Rethinking the registration/renewal model for ENS

In your stated goals, stop placing your intents to “hurt” flippers/squatters, which is splitting your focus and minds attention, while weakening the wider ENS community.
Yes, it is good to deter flippers/squatters–We do not want all names taken by them (and held like NFT-art), but domain flippers are part of this community, too.
Please, just focus your attention on making the ENS system its very best for all users.
Please build for everyone, or the competitors will be able to burn ENS on the issues.

It’s certainly the user’s responsibility to remember to renew. But if we see a lot of users forgetting, that’s a fairly clear sign that the UX needs improvement. We really want to avoid anyone losing their name by accident if we can, even if it’s “their fault”.

We don’t have that - but prepaying for x years seems equivalent, and avoids extra transactions. If you have an account that needs topping up, then you have to remember to do that, too!

Our goal is not to “hurt” anyone; it’s to disincentivise behaviour that hurts the ecosystem. Every name registered by a squatter exerts a deadweight loss on other users.

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One issue with offering multiple options is that users will pick whichever option suits them best - meaning you can only deter squatters as well as the friendliest-to-them option deters them.

A practical issue with the deposit-based scheme is the way the permanent registrar is structured; without replacing it entirely (a significant migration), we’d either have to require users to ‘ping’ their name regularly - which reinstates the possibility of losing it - or rely on the controller to prevent names being replaced - which is less trust-minimised than the current solution, as keyholders can replace the controller fairly easily.

We also have the issue that in the past, squatters have been happy to deposit funds, knowing they can get them back when they flip the domain. The situation today is somewhat different to how it was then, though, with many competing uses for capital onchain.

Depoist-based schemes help avoid people leaving a name unused indefinitely, too, but don’t guard against loss of keys, which can result in names becoming permanently unavailable to everyone.

Thank you for the feedback @nick.eth.

Regarding the point about deposit-based registration making it possible that names become permanently unavailable to everyone, I hadn’t considered that risk…

I am just trying to find a way where ENS can help in the creation of an immutable key-value pair consisting of a name and the address of an immutable Ethereum contract. The textbook example would be the Tornado Cash ENS name linked to the address of the unalterable Tornado Cash Ethereum contract. Right now the ENS name could be changed, by both the current registrant, and a successor registrant should the current registrant fail to renew the name.

I wonder if it would be possible/desireable to provide a method for explicitly making a particular name-resolver mapping immutable? If it were deposit based, the registrant would lose access to that deposit forever, so from their perspective, the deposit would be burned. I imagine such an option would be seldom used, but useful for certain applications like the above Tornado Cash one.

In any case, this doesn’t address the practical implementation issues you brought up with respect to instituting deposit-based registration.

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This is definitely doable now - just transfer ownership to an inaccessible address. The same would work under a deposit model.

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Yes, but having a general deposit-based registration method would pose the problem you cited, of people losing keys, and thus names becoming unintentionally unavailable to every one for ever.

Restricting the use of deposit-based registration to names with immutable resolver values would ensure that the only names that ‘become unavailable to every one forever’ were intended to be that way.

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It seems that all ENS users strongly said “No” in raise price(at any level), but seems ENS team just cannot be convinced and it’s difficult to stop them from being arbitrary.

Changing the price structure halfway, especially raising price at any level, is moving the foundation of a domain project. Remember, ENS is a cool decentralized project, what if you guys are wrong when you really want to be centralized once? The building will shake!

According to what I just read from users and project team, I think right now no change is better than any change, because any centralized decision could be an inconsiderate decision.

Let’s take a look how ENS’s competitor is doing: .cryptop

.crypto does not have renewal expense, one time purchase, permenant use. Can .crypto at some day suddenly say: all the purchased domain will have renewal fee moving forward? No! Otherwise that’s clearly suiside, right?

If ENS consider to raise price for one year(reduce for long term), although it’s difference from free renew to charge renew case of .crypto, can’t you say this is the basically the same thing?

Recent gas fee is high, but user and moneys will know what is the best thing to do, market will fit in itself, they will register later, they will register for more years to save gas if they like to do that, they just don’t like YOU to think too much for them and setup new roles attracting them to go all in your ways, especially this might make their previously preferred option more expensive!

I already suggested an example where the one-year renewal fee stays the same price and it only gives a discount on longer renewal. Any feedback on the idea?

  1. Yes! I agree, this makes a lot of sense:
  2. As stake length increases --> decrease the average yearly fee.
  3. For single “1 year” of registrations --> don’t increase the yearly fee.

In terms of messaging:

  1. The “reoccurring fees” keep the ENS alive, to place “forgotten/unused names”, and “names lost with lost wallets”, back into circulation. This prevents the system from becoming stagnant.
  2. There is no increase in “reoccurring fees”, because (as a non-profit) the goal is not to produce profit for shareholders; the ENS goal is to increase “real usage and user adoption”, for all persons around the globe).
  3. The fee discount (for registering for multiple years), is to reward long term usage, and encourage real users to register their names longer; preventing “forgotten renewals”.


  1. With the “integrated notification system” option, when the ENS user registers-renews their ENS name, could we encourage them to give their Twitter/Email (for notification reasons only), so the user can get notified without having to add the ENS to their Twitter bio?
  2. When a domain name “expires”, it has 90-days before it “drops” to the pool.
    During those 90-days, (when viewed with the .link) can the ENS name display a message, (either full page, or as a header ribbon), somehow?

Makoto San,

Yes, I agree 100% on this proposal. Seems more reasonable, rational, not a one get hurt, and by doing this you team are actually giving away part of your profit(collecting less renewal fee for long run), which perfectly proved that you guys are a non-profit organization. 最高

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Why has the discussion become so aggressive? As far as I can tell @nick.eth and @matoken.eth are only trying to discuss ways to make ENS better for users. I haven’t seen many ideas from others (me included). I can’t think of a better way to discuss this in the open. So instead of pointing fingers maybe we all should try to stay calm and discuss the subject?

@nick.eth I don’t think you shouldn’t discuss pricing, but I don’t think that dwelling on squatters will not help. Squatters always find a way.

To all the people who think that users should remember their important assets I would recommend volunteering at a TLD help desk. I could give you countless anecdotes about online(!!!) business with expired domains.


Can anyone legitimately register any domain, example “abcdef.ETH” other than being an Ethiopian domain that someone can then type into a web browser: http://www.abcdef.ETH" and it will resolve to their web page? I need this question answered clearly before I can comment on the value of an .ETH domain other than simply using it as a shortened method of payment or wallet name (for only some sites)

  1. You can do this with IPFS (html website), and based on your example, the URL would be:
  2. You should be able to host a simple JS redirect script (on the IPFS site) and the ENS URL ( would redirect to your desired location.
  3. Join the ENS discord server to ask more questions:

In other words the answer is no. Kinda defeats the purpose of a short domain name, doesn’t it? or even calling it a domain name? And then you’re paying for both ENS and LINK domains. No thanks.

The critical or possibly fatal error long ago was using “.eth” as the “domain” names when it was known then that ETH was already accepted by the world as Ethiopian. Coulda woulda shoulda

Ok, It’s cool to be able to say “send your ETH to nhirsch.eth” but even that only works for some websites. The so called “domain” aspect, I don’t see the use case and it’s ludicrous to see the high rentals for such and the developers so concerned with squatters.

Maybe a big whale will buy Ethiopia or maybe Arachnid and others can establish ENS headquarters in Addis Ababa.

The model of web2.0 is for traditional TLDs to associate human readable names with IP addresses that mounted on the web servers which hosted by centralized ISPs such as AWS.

The model of web3.0 is for decentralized blockchain domains(such as .eth) to associate human readable names with IPFS hashes that mounted on website content file, that hosted by distributed IPFS system.

Yes, ENS is a domain for website hosting, for but web3.0.
And no, ENS doesn’t do IP address association, because it is designed to realize some higher level mission.

100+ crypto asset address’ association, web3.0 association, social media association, multi-level sub-domain matrix, all the association is managed on-chain without any centralized element. ENS is the unique ID of everyone in the coming digital world, and that is why we are all here.

Have fun staying nameless. You can choose to be late.

I am not sure if you are new; Web3 & Crypto is still early.

All is takes is for the browsers to “default set the settings” for ENS to resolve, natively, I believe.

Wheel of history is just rolling there, no matter we admit it or not.

Blockchain is a cool new world comparing to internet, at here we should be careful relying on our past experience too much.

Yesterday’s treasure could be worthless at tomorrow, therefore we should stay current and always look forward.

Late? I believe I was a party either in the first or second transfer of ETH from one ENS name to another. I remember arachnid had to fix something before it even went through.

Hello all.

It looks like the conversation started diverging to non-related topics. I will close this topic if this escalates. Please start a new thread if you feel strongly about discussing a specific topic but please respect others and keep the conversation civilized.

NOTE: I will organise another ENS workshop in the next few months so that you can discuss it directly with the ENS team and other community members.