In an attempt to come up with a viable solution to counter phishing attacks against customers of financial services and platforms, a new domain extension has been created. Financial institutions across Europe and the US are looking to secure their .bank top-level domain. Whether or not this solution will be a successful one, remains to be seen. Perhaps we will see a .bitcoin domain name in the future as well?
The .bank Top-Level Domain Name
Rather than stepping up overall platform security, financial institutions are looking for alternative solutions to keep customers safe from harm. Over 300 European banks and other institutions have registered an application to obtain their own .bank top-level domain name, rather than to rely on .com or .net domain extensions.
Additionally, over 4,000 .bank domain name applications have been registered in the United States as well. The main goal of using this exclusive .bank domain name is to prevent phishing websites from being mistaken as the real deal. Such an attempt to steal user information can be quite successful, despite consumers being warned about banks never asking for personal information via email or through a website.
Obtaining a .bank domain name is not easy, as there is a rigorous process involved. Doing so would prevent just about anyone from applying for this domain extension, as it is only intended for banks, insurance companies, and respectable trade associations. Furthermore, this initiative is made possible thanks to the fTLD Registry Services, a private company founded and endorsed by various major financial players.
During the application process, institutions will have to go through over 30 enhanced security requirements, all of which are specifically designed to create a trusted, verified, and more secure location for online banking business. Considering the one-time fee for a .bank domain name is US$1,500; it is clearly designed for traditional financial institutions only.
CentralNic CEO Ben Crawford stated:
“The internet, in its existing shape, is at the root of the problem. Restructuring the aspects that allow cybercrime in banking is a priority and tackling the domain element will significantly reduce the chances of online intellectual property theft. Now, quite simply, the only way to own a .bank address is to be a bank.”
Bitcoin Doesn’t Need Fancy Domain Names
While phishing attempts are common in the traditional financial world, they seem to be far less effective where Bitcoin and digital currency are concerned. This can be attributed to the fact that the average Bitcoin user is far more tech-savvy and less likely to fall for a phishing attempt. Additionally, there is no way to recover stolen Bitcoin funds, making people far more cautious when they receive a suspicious email.
A .bitcoin or .btc domain name could be introduced at a later stage, although it remains to be seen whether or not Bitcoin companies will decide to register such a premium top level domain. Bitcoin companies have stepped up their security game from a consumer point of view quite some time ago, and fancy domain names are not a proper solution.
Note from the Author: The .bit domain name already exists, but it is far from popular so far.
Source: Tweakers (Dutch)