Pursuing .ETH TLD

I’m in search of information regarding the DAO’s considerations and efforts in pursuing the .eth TLD from Ethiopia.

From the outside view, it seems to me that this is one of the highest level wins for the ENS ecosystem and one that should be attainable given the resources the treasury now holds. It also seems that the longer the DAO takes in acquisition, the more incentive there is to demand more from the DAO in exchange for the acquisition given the rapidly growing treasury.

Could someone from the team please educate me on the pros and cons for pursuing this aggressively now or the benefit for pushing it to a later date. I know there is mentioned of partnership with Ethiopia, which is great, but does that partnership need to come before acquisition or can it come after?



I’m not from the team, and definitely not an expert on the subject, but here is my current understanding of the .eth situation.

.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.

There is no precedent for a country (or ICANN / IANA) relinquishing their reserved TLD(s) to a third party, so whether it could even happen is entirely speculation.

The latest I can find from the team is from @lucemans on Twitter:

as per our last talks w ICANN .ETH would be reserved for us, due to our current scale and prominence!

To provide more context: ICANN does gTLD auctions every once in a blue moon (like twice or so total) and in the event .ETH ever was ever stopped being a potential ccTLD (Country Code) and pursuable as a gTLD, the chance of them giving it to someone else are slim, but not negligible

So far ICANN has been pretty positive on ENS, and rather just disappointed in the “Blockchain Naming”-space in general.

As for the DAO’s considerations, I don’t personally know how the DAO could be involved in the talks, other than making it known in a concerted effort that we want it to be formally addressed. This is definitely a recurring and important issue to address, for reasons you and others have brought up.


Coinbase’s integration of offering subdomains to its customers when importing their TLD (cb.id) is a very important step.

I think @ens.eth should move the “pieces on the board” in that direction, since the more companies integrate their TLDs, the stronger the signal sent to ICANN that ENS is good for the Internet.

This movement is key, I don’t know if @ens.eth plans to do anything about it, or maybe they’re already working on it, I’d like to know.

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To be clear, cb.id is a 2LD (second-level domain). “.id” is a TLD.

Ok, I’m referring to the process of importing .id, according to your article on Medium, there are more than 1300 TLDs that can be imported. That’s why I think it’s a good strategy to play that card.

Mass adoption by companies would accelerate adoption and would further confirm the importance of the ENS.

While Handshake seeks to eliminate DNS, ENS imports them.

Checkmate, end of the game. ENS 1 Handshake 0 :wink:

For example, I have the “lasmayores.eth”. MLB in the Latin world is known to “las mayores” that’s the expression we use.

Example: All children dream of playing in “las mayores”.

If @ens.eth had contact to the MLB directive, and they are committed to using the domain for use with the Latino community, I can donate it today :baseball:.

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Hey Nick, the information @daylon.eth provided above was very informative. If you wouldn’t mind could you clarify the following:

  1. Is the ENS current stance that we are only interested in .eth as a TLD in DNS as a defensive move to prevent confusion in the future, and because ICANN has it reserved for Ethiopia, would need to alter its classification from a ccTLD to a gTLD, and then would need to take it to blue moon auction, would leads us to believe that this is enough of a barrier for us not to be concerned with someone else acquiring it and using it?

  2. Do you believe its acquisition is not only a defensive move, but an offensive move that the protocol could use and provide to its users? Just curious either way on your thoughts as i’m ignorant to the teams opinion.

  3. If it is a beneficial acquisition as an offensive move, here luc.computer states:

> Generally w ICANN, a good public appearance, and a couple million dollars rofl ![😅](https://abs-0.twimg.com/emoji/v2/svg/1f605.svg "Smiling face with open mouth and cold sweat")

Would this mean that with some further correspondence with ICANN, the DAO could move to acquire once proposed and voted on?


This hinges on how the DAO could actually acquire the domain. If Ethiopia requested it be delegated in the global root as a ccTLD, and appointed ENS as the registry, it’d be possible to reflect the entire .eth registry in DNS, because we and Ethiopia would set the rules - no UDRP if we don’t want it.

If it was instead relinquished by Ethiopia and issued as a gTLD, ICANN rules would apply, names would be under UDRP, and there would need to be some kind of decoupling between owning the .eth on ENS and having it reflected in DNS. In that scenario a purely defensive option of holding but not using it might be more attractive.

I think “proactive” is a better term than “offensive”!

So much of this is uncertain at this point that it’s hard to speculate on what the end result might be.


Very interesting, I didn’t know that, thank you for clarifying! Seems to me that option #1 is much more attractive, although will likely demand more effort.

Does pursuing option #1 currently fall under the authority of ENS Labs if it so chooses or would the DAO have to assign ENS Labs to take this venture on? If it does fall under ENS Labs, does the team view it as a worth while venture at this point in time or would you say there are currently bigger fish to fry?

To date, ICANN has decided not to issue three-letter ccTLDs. The workings of ICANN are complex and currently, ICANN does not have a process or procedure for permitting the use of a 3L ccTLD. The last time matter was addressed yielded no conclusions.

We’re working on obtaining rights to manage or operate .eth. To set expectations, this will not be a simple domain purchase and transfer. This is a multi-stakeholder, multi-contingency, multi-year slog… but we’ve already started the journey.

P.S. You better never ever sell padrino.eth. But if you do decide to sell… I may know a guy. :wink:


Really appreciate the added context!

Haha no intention to sell, but if ever changes will come to you first.