An update on the ENS short name reservation process
We’ve been pleased to see a good response to the launch of the ENS short name reservation process. So far we’ve received over 120 applications for consideration, many of them from well known and well established projects in the space.
We’ve been doing early triage of these applications, and identifying a number of different classes of applications. We wanted to circle back to the community with our results so far, and receive feedback from the community on our approach.
Applications We’ll Likely Approve
The largest group of applications are those that are straightforward to approve - they follow all the guidelines listed here, and are well known projects or products. For example, Kyber is clearly the best owner of kyber.eth, and status.eth should belong to Status. We intend to approve these and other applications like them unless a better claimant for the same name comes along during the application period.
A second, smaller category of applications is those that are approved as exceptions. For example, everyone recognises ‘MEW’ as referring to My Ether Wallet, so we intend to approve their application for that name, despite the supporting domain, mew.dev, not being their main domain. Likewise, unless a better applicant for the name comes along, we’re inclined to approve hoppereth.org’s application for hopper.eth despite the domain being registered after the deadline.
Applications We’ll Likely Decline
A very few applications are outright invalid - for instance, because they do not have the required TXT record associated with their domain. These applications will be rejected.
We’ve had a number of applications for generic names such as loan.eth and earth.eth. In some cases - such as stake.fish requesting stake.eth - there’s a real project that’s identified by the combination of domain and TLD. In others, there’s no associated project uniquely identified by that name.
In both cases, we’re inclined to decline these applications and allow the name to go to auction, as there’s no single project with a strong claim to that name.
A number of applications have been for names that the applicant is clearly not responsible for. For example, the owner of nokia.link is clearly not Nokia. Likewise, eos.fish does not represent EOS, but rather a project by a different name that’s based on EOS. We’re inclined to decline these applications.
In a few cases where it’s not clear if the owner of the domain used in the application is the same as the major project by that name, we have asked them to upload the same TXT record to the better known domain, to prove their intention to register.
Names With no Associated Project
Some claims are for names with no associated project, or no web presence at all. For example, zowoz.com has no web presence, and ‘zowoz’ does not appear to identify any project in the Ethereum community. We’re inclined to decline these applications.
Applications We’re Still Determining How to Handle
A final category of applications is for names that represent a single person. We’re still considering how to handle these applications, and would welcome community input on this point. Although they fall outside the scope of the original process, there are cases where these names clearly identify a single individual in the Ethereum community, and if the name were to go to auction, they would be the only bidder besides squatters and others seeking to sell the name back to them.
In other cases, such as ‘Shane’ or ‘Virgil’, there are several people this could reasonably identify.
To complicate matters, assessing how ‘common’ a name is is a very subjective matter. Our own Makoto Inoue points out that ‘Inoue’ is one of the most common family names in Japan, but this fact is far from obvious to someone from another country.
We’d like to hear the community’s perspective on reserving names in this category.