Domain services

Breaking: Ethereum Name Service Sues to Stop Domain Sale – Domain Name Wire

The group is suing after selling a domain at a Dynadot auction.

True Names, Ltd. d/b/a Ethereum Name Service and Virgil Griffith sued (pdf) to stop selling

As I wrote earlier today, sold at a Dynadot expired domain auction for $852,000.

Virgil Griffith registered the domain name for use as a .eth domain name resolution service. .Eth domains are blockchain-based and major web browsers do not resolve them. Griffith’s solution was to make any third-level domain under redirect to the corresponding blockchain website. So if you wanted to visit example.eth, you could type in your browser.

It worked well until Griffith ended up in jail for helping North Korea avoid sanctions. At that time, the domain expired.

As with most domain registrations, the domain was subject to an expired domain auction. Due to some complexities between GoDaddy and Uni (the registry, not the registrar), the registry that previously controlled .link, GoDaddy did not auction the domain on its own service. Instead, the domain was auctioned off at Dynadot due to a pre-existing agreement with the registrar.

That’s where it sold for a whopping $852,000 and is changing.

Now Ethereum Name Service and Griffith want to stop selling and transferring. They sued GoDaddy, Dynadot and Manifold Finance, which has publicly declared itself the winning bidder.

They argue that GoDaddy shouldn’t have let the domain expire. They also claim that GoDaddy said the domain would expire and return to the registration pool on September 5, but that actually happened two days earlier, on September 3.

The plaintiffs misinterpreted what happened:

Rather than provide an answer, on information and belief, on September 3, 2022, GoDaddy conducted a sale of the domain name. Dynadot, an online auction holder, claimed to have purchased the domain from GoDaddy.

What makes little sense to me is how Griffith, who was apparently unavailable to help renew the prison grounds, was able to help with the trial.