ENS names on standard browser

In principle, the community can do pretty much anything. With a vote, the community can “force” a Director to initiate contact with ICANN. I think Brantly was already in some background low-priority discussions with ICANN; I remember reading this somewhere here or on Twitter. Whether that is correct, I don’t know.


This is a serious problem and the fact that it hasn’t gone addressed for years is probably a sign that this project is in big trouble.

(I sold all of my $ENS tokens yesterday, for the record.)

If I understand correctly, .eth is reserved by ICANN for Ethiopia, but IANA’s rules for Country code top-level domain are they can only be two characters. So it’s “reserved” for the country to use by ICANN but not allowed by IANA. But I may be wrong.


You are right. Ethiopia’s TLD is .et but three letter TLDs are reserved for future use and Ethiopia’s reserved TLD is .eth. Someone needs to give Ethiopia some ENS in exchange for relinquishing .eth and use something else like .etp etc. Perhaps we can convince Ethiopia to change its name to something else? Like Soliopia?


So the solution for ENS to gain native browser support is to convince a sovereign nation to literally change their name so that it renders websites properly for a tiny minority of people who live on the web?

The fact that they’ve been sitting on this problem for years without addressing it directly to its shareholders should give people some pause. This is one of the biggest problems with the project right now so it’s not something they should be sweeping under the rug. With the recent drama with its sitting director do you really think anyone is going to want to work with ENS to work out a deal?

I supported this project in its early days but it’s kind of untenable for me now. I really just don’t see a path where this can work. If someone can convince me otherwise, I’m all ears.

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Why don’t you ask the directors/stewards and tag them?

Nah, if they were on top of things they would have made this a priority and get the community to think and talk about it more seriously. The fact that they’ve obviously been avoiding the subject tells me more than I need to know.

I’m not trying to be a dick here, but results do matter. I just hate seeing people wasting their time and money with a project that avoids the big issues while distracting their shareholders with superficial subjects and airdrops. Buyer beware, is all I gotta say.

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A lot of us are erked by this, trust me. It’s just that there doesn’t seem to be any straightforward solution that doesn’t involve bringing ICANN, Ethiopian government and ENS on a table to work out a solution. It is on the priority list of ENS but not the other two entities. Plus, ENS DAO doesn’t yet have the necessary legal structure to make any such proposition. It’ll be a while before .eth becomes TLD, sadly.

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No decentralised naming system has a concrete plan to enable support widely in standard browsers without a plugin. Competitors who are issuing their own TLDs will encounter serious issues when ICANN holds their next TLD auction; there will inevitably be a collision between the DNS namespace and their namespace when someone buys one of these highly deisrable TLDs from ICANN.

In contrast, .eth being reserved is the best we can hope for in the short term; it guarantees no collisions in the global namespace. ENS is committed to working well with the wider internet community (it’s even in the constitution), and in the long run it’s likely we’ll see wider browser adoption - Brave already supports .eth, for example.


ENS names are already extremely useful for identity and contract routing – DNS resolution is not a requirement for the success of the project. ICANN regulation brings up a number of tricky questions; domain owners must have a functioning email attached, potentially dox’ing themselves. Domain owners must pay ICANN $.18 annually for registration AND on transfer of ownership. Then there is the potential censorship questions, and let’s not forget the UDRP process. How would TNL/DAO enforce any of these requirements? It is unlikely ICANN is going to be flexible on these points, and they go against the ENS constitution.

I think it is more likely that browsers adopt native ethereum functionality (wallets, auth, and ENS resolution) than ICANN agreeing to accommodate ENS. Although I can imagine some type of bridged situation like .KRED, where ENS owners can claim their .ETH DNS records by submitting to the requirements of ICANN. But it’s still not clear how censorship/UDRP would be enforced, and whether it would even be worthwhile for ENS.