Short Name Auction Reservation Process - Proposed Process

I guess we may need to consider again an alternative to “oldest existing DNS” and the suggestion of using Google page really creative and alternatively, you could check Alexa ranking! to differentiate between just old owner (for sale/parking) and actively using the DNS, additionally

  • The domain records maintained by the TLD registry sponsored/generic/country level and not by ICANN, that been said, the records can be manipulated, do you trust Mr. Maduro to not command the .ve registry to change registration date to BC or 1991 (the date .ve introduced according to Wikipedia which is before 1995, and 1994) or any other name he wishes to own!

  • Several TLD (particularly ccTLD) has subs like,, , (or,, etc) so who is going to get EDU.eth, GOV.eth NET.eth or COM.eth??

  • registered 1994 prior to, note that YET to be launched and has already established brand/top results at Google, and Alexa ranking, Casino.eth then will go to owners just because oldest, despite the fact that it is not in use (no Alexa ranking) nor it’s at Google?

Basically (3-6 character) ENS domains going to be an airdrop to .com/net/org owners by seniority! and nothing will be left, 3-5 char .com already registered! and the vast majority of 6char, I see this rule of “oldest” works perfectly with highly recognizable TM but badly with generic names. it’s fair to auction UNI.eth than giving it to the University of Northernlowa owner of, just because they registered their domains in 1989! same for gov com web net

and I prefer login.eth to go to UniversalLogin project than to owner (which isn’t using it but to redirect) just because he has registered it 1993.

Don’t you prefer Gnosis.eth to go to Gnosis project instead of (which has nothing to do with blockchain) and the same for Aragon, Prism, uPort, Radex, Idex, Golem, Status, Bancor, Augur, Storj and Jaxx etc! none of these projects will have a chance to own their ENS names .eth! and we want them still, to integrate ENS to their dapps :joy:

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I’m not terribly concerned about these issues because, frankly, they don’t seem very likely. And nobody has proposed a better alternative.

Is this pre-registration process open yet? What’s the GitHub repo? Thanks!

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I think pre-registration is manual process.

The full schedule is written here

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Yep, that’s my understanding as well. But I thought based on what @nickjohnson said that the manual process will be facilitated using a GitHub repo?

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I assume the repo will open when the registration opens. There is no such repo afaik right now.


This is so great! Happy to hear you went for a process that cannot be easily exploited by people that just have a lot of money. Really think this can help ENS adoption. And really happy I have a chance to use wall.eth and maybe even ligi.eth (wonder if this also works as would be a stretch to say it is a crypto-project - but I own

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If I understand the current proposal correctly, the oldest name is determined using the Creation Date field in whois. If that’s correct, I don’t think it’s a good idea to distribute names solely based on this date. If I misunderstood that, feel free to ignore this post.

As an example, I could buy for $169 in order to prevent @ligi from claiming wall.eth using his name because is older and the Creation Date doesn’t seem to change when DNS names are transferred.

Similary, many valuable names which aren’t even brand names like invest.eth would not be left for the auction later on because someone would have already claimed them through this reservation process, e.g. by buying from here for $100. Of course the owner of would have the highest priority on claiming that name going by registration date but given that this name is owned by some squatter who probably doesn’t know what ENS is, it seems unlikely that he would take any action.

In the end, this only results in people buying old DNS names on worthless TLDs in order to claim the name on ENS, especially because the current proposal doesn’t seem to be limited to brand names but also includes generic names like wallet.eth, trade.eth, market.eth etc. which I think should be distributed through the auction instead.

I can see that this decision process should be as indisputable as possible but I don’t think this reservation design will be good for the ENS ecosystem. I think it would be better to just leave the decision on who gets a name to @nickjohnson et al. instead of going by registration date. Yes, it’s centralized and disputable, not automatable and can’t be proven onchain. But given the number of names which I think would be actually legitimate requests, I don’t think it’s that much of a problem that this is not automatable. And the centralization aspect only refers to the initial distribution. Also while there might be disputes, I think they will be quite limited given the current number of people who know about ENS and own some name which they would like to claim. I estimate that in (almost) every case it will be quite obvious who gets the name. Additionally it will be better for the ENS ecosystem because the names will actually go to those one would expect and there will actually be names left for the auction later.

Some more examples that Creation Date is not a good metric:

For all of these names above, I have only looked at buy-now offers but it is probably possible to spend a lot less money by using auctions or making offers to the owner on some other worthless TLD.


We’re planning for the process to start on July 3rd or as close to it as possible.

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Thanks for your thoughtful feedback. We debated this approach quite a bit and decided -

1 - No perfect solution exists

2 - This is the best imperfect solution available right now to support the following goals

That said, you’ve identified a number of edge cases that illustrate weaknesses of this imperfect solution. In recognizing the solution as imperfect, we also recognize edge cases like this exist.

We considered this approach too. Ultimately, we felt the more beneficial approach and one most consistent with the values of decentralization is the one selected, as it is less subjective than a process in which the ENS team makes the final decision.

Are you confirming that if the process is exploited (leading to the potential extortion of Ethereum projects) that you will not enact any kind of subjective judgment?

As a separate question, if someone owns a domain but hasn’t had it for a year, is any sort of preregistration available or do they have to wait for the next “auction” phase?

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I’ve posted an update on the process, and a link to our preliminary reservations app, here:

We’re internally discussing how claims should be ajudicated at the moment.


I switched metamask over to the Ropsten network, added the _ens subdirectory to and both a index.txt file and an index.htlm with the ‘a=0x…’ and ran the check button under Submit your Claim and it froze looking like this:

@nrhirsch you need to add DNS records, not directories/files on a webserver.

thanks Jim! now wait for DNS to refresh itself. since 1994, never did a custom DNS TXT record

Based on feedback like this from you and @qlza, we’ve reopened the internal discussion about introducing a manual adjudication process under certain circumstances. We’ll post a proposal about how to do that when we’ve come to an internal agreement on one to suggest.

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worked now:

Happy to hear it!

The point of the whitelist is to help get the names to the projects that would be represented by them, I understand that you want a hard rule that removes some accountability but doing so in a way that’s open to abuse feels like it undermines the reasons for doing things this way.

Well thought out post with excellent examples.

Thanks to the valuable feedback we received above, we’re rethinking the approach. You can find that discussion here.