Josh Robinson, Chief Architect and Founder:
Unlike other blockchain based naming systems the eventual goal of the Butterfly Protocol is to replace the legacy system. In a url the http:// part denotes what protocol is being used. We will be following that format in clients we build. We do have gateways on the roadmap that will allow Butterfly Protocol domains to be accessed through existing DNS systems. These gateways will live at existing domains such as bpro.to but will be open source allowing anyone to host it on any legacy domain.
How will TLDs be selected and made available on the Butterfly Protocol? ICANN currently charges $185k to evaluate a new TLD. For the Butterfly Protocol we want the community to be able to decide what TLDs they want. To that end we will be releasing, via IEO, a utility token that is used to sponsor a new TLD. It will initially cost 10 000 of the utility tokens to sponsor a domain, with that cost going down every block until it reaches a minimum of 1 token after about 3 years.
Once a domain is sponsored, a batch of ERC20 tokens is created for use in buying subdomains for that specific TLD. These tokens are split between community with the sponsor getting 5%, holders of the Butterfly Protocol utility token getting 15% airdropped based on their ownership, and the final 80% made available through a public auction.
Does the Butterfly Protocol prevent “domain squatters”?
Not exactly, and we don’t want to. Although, we do have a couple of features that make squatting on a high value domain more difficult. The ability to buy a domain for a low price and selling it for more than you paid is a good thing. It creates an open market where the value of a name is determined by free trade. We also make it easy for domain owners to create and sell subdomains, create ERC20 tokens tied to a domain, and provide many other ways for a creative domain owner to turn a profit besides squatting.
One reason it is a problem on legacy DNS is that all legacy domains under a TLD cost a fairly consistent low price from the start. This is partly because it needs to be low since people pay the fee every year. But it allows someone to swoop in and buy up a bunch of names. With the Butterfly Protocol after the tokens used to create a domain for a specific TLD are distributed, the cost in those tokens starts fairly high at a thousand tokens and slowly goes down over time. This makes it costly for a squatter to just buy all domains under a TLD.
How would you manage if Forbes, for example, comes to you and wants to have its name on the Butterfly Protocol? Are you going to give an option for some well – established brands to obtain their names?
They can purchase Butterfly Tokens and spend those tokens to sponsor a TLD, like everyone else. We may use one of our reserved TLDs for the purpose of providing brand names to companies that have verified that they are the rightful owners.
Can you give us a real life example of the Butterfly Protocol usage?
The Butterfly mobile app, which will let users create and view their favorite content on the go on the Butterfly platform.
Cases like Github being censored by Microsoft and even when over 79% of all computers worldwide have access to Microsoft, developers from Iran, Crimea and Syria are blocked. When another solution similar to GitHub emerged, Gitlab, they still use Microsoft Azure’s hosting framework. There is a possibility for Microsoft to block services from Azure.
How are you going to manage sensible content. No censorship, but at what price?
We won’t pin any illegal content within the Butterfly Protocol IPFS based storage.
You can say anything you want but you are responsible for it. The content on Blockchain is pseudo-anonymous and traceable, and we will provide any information that we are subpoenaed for. With blockchain there is a record of what you have done forever, and it therefore is not a good place at all for people to store illegal content.
Another example of how people’s actions will be traceable is with the Butterfly mobile app, where each user is required to verify its phone number.
We are waiting with anticipation for what the near future has in store for the Butterfly Protocol and how a small step can change the Internet we know today completely.
Visit the Butterfly Protocol website and check out their Whitepaper.