ENS Creator sues GoDaddy over sale of expired domain eth.link

The domain was auctioned off for $851,919 to a DeFi protocol who intends to restore its original functionality.
ENS Creator sues GoDaddy over sale of expired domain eth.link

The firm behind .eth domain name service has sued web hosting company GoDaddy over the sale of the eth.link domain name to a third party on Monday in the Arizona court. 

True Names Ltd, the firm behind Ethereum Name Service (ENS) – a protocol that registers and maintains all addresses ending in .eth – alleged that GoDaddy violated an agreement on the eth.link domain name and is claiming at least $75,000 in damages. 

According to the company, GoDaddy sold off the domain via an auction after falsely announcing to the users that the domain had expired. The domain was supposed to be returned to the registry and made available for re-purchase before going to the auctions. 

GoDaddy announced on 5th Aug that that domain eth.link was expiring on 5th Sept. However, as per the filing, on the 3rd Sept, the registrar transferred the domain to Dynadot LLC – a domain name registrar and web hosting company. Dynadot then auctioned off the domain to DeFi protocol Manifold Finance for $851,919, according to DomainNameWire

“In so doing, GoDaddy has deprived Plaintiff True Names Ltd. of its livelihood. The sale will disable a valuable cryptocurrency network and recklessly risk making it available to scores of malicious actors,” read the complaint. “And the domain name is now purportedly and wrongfully held by Manifold Finance, Inc.”

Original owner

Typically, domain owners are given a timeline to re-acquire an expired domain, but in this case, the promoter of True Names, Virgil Griffith, is currently serving a prison sentence of 63 months for advising North Koreans to use crypto for evading sanctions. 

What now?

Manifold Finance confirmed the acquisition of eth.link – used to link Web3 ENS domain names to Web2 Domain Name System (DNS) – over Twitter on 4th Sept. “It was us or Chinese owners,” they had said. 

Currently, the eth.link homepage shows a message by Manifold Finance that says, “SERVICES WILL BE RESTORED SHORTLY TO ETH.LINK IN THE UPCOMING WEEK.”

GoDaddy is yet to speak on the situation. 

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Himan Mohapatra
Himan Mohapatra
Himan Mohapatra is an industry expert within the crypto-sphere and the primary journalist for Coinmash. He is an expert in finance and disruptive tech, such as blockchain.