Quoting his thread here with his permission.
My take on the ENS DAO wanting to buy/gift names to brands and celebs:
While I’m certain that this is being done with the best intentions and with the ENS ecosystem’s best interests at heart, it would be a massive mistake.
Let me explain.
The #1 reason I believe ENS has grown as big as it has, and is 200x bigger than its nearest competitor, is because of the complete freedom in all respects.
All names were available with zero restrictions.
Only pricing differences are based on character count, and that’s it.
Minting house.eth cost the exact same as ef48b.eth.
Zero restrictions on the ability to mint brand names or celeb names.
This allowed early adopters thinking long-term to invest in the ecosystem by buying up great names of all kinds knowing they may be valuable later.
This excitement then grows to others who find out about this opportunity.
It’s a perfect flywheel to create engagement and trading, making the protocol more useful, valuable, and well know.
This is not the case with Unstoppable Domains, who “reserve” brand/celeb names (and then charge them a ton to release to them).
Or great names, which they charge 4-5 figures directly for.
When the parent company/DAO holds back names or charges a premium directly for them, it essentially eliminates the potential for an exciting and worthwhile aftermarket.
While ENS as a protocol has many things going for it outside of this issue, it wouldn’t be where it is today without this complete freedom.
So now the DAO is considering “buying” domains that have expired that are brand names or high-profile people’s names.
This has all kinds of problems, some obvious and immediate, and others that are unforeseen.
First issue; saying they’re “buying” them is semantics.
If they pay $1,000 for something through the system, that money is routed directly back into the same account, and they’re out nothing.
So it really is the ability to take names off the expiry list and put them in the DAO’s wallet.
With essentially no cap because they’d get the money back immediately.
This means they’d have the unfettered ability to pick up any name they want at any time.
The second and most obvious issue; is who determines what counts as a brand or celebrity name.
If gates.eth came up, would that count so they could give it to Bill Gates? What about the hundreds of thousands of other people with that last name?
They lose the ability to get their name because a richer guy has it?
trinity.eth, would that get pulled to go to Trinity Industries, a Fortune 500 company? I’m certain millions of people would want that domain for good reasons outside of it being a company name.
So these are obvious issues that would be extremely hard to deal with, even if you think it’s a good idea.
But then you get into the moral hazard issues.
Who is deciding on which names? Could the people deciding be benefiting?
Then you get into the slippery slope issues with this.
The complete freedom and lack of interference by the DAO got us where we are.
By changing that once, for a “good reason”, what’s the next “good reason” they’ll interfere for?
Once you set a precedent, things start to grow and become something that wasn’t intended.
Nick had brought up in the recent past the idea of changing the DAO in relation to “offensive” names.
Most of us used the same argument I’m making here.
It may sound good, but it will get going and get bigger once you start down that path.
The original decision may not have a massive impact, but the second and third-order effects of the first decision will.
Let’s also acknowledge there are legitimate issues with how things are done now.
We want mass adoption, and many brand/celeb names are held by people in the community who won’t sell for a reasonable price.
This means we can’t onboard them, which would be great for more adoption
To me, there is no perfect solution. There will be problems either way, and there is no escaping that.
The question is, which problems are better for the system’s health as we advance?
To me, not changing anything in this manner is much better, with much lower downside risk.
The DAO idea sounds great and may have some marginal positives come out of it, but would have massive downside risks that are difficult to account for currently.
•DAO wants to “buy” expiring names and gift them to brands/celebs
•Goal is to help onboard them to create mass adoption
•I see short-term problems with how to make these decisions and conflicts of interest
•Also see massive unforeseen problems due to DAO interference
Let me know your thoughts and what I might be missing.
I fully acknowledge this is a complicated issue and could have some of it wrong.
Good news, I think we’re all on the same page regarding the goal.
Let’s figure out how to make it happen!
That’s a wrap!
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