Research into new naming and identification systems on the internet

This project involves the analysis of alternatives to the Domain Name System (DNS), which has been the internet's de facto naming system since 1983. Given its age, it is pertinent to ask how sustainable the DNS is and what the protocol's future is. What is the potential of possible alternatives such as NameCoin? Are any of them viable options? Can they match the robustness of the DNS? What shortcomings of the DNS do they address?


The primary aim of the project is to analyse new, innovative naming and identifier systems identified as possible alternatives to the DNS, and to compare them with the DNS. The second aim is to set up a working prototype of one of the alternative systems for detailed evaluation.

Expected results

The project is expected to yield the following results:

  • An analysis of the DNS and a survey of its existing and/or anticipated shortcomings

  • An analysis of (future) alternative naming and identifier systems and of their advantages and disadvantages

  • A framework for comparing the DNS with alternative systems

  • A working prototype of one of the alternatives (NameCoin) and a detailed evaluation of it

  • A study report


We are looking for a highly motivated MSc student with a passion for internet technology and its evolution. You are energised by investigating exactly how mechanisms and systems work and you are able to devise and evaluate solutions. The ideal candidate is a self-starter with an enquiring mind, capable of developing proofs of concept.


If you are interested in this project, e-mail  explaining why you think you are the right person to carry it out. Questions can be mailed to the same address.

About SIDN Labs

SIDN manages the Dutch national internet domain, .nl. We are an innovative domain name registry with our own DNS anycast network and more DNSSEC-secured domain names than any other top-level domain in the world (2.4 million of the 5.5 million .nl domain names). SIDN Labs is our R&D arm, which develops and evaluates new technologies and systems with a view to further enhancing the stability and security of .nl, the DNS and the wider internet.



Cristian Hesselman

Director SIDN Labs

+31 6 25 07 87 33

I'm responsible for SIDN Labs, SIDN's research team. I oversee our research activities, support the SIDN Labs team and develop new in-house and collaborative projects.

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