How to find the owner of a Handshake domain name

Handshake (HNS) is a decentralized naming protocol billed as an alternative to DNS. Much like with regular DNS, it is pretty hard to find the owner of a particular HNS domain name. In fact, because the native payment method is a cryptocurrency, and theres nothing like whois available for HNS, it is usually much harder. You can try HNS Explorers such as ShakeScan or HNScan, but you're unlikely to find any way to contact the owner there.

Your best bet is to look at the TXT record set on the top level domain you're interested in. People have begun setting these TXT records in the root DNS to link to their contact info, especially those who are squatting on HNS domains to speculate on their value.

To do this, you can either use a Handshake node installed locally on your machine, or query using NextDNS, which supports Handshake. I have a NextDNS account so I'll use that method.

1. Ensure that Handshake is enabled in your NextDNS settings page.

Enable Handshake in NextDNS settings

2. In my NextDNS configuration page, there is a DNS Server IP that I can use. Make sure you click "Link my IP" right below.

NextDNS DNS Server IP addresses 

3. Use the dig command line tool in your terminal. I'm interested in the domain .x1f, so I'll run this command:

> dig @ TXT +short x1f
Querying TXT records of .x1f on Handshake

And there you can see that the owner of x1f on Handshake has set a TXT record to help me find him. If you don't see any output here, that pretty much means you are out of luck.