ENS sues GoDaddy and Manifold Finance over sale of eth.link

Domain sold to Manifold Finance for $852,000

Ethereum Name Service (ENS) has filed a lawsuit against GoDaddy, the publicly traded internet registrar and host, for selling a key domain name that is an integral part of its service.

September 5 complaint alleges that GoDaddy illegally sold the domain eth.link while the domain was still registered with GoDaddy until July 26, 2023. It states that GoDaddy “unilaterally” determined that the domain had expired after it was not renewed in July and that eth.link would become available for sale on September 5, 2022 if its holder took no action.

ENS domains are NFTs that allow registrants to connect an “.eth” domain name to cryptocurrency wallet addresses. This makes it easier for users to request payments from a simple “.eth” address that can be easily read by humans, rather than sharing a 64-character alphanumeric code.

The complaint describes the eth.link domain as “a gateway between the traditional DNS namespace and the ENS system.” Users with ENS names were able to host content accessible to anyone with a web browser using the .link suffix. An example would be vitalik.eth.link.

Sold for $852,000

GoDaddy sold the domain to Dynadot LLC, another registrar, on September 3. Dynadot, in turn, auctioned off the domain to Manifold Finance, a project offering middleware-based scaling solutions for DeFi protocols, for the hefty price of $852,000 on September 3. Multiple funding confirmed same day sale.

“In doing so, GoDaddy deprived plaintiff True Names Ltd. of his livelihood,” the complaint alleges. “The sale will disable a valuable cryptocurrency network and recklessly risk making it accessible to dozens of malicious actors.”

The eth.link domain was first registered in 2018 by Virgil Griffiths, an Ethereum developer and former ENS employee. In April, Griffith was sentenced to 63 months in prison for giving a speech on blockchain technology at a crypto conference held in North Korea in 2019.

While Griffith was unable to renew the domain name from jail, the complaint states that GoDaddy’s terms of service allow ENS to re-register the domain in its name, but GoDaddy “refuses[ed] to respond to multiple requests from representatives [of Griffith]” from August 25th.

In August, Nick Johnson, lead developer of ENS, job on the project’s governance forum that EasyDNS had secured the domain on Griffith’s behalf. However, on August 30, the forumer Leter Noted that eth.link’s nameservers have been changed. Community member ethername Point an auction for the domain on Dynadot the next day.

ENS then began using the eth.limo URL as a gateway for ENS names on September 2. ENS filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.

The collector responds

On Twitter, Manifold Finance job “Auction bids are a speech, we only want the best for Ethereum” in response to the lawsuit.

Manifold Finance added that it will soon post a proposal on the ENS forums, suggesting that it might be interested in bringing the domain back for a price.

The ENS service is similar to the Internet Domain Name System, which allows users to access websites through simple domain names instead of entering the specific IP address of each website they wish to visit. ENS domains are powered by decentralized smart contracts, which means they offer greater censorship resistance and privacy than Internet DNS domains.

According Dune analysisENS has created over 2.2 million names to date, with nearly 391,000 names currently registered by users.

Finance management

In other ENS news, Johnson has published a governance proposal expressing the project’s intention to hire a fund manager to oversee its treasury from 8 September.“This is a call for tenders to find a fund manager who can manage the bulk of ENS’s cash flow in the future, with the aim of creating a sustainable fund capable of paying the needs of ongoing development without relying on revenue from enrollments and renewals,” the proposal reads.

The proposal currently has unanimous support and will close on September 14.

Johnson added that the tender is expected to require subsequent DAO votes to select the winning fund manager and execute its on-chain cash management strategy.

The ENS increased by 15% last week.

ENS AwardsSource: The Defiant Terminal

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