[EP4.10] [Social] Proposal: Transfer ENS Root Key Ownership to the ENS DAO

Status Active
Discussion Forum
Vote Executed
Authors estmcmxci.eth


The ENS DAO has established itself as the key governance entity for the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) and has demonstrated capability and responsibility in ownership of several aspects of the protocol. We now propose the further decentralization of the ENS governance structure by transferring ownership of the ENS root key from the current multisig system (multisig.ens.eth) to the ENS DAO (wallet.ensdao.eth).


ENS Root Key

The ENS root node is currently owned by a multisig contract. The root key can control the allocation and replacement of all TLDs except for .eth. Keyholders are well-respected individuals in the Ethereum community and, with the exception of Nick Johnson, founder of ENS, are unaffiliated with ENS. While the .eth registrar contract control has been locked and cannot be affected by the root keyholders, they still hold significant powers over the structure and functioning of the ENS Protocol.

ENS DAO Current Powers

The ENS DAO holds ownership of the .eth registrar and has control over functionalities like the NameWrapper. The DAO does not have control over the core ENS root name, which retains the capability to create new TLDs, adjust controls for existing ones, and upgrade the contracts responsible for reverse resolution.


  1. Transfer of Root Key Ownership: We propose the transfer of ownership of the ENS root key from the current multisig holders to the ENS DAO. This will consolidate governance powers and further the vision of decentralized control over the ENS Protocol.
  2. TLD Management: While .eth is permanently set and unchangeable, the DAO will inherit the power to create and manage other top-level domains (TLD). The DAO will also have the ability to lock any TLD permanently if deemed necessary.
  3. Reverse Resolutions and L2s: The DAO will have the capacity to update reverse resolutions. Additionally, with the Labs team’s support, the DAO will explore and potentially implement primary domain names on Layer 2 solutions (L2s).


  1. Current ENS root keyholders are requested to execute a transaction transferring root key ownership to the ENS DAO’s designated contract.
  2. The ENS DAO commits to managing the new powers and funds in line with the ENS DAO Constitution, ensuring transparent governance and decision-making.
  3. The DAO will develop policies to govern TLD management, (oracle) pricing updates, and other key decisions.

Coda (Conclusion)

With this proposal, we aim to further decentralize the control and governance of the ENS Protocol, placing more trust and power in the hands of the ENS community via the DAO. Community discussion will ensue on the Governance Forum. The ballot will begin on Snapshot and, should it be passed, the current ENS root keyholders will initiate a transfer of the ENS root key to the ENS DAO where it will be managed according to the precepts outlined herein.


Thanks to @estmcmxci for authoring the post above, and @nick.eth for the motivation to go ahead and finally get this done.

We’re opening this for a short discussion, but the intention is to have a social vote for this that will go live on the 10th with the other votes (elections and stream recipients).


This would mean that if a DNS TLD owner wanted control of their ENS node (like .art or .box has), it would now require an executable DAO vote, correct?

I don’t see that as necessarily a bad thing, just curious on the process involved. I assume prior to this, it would be a matter of the owner contacting ENS Labs and then wrangling the multisig owners to transfer that ownership in the ENS Registry. Like .box was transferred earlier this year it looks like.


Correct on all counts.


Hi serenae.eth, I believe the incoming Meta-Governance Stewards will prioritize elucidating this process. If/when this proposal passes, it would be beneficial to learn from @nick.eth and/or the current root key holders about how they have previously managed administrative changes. Additionally, there’s already much we can learn from the existing documentation on ENS root key management.

Update: I’ve prepared a community resource in an effort to increase transparency and accessibility. This article explains key aspects of the ENS root key’s transfer to the ENS DAO, underscoring the move towards decentralized governance. It outlines the responsibilities and powers the ENS DAO is set to inherit and discusses the broader implications for internet governance and the role of community in these decisions. Read: New Eras of Internet Governance: ENS DAO inherits the ENS Root K… — marcus


This has now been executed: https://etherscan.io/tx/0xfd273ab18209fc1849ce54a3a2dba27ba13f6fa11fff4966efdc8b6d0ecd77b2