1 and 2 Character .eth Names


Max soulbound, disable buying, selling and transferring 1-2 char ENS domains. wrap them all so it’s not hoarded by few rich/corporate.

Community and collab with devs and max bidders selling cheap sub domains in 1-2 chars domains. Max fees go to ENS DAO for sub domains. ENS DAO should always have 100% ownership of such 1-2 char ENS domains.
eg. <name>.x.eth for cheaper than 5 char ens domain even when in collab with *.x.com for *.x.eth


Quick reply: It’s a positive idea that could benefit the ENS Ecosystem assuming the details well implemented. For example:

  1. If we could win a meaningful enough official integration with X (formerly Twitter) for x.eth then that could be a huge boost for the ENS ecosystem. We want more organizations with big resources putting those resources into ENS. For example, maybe a wc.eth for Worldcoin, etc…
  2. We can see there’s market demand at $640 / year for 3 letter names. I see no reason why it wouldn’t be even higher for 1 and 2 letter names. This represents more recurring revenue for the ENS DAO that can help to further grow the ENS Ecosystem.

Release: Should we release 1 and/or 2 character .eth names?

On a case specific basis based on a special use case that benefits the eco system and is approved by a vote.

Why: If yes, why? What do we hope to achieve by releasing 1 and/or 2 character .eth names?

Make it easier for large / credible / repuatble organizations to onboard end users into a mutually favorable ENS based / related ecosystem.

Timing: When should the names be released?

Only after an on-chain community vote.

How: How should the names be released? e.g. auction, dutch auction, other?

Only after on on-chain community vote.

Fees: What are the registration/renewal fees? Can/should a Harberger tax be used in some way?

Fees should be discussed and then put to vote.

Withholding names: Should names be held back for well known people or brands? What are those names and who should control the distribution of those names?

In most cases, there is absolutely no fair and equitable way for a decentralized system to decide which entity takes priority in a one ir two character abreviation of a name. There are many entities that share the same first character and 2 character intials of their trade names. In the case of X, maybe that is a bit more straight forward, but either way it would be wrong to hold back names for anyone if the names will be available the general public. This is a good reason to release one and two character names to credibale organzations, only when it will benefit the ENS ecosystem, and only by on-chain vote.

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Hello ENS DAO,

(Note: If you are reading this then you are ENS DAO.)

These are big questions, with no perfect answers.
…but I am glad we are having this conversation!

Overall, I believe that Any domain system needs to include “domainers” as a constituency. Domainers (not squatters, scammers, or extortionists) are important constituents of a healthy domain name industry. Any system that hurts one class of users (domains) will ALSO hurt other users.
Yet, as the case of 3-4-charecter domains/names have higher costs…
…The situation we are presented with the 1-2-charecter domains/names is very special, as these are very rare, and we must carefully discuss and consider the potential hypotheticals. So nevertheless, the situation for 1-2-charecter domains/names will be different and we are part of this history.

Ultimately, I hope the end result is more usage and utility for the ENS network effect.

Here are some of my thoughts going into this:

Short answer yes-maybe, &
Long answer is maybe-maybe.

This question requires a careful consideration of the implications, which again I am glad we are having this conversation, as each decision will bring different scenarios.

One aspect to consider is the exclusivity of such names, with recent events the “x.eth” is a great example, but extends to “o.eth”.

It also extends to “aa.eth”, which can stand for:

  1. Alcoholics Anonymous
  2. American Airlines
  3. Austrian Airlines
  4. Academy Awards
  5. many well known others: AA - Definition by AcronymFinder

Releasing 1 and 2-character .eth names could generate a lot of interest and demand, as they are highly valuable due to this brevity and uniqueness. However, releasing them may lead to a concentration of valuable assets in the hands of a few, which might be seen as centralization or favoritism; again, which is why I am glad we are having this thoughtful conversation.

The answer to the question ultimately depends on the answer to the other questions, which the ENS DAO will ultimately decide.

As we make our decision trees, what are the procs and cons to these variables, including pricing or auctioning, which could lead to unintended consequences, or potential for abuse.

The bad answer:
Releasing 1 and 2-character .eth names could help generate revenue for further development and maintenance of the ENS, but this is not the priority, and funding is already sufficient. Due to this, we should be in no need to rush, at all.

The good answer, but it would take work:
More interestingly, it could attract prominent individuals and brands to use ENS/.eth, potentially increasing its adoption and utility with network effects.

This could also help bring significant attention and interest to the ENS ecosystem, (direct and indirect),…

but additional resources would be required to gain the attention and interest from the proper audiences, and prominent companies and individuals.

SEE: My example for “aa.eth” parties, above.

I know many people may be very excited about this idea, as am I, yet, timing is crucial, and it should be done in a well-planned and thoughtful manner.

Consideration should be given to market demand, overall ecosystem growth, and community readiness. It’s all about the utility and the network effect; not hype or sales. And again, additional resources would be required to gain the attention and interest from the proper audiences, and prominent companies and individuals.

It’s important to avoid even any perceptions of rushing the release, as it may result in unintended consequences, which could be irreversible. Again, the end result is “more usage and utility” for the ENS protocol.

To be direct, I recommend:

  • we talk and plan about it ~Q3/Q4 2023;
  • build-out and test plans in ~Q1/Q2 2024;
  • accept pre-release submissions ~Q3/Q4 2024;
  • finalize & conclude everything in ~Q1/Q2 2025;

…this timeline could be rushed, if the will, resources, and collaborative plan come together.

The method of release is vital in determining accessibility and fairness. Auctions could be a viable option, as they allow the market to determine the value of these highly sought-after names.

Re: English Auctions

In English auction, the “price goes up” and is superior, since it gives the buyers additional chances to bid. The issues presented are mitigated from the Dutch auction, since in a Dutch auction, all users MUST be “aware and also have the immediate ability” to bid. (In other words, the Dutch auction only allows for a single bidder to be present and aware, while in contrast, the English auction allows for multiple bids in the face of potential loss.)

Re: Further, Dutch Auctions

Important: A Dutch auction could be considered, starting with a high price and gradually decreasing until a buyer is found, but again this approach is ONLY adequate IF all of the “proper audiences, and prominent companies and individuals” are aware of the Dutch auction.

For Example: If none of a “true owner” of an “AA” brand is unware of ENS or unprepared for the “aa.eth” Dutch-auction, then they would not themselves have the awareness or the proper planning to convert cash-to-eth, or even custody an ENS/NFT, etc. Which then, “aa.eth” name would more likely go to a speculator, (instead one of the many well known AA brand owners: AA - Definition by AcronymFinder, as intentioned.)

…which I know is the impossible Catch-22 of this post; and how we “prevent non-use”, and to instead prioritize, “benefit usage and utility”.

Determining the fees is critical to strike a balance between accessibility and sustainability. The fees should be reasonable to encourage adoption but also help cover maintenance costs.

Re: Harberger taxs

A Harberger tax, where name owners must continuously set a price at which others can buy their names, could be an interesting approach. It could ensure efficient allocation of valuable names, but the Harberger tax does also has some negative effects that should be considered, including:

  1. Chilling Effect on Investment (which is a potential benefit for some);
  2. Potential Inefficient Allocation of Resources;
  3. Unintended Consequences;
  4. Potential for Abuse;
  5. Disincentive for Cultural or Long-Term Projects;



I know even with its drawbacks, many argue the Harberger tax can promote efficient asset utilization, discourage hoarding, and create incentives for productive economic activities, but this does NOT just magically happen without considerations.

Striking the right balance and considering potential mitigations for its negative effects are essential when considering the adoption of the Harberger tax.

At present, I vote clear simplicity for Pricing:
Simply, I lean toward a much higher cost,
…based on the traditional system, IE:

  • $10,000/year for 2-char; &
  • $100,000/year for 1Char);

…but I reserve judgement as we continue this conversation.

The issue of withholding ENS names for well-known people or brands requires a thoughtful and transparent approach to ensure fairness and prevent misuse. The question also raises important considerations of fairness for use and utility, for everyone as a whole, (while preventing brand squatting, and maintaining sovereign Web3 values, to the best of our ability without hurting users in the end).

Some names associated with well-known people or brands, such as “x.eth”, could be reserved to avoid misuse or confusion,…
…but this get much more difficult with more popular names, including but not limited to as “aa.eth”.

The control and distribution of these names should be transparent and community-driven, avoiding any appearance of preferential treatment. We should also be careful of manipulation tactics, which are possible via the Internet, social media, and the Blockchain.

Here are some potential multi-part solutions:

  1. Community-driven Decision Making: Establish a community-driven process to determine which names should be withheld and reserved for well-known individuals or brands. The decision-making process should involve key stakeholders, developers, users, and professional representatives from the ENS community. This could be done through on-chain governance mechanisms, where token holders or active participants have a say in the decision, although social voting is non-binding.
  2. Submission Period: Implement a submission period during which individuals or brands can apply to have their names reserved; this voting can be done on behalf of brands for the brands consideration. This period should be publicly announced and open to all interested parties. During the submission period, applicants should provide a clear rationale for why their names deserve reservation, such as proof of trademark ownership or significant contributions to the community.
  3. Clear Criteria: Define clear and transparent criteria for reserving names. The criteria could include trademark ownership, verifiable identity, demonstrated community contributions, or other relevant factors. Having objective criteria helps prevent arbitrary decisions and ensures a fair selection process, but this is another part of the process that requires input and verification from the open community.
  4. Committee or Oversight: Establish a ENS DAO or Web3 committee or oversight body consisting of respected and trusted members from the professional decentralized and ENS community, (who have actually done stuff and don’t just talk about it). This committee can review the submitted applications, assess the eligibility of applicants, and make decisions on the reservation of names based on the predefined criteria, with all meeting and notes being made public and transparent.
  5. Public Input and Feedback: Allow for public input and feedback during the decision-making process. This can be done through Discuss forums, social media channels, and/or on-chain voting to gather perspectives from the broader community and ensure transparency.
  6. Limited Time Reservation: Consider imposing time-limited reservations on names to avoid indefinite monopolization. Reserved names could be released to the public after a certain period if they are not being actively used or maintained by the reserved party.
  7. Transparency and Reporting: Again, all meeting, notes, and decisions would maintain transparency throughout the process by providing regular updates and reports on the reserved names, their usage, and the reasons behind each reservation.

By combining these solutions, the ENS community can ensure a fair and inclusive approach to withholding names for well-known people or brands, while doing our best to prevent any potential misuse or centralization of this temporally decision making process.

Anyways, ultimately, I am very glad we are having this community-wide discussion (involving key stakeholders, developers, users, and those invested) in the ENS ecosystem; It is essential.

Ensuring a transparent and inclusive decision-making process will lead to better outcomes for the overall growth and sustainability of the ENS.

I continue to appreciate our visible leadership, with ENS DAO and ENS protocol, progressing the “revolutionary, immutable, publicly-verifiable, collaboratively-based, open-everything, resistant-to-censorship, and decentralized” human-readable Web3-naming protocol!

Discussing the 1 and 2 character .eth names is a significant step forward! I hope they go to good use to end users that leverage them, while all of us exemplify the ENS constitutional and Web3 values.


Some good ideas. Here is my suggestion: Three-part process: 1) 60-day marketing campaign to advertise the availability of the ENS names to be auctioned off, sufficient to provide notice to all prospective buyers, using social media, print media, and mass media. 2) Have an open-bidding auction period of not less than 30 days in which any bid in the last three days extends the bidding for three days, and that a reserve amount be set that must be exceeded for the bid to be honored. 3) If the reserve amount not be met in the open-bidding auction with a qualifying bid, then the bidding reverts to a Dutch auction.

YES, get them out there

1 - Singles:

Auction them off, renewals through the Harberger Tax method, keep it simple like single characters are

2 - Doubles:

$100,000 for the mint of the name or even higher, but make sure it’s high (this mianly works for 0-9 and a-z)

20/30/40% sales tax on any sale of said name

Possibly NO yearly fee as it’s not really needed

This will remove squatters and speculators looking to flip

I don’t feel these names should be released to make the DAO money, make a difference with these names, make ENS stand out

I feel a more important question is what names are to be released?

Just ASCII ?

or the whole suite of names


Would emojis be included?

Random thoughts:

  • For characters, I’d suggest only the following: [a-z0-9] w/o "ilo"
  • For emoji: Single emoji (without Skin or Hair color modifiers, maybe limit to Emoji version 12 or so for maximum compatibility) and Country Flag Emoji (without the visually similar ones).
  • I would be against any kind of open registration (even with a ridiculous price point)
  • I imagine some of the 2-char ASCII names are very desirable as they correspond to various abbreviations.
  • b.eth, s.eth, ki.eth, wy.eth are first names.
  • g.eth, w.eth, r.eth are Ethereum tech.
  • There’s also m.eth and te.eth.

I’d be curious about some kind of very small experiment, like auctioning a single 1-char name with 1-year expiration, but the owner/resolver are locked so the name is terminal (no subs) and only has editable resolver records. Or some kind of Harberger experiment. Or an organization that actively supports ENS (cb.eth instead of cb.id).

IMO, the 1-2-char namespace could be a huge future asset for ENS—it would be a mistake to squander it prematurely.

  1. Domain Ownership by the DAO: Consider having the domain names registered and owned by the DAO, specifically under one of the workgroup multisigs.

  2. Application Process for Name Management: Set up a transparent process where interested parties can apply to manage a particular domain name. This application should detail the intended use of the domain and its potential benefits to the ecosystem. An ideal platform for these presentations could be during a regular ecosystem call, allowing for real-time discussions and clarifications.

  3. Decision-making Mechanism: Instead of putting every decision to a full token holder vote, which could be cumbersome and inefficient, allow stewards to approve or deny the applications. Their decisions should be guided by the best interests of the ecosystem.

I’ve previously suggested a harberger-tax based scheme, where the 2LD could change hands, but subdomains would be protected via the name wrapper. I think, though, that something slightly more ‘bespoke’ and similar in spirit to ICANN’s TLD release process might work better, along these lines:

  1. Allow applications for 1- and 2- character .eth names, using a well established submission process. Submissions are available to view publicly.
  2. Put a working group in charge of approving or rejecting applications.
  3. New names are issued periodically - perhaps quarterly.
  4. If there are multiple approved applications for the same name in the same period, conduct an auction amongst the successful applicants to determine who gets it.
  5. Winning applications should have a lengthy registration period - at least 5 years. When a registration expires there should be a presumption that the current registrant will be able to renew it absent some major issue, and if a new registrant wishes to take over they will need to demonstrate a commitment to preventing damage to existing users of the name.

Winning proposals would likely mostly involve delegating a 1- or 2- character name via CCIP read to an L2; for instance op.eth could be registered and used to issue names directly on optimism.


Absolutely adverse to stewards making critical decisions - that level of autonomy will lead to critical mistakes.

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My two cents: regardless of whether they are released now or later — whenever they are finally released, the marketing angle should be an integral part of the roll-out.

Few opportunities are as promising for organic marketing/publicity.
If done well, it can generate an enormous amount of attention and ‘memorability’ for the ENS protocol.

Especially so if the release occurs during a bull market — its effects could be magnified considerably in that case. During such periods, the world and media are already focused on web3/crypto and are ready to highlight any newsworthy events.


This timing could be inline with a Bull market, which will aid the marketing and reach.


Again, there is a lot of risk & ambiguity with the Harbeger tax. It seems to be too much risk for the unintended consequences, the potential for abuse, and the disincentive for cultural or long-term projects.

For simplicity,
while still adding deterrence:

  • Three (3) characters = $640.00/year;

Then, to keep it inline:

  • Two (2) characters = $6,400.00/year;
  • One (1) character = $64,000.00/year.

Too many variables in Nick’s proposal.
I propose:
Auction 1-2 chars.
10k renewal/year.

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A lot of these ideas include mechanisms that require human discretion. I worry about the potential risks associated with any mechanism that moves away from protocol neutrality when it comes to the registrations and includes human discretion. It is a complex analysis on a case by case basis because of jurisdictional issues, but one of my main concerns is reserving a name for a party to the exclusion of trademark owners.

The ideas of approving applications present the same discretion I am generally concerned with, but the idea of wrapping/emancipating all the names before sale/auction seems neutral and is both fair and interesting.

One idea I wanted to float since I don’t know how many .eth names have utilized it outside BENSYC is requiring Wildcard Resolution for at least the single character .eth names that are bound to the matching roots.


  • this preemptively creates a web3 first culture where our primary ENS names remain our primary identity & we have consistent identities across web3, rather than recreating a web2 culture where I have a different username (subdomain) for every service and platform. (Imagine the mistake is farcaster required us to register a subdomain to use their platform or if they offered subs & we couldn’t get subs that match our primary, it recreates the problems of web2 user names)
  • this rewards users with automatic/gasless subdomains (example: I would automatically own enspunks.x.eth & it would be bound to enspunks.eth so if I were to sell enspunks.eth the new owner would also automatically get enspunks.x.eth).
  • the buyer automatically gets a built in community of .eth users for their platform
  • this takes ENS .eth registrations to ~100M by just implementing wildcard with single character .eth names


  • this may not be ideal for prospective buyers looking to make money selling/renting subdomains, but maybe that isn’t a con as a public good
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Should be done in a bear, not a bull

Means names would go to the right people

The problem with high yearly costs is the DNS imports

Yes, they are not decentralised, I know, but the majority of 1 & 2 character names would be going to businesses, who are not decentralised, thus there is no need to have a decentralised ENS name that costs a lot to maintain, and they would just import their DNS name into ENS

Use, 1 & 2 character names as advertising for ENS, if the name goes to a flipper then you can catch them by a high sales tax %, ENS wins

There are only 26 letter and 10 digit single character names, 36 in total, how many would be used as subdomains, I don’t know ? ENS could do the single character domains themselves by selling subs, hold all 26 letters and sell subs for people to get real names, eg donald.t.eth or trump.d.eth, should be easy enough to set up quickly and take away the need and worry to figure out a system to get these out to the public

If you used ENS Vision it would take about 15minutes to get it all set up, but I’m guessing that the DAO would want to make their own system, still it wouldn’t be that hard to put something together

In the current climate name.x.eth would be flying out the door


This is what I want to do with pre-punk.eth so that every pre-punk name can use name.pre-punk.eth for free to show that their name is a Pre-Punk from 2017

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Thoughtful concept- its important to explore all options including this one.

One thing for sure - there is no neutrality in human discretion, especially discretion exercised without recourse. If we allow ourselves to venture down that slippery slope away from the ethos of decentralization.

Might as well not release 1 and 2 character names if just releasing subs and / or putting in the hands of ENS Vision which have proven not to be an impartial entity in the ENS space.