The Handshake project aims to create an alternative certificate authority and naming systems that are used for root Domain Name Server (DNS).
Handshake is decentralized and permissionless, typically compared to The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is centralized. As of now, names that are used in top-level domain names such as .com, .net, and social networking usernames are centrally managed by a central authority.
The Handshake Protocol consists of a node that anyone can participate permissionless to be part of a decentralized open naming platform. Handshake Coin (HNS) is the native currency in the protocol that allows the transfer, registration, and update of internet names. The aim of introducing a unit of currency is to counter spam where someone claims and registers all the possible names without any form of control.
Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) developers are allocated the majority of their initial coins. This is done by way of allocating HNS coins to Github users that meets the minimal requirement of open source activity.
An exceptionally talented and experienced team. Founded by Joseph Poon (co-creator of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network and Plasma payment channels), Andrew Lee (CEO of Bitcoin payments gateway Purse), Christopher Jeffery (CTO of Purse and creator of Bitcoin node software Bcoin), Boyma Fahnbulleh (Bcoin developer), and Andrew Lee (Founder of VPN provider Private Internet Access).
This project is billed as an experiment by its team however, the founders have raised $10 million from various high-profile VCs including, a16z, Founders Fund, Polychain Capital, and Draper Associates. These investors combined to purchase 7.5% of the initial supply of HNS, valuing the Handshake network at $136 million. This combined with the exceptionally accomplished project team makes this a project worth serious consideration. If you believe that blockchain is the web of the future, then gaining exposure to a cryptocurrency that is set to benefit from the expected demand for customized domain extensions is a bet worth taking. HNS has a market value of $260 million and a price of $0.70. One of the major downsides of the project is its massive maximum supply of tokens compared to the current supply.