ENS Services Back Online Following Lawsuit Against GoDaddy

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The Ethereum Name Service (ENS), an extensible naming system that operates on the Ethereum blockchain, has regained control of its eth.link domain name.

According to a company statement published earlier this week, the domain name is back up and accepting new registrations following an injunction win against web hosting services giant GoDaddy.

An Unauthorized Sale?

The ENS, which allows users to convert human-readable names into machine-identifiable formats like Ethereum addresses, filed a lawsuit against GoDaddy earlier this month. At the time, Go Daddy was accused of failing to “respect, acknowledge, and defend” the eth.link domain by True Names Ltd, the parent company of the ENS.

It appears that the dispute began on August 25, when GoDaddy announced that the eth.link domain was expiring in early September.

The domain name registrar had initially allowed a third party to renew the domain name on behalf of Virgil Griffith – an ENS operator who is currently imprisoned for conspiracy to violate international sanctions after attending a crypto conference in Pyongyang in 2019. However, they declined to do the same this year, and on September 3, it reportedly transferred ownership of the eth.link domain to Dynadot LLC – another domain name registry. Dynadot eventually put the name up for auction.

In its lawsuit, True Names explained that this sale would disable a “valuable cryptocurrency network” and potentially open it up to malicious actors. Things got even worse when Manifold Finance – a decentralized finance (DeFi) company – confirmed that it had purchased the eth.link domain name for $851,919.

In its complaint, True Names requested $75,000 in damages, alleging that the sale of the eth.link had disrupted its services entirely.

Fortunately for True Names, services appear to have been restored. In Sunday’s announcement, the ENS confirmed that its services were back online, and users can now continue registering their domain names. The company didn’t share details concerning the receipt of its financial settlement from GoDaddy, although that doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme.

Ethereum Domains Gaining Steam

The ENS has become more popular this year, with many people registering their first names as Ethereum-linkable domains. Several prominent individuals are using the service in the crypto space, including Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin and Coinbase chief executive Brian Armstrong.

Although many ENS users appear to be posting their domain links on social media, the service has other uses. The domains created can be sold as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). An ENS name can also be linked to an Ethereum wallet and used as the wallet’s public address – instead of the usual lengthy, alphanumeric character strings.

In August, the ENS confirmed in a tweet that it had crossed 2 million names created. Capturing its impressive growth, the platform’s developers explained that it had taken about five years to hit 1 million names created – while the other million came in less than four months.

Despite its growth, the ENS isn’t the only hot-ticket item available. In July, a competing domain name registrar called Unstoppable Domains announced that it had raised $65 million in its Series A funding round. The funding round, which Pantera Capital led, included investors such as Polygon Labs and Draper Associates. It brought the company’s valuation to $1 billion.

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Based in the UK, Jimmy is an economic researcher with outstanding hands-on and heads-on experience in Macroeconomic finance analysis, forecasting and planning. He has honed his skills having worked cross-continental as a finance analyst, which gives him inter-cultural experience. He currently has a strong passion for regulation and macroeconomic trends as it allows him peek under the global bonnet to see how the world works.