Short Name Auction Reservation Process - Proposed Process

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

1 Like

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.

1 Like

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?

1 Like

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.

1 Like

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.