Suggestion: Buying domains instead of renting


I’m not an expert so I’m sorry if my thoughts are wrong but couldn’t the “renting-model” of ENS-domains lead to some problems as those domains are used as an address to receive payments?
Just imagine the owner of the domain uses the address to receive payments and forgets to inform everyone after expiry. Now someone else rents the domain and if someone still uses the domain to send a payment to the previous owner it will be redirected to the new owner.
Of course “DNS domains” are also just rented but usually those purpose is not to receive payments.

Wouldn’t it be better to charge a (higher?) one-time-fee to keep the domain permanently instead of the yearly fee?

I would assume that would make squatters life a lot easier unless we set the initial domain price very high to the point that ordinary users don’t afford it.


It’s a good concern. What if when you send money to a name in the first time, its associated to one address, and when you send again later, its associated to another?

That’s a use-case that ENS has but DNS doesn’t. It is, however, a use-case that bank accounts have. Maybe that’s why bank accounts still have numbers.

The concern is legitimate, I’m sure we’re going to see it happens at least a few times. Maybe we’ll even find out that giving names to accounts is not such a great idea.

However, selling names (instead of renting) is not a solution for that.

First, it doesn’t solve the problem. You can still transfer a name that you own, so the same mistake can still happen. Second, there’s the name squatting issue and the high prices that we’ll have to ask for names. The Vickrey auction tried to solve it but failed. You can maybe try to think about other alternatives, though it’s a bit late now.

But third, and maybe worse, is that there are just not enough comprehensible good names in the world to give to satisfy everyone. Moreover, if we start selling names, we’ll find that many of them get lost (people losing their keys, losing their interest or losing their computer connection).

Selling names my still happen though. ENS names are meant to be used as high-level domains; the vision is that you will get a subdomain from someone that rents an ENS name. and subdomains may be sold instead of rented (as long as the owner of the name keeps on renting it…).

But the problem will still exist, since people could transfer (possibly) their subdomains.

How to solve it then? First, be smart and don’t send money without really verifying that the names didn’t change.

More importantly, it’s something that wallet providers should implement. Warning when an account didn’t receive payments since a long time (maybe the owner lost access to it), or when the owner of the name changed.

1 Like