Auction and Permanent Registrar Update


The ENS team has been discussing the open questions listed here since publishing them. Nick’s been looking into the permanent registrar contract in parallel.

As a result of these activities, we’re proposing a change to the initial proposed timeline. We propose launching the 3-6 character auction after deploying the permanent registrar.

The 3-6 character auction would launch at some predetermined time afterwards. 30 days seems to us like a reasonable window between the two.

This sequence would reduce the permanent registrar’s contract complexity. This is the reason for the proposed change.

By ensuring the permanent registrar is already deployed when the auction goes live, we can remove the need for the new registrar to look up auctioned names. Instead, we can structure the auction contract to insert purchased names directly into the permanent registrar.

Early May 2019 is still the target date to deploy the permanent registrar. The window between its launch and the 3-6 character auction’s start is open for discussion. We’ll propose a 30 day window to start the conversation.

The open questions mentioned in the previous 3-6 character auction update are relevant to the permanent registrar too. As a reminder, these are -

  1. Should there be a whitelist for well-known .eth domains, e.g. for well-known brands and organizations? If so, how should it operate? You can join that discussion here.
  2. What should overflow funds, i.e. funds received that exceed ENS operational costs, be used for and how should they be allocated?

The permanent registrar design introduces two new questions -

  1. How are ongoing fees determined, i.e. what’s a fair rent model? You can join that discussion here.
  2. Is 30 days a reasonable window between permanent registrar deployment and 3-6 character auction launch?

This decision to deploy the 3-6 character auction after the permanent registrar gives us a bit more time to debate and make these decisions. Yet our timeline is still tight.

If you intend to provide feedback, please try and do so here in the comments within the next week.

Permanent Registar Proposals - Overflow Funds, Fees & Rent, 3-6 Character Auction Start

Regarding #1 above, that would be a very entertaining exercise starting with the term “well-known”. I would love to participate and find out the limits of what is reasonable. There is little question regarding fanciful marks like Coca-Cola and Pepsi that have no meaning outside of their obvious brands. But what about names like Ford, Apple, Star, Hilton, Jones, Smith…? Seems like herding cats.

Regarding #2. Lock the overflow fees into an investment fund. No capital gains or taxes until the gain is “realized”. When necessary expenses arise subtract funds (realize) to pay administrative/legal costs. Follow the accountants advice.

Regarding #3 I think a fair rent model is about $5-10 USD per year. I think that is enough of a “general deterrent”. Deep pocket squatters going after “well known” .eth names are not going to be discouraged/swayed at those prices and are surely willing to go much higher to gamble someone will buy-it from them. but maybe the $5-10 will discourage general squatting on every …Smith.eth and …Jones.Eth.

Regarding #4 - 30 days seems too brief. 60-days seem about right.


Is there still a “root” node in the new permanent registrar model? If so, what power will the root node have?