Thousands of “negative” ENS Domains are being registered despite being unsupported

Although it's not confirmed if the domains will be supported, it's not stopping investors from cashing in.
Negative ENS Domains

It’s no surprise that ENS domains have gained mass popularity over the last year, with major Web2 jumping on board, including Nike’s Web3 arm RTFKT

ENS registrations have just surpassed 2.3 million and show no sign of slowing down. 

We previously saw a run-up of two, three, and four-digit domain names fetching thousands on secondary sales after support for the names was added by the ENS development team. 

Investors have now caught onto “negative” domain names that use a hyphen (“-“) before the domain. 

These domains are yet to be supported by ENS. Although not confirmed, early signs from the ENS Name Normalization forum indicate normalization for the character. However, many disagree, and it is likely to be a gamble on whether or not it will happen. 

Investors will have to wait until the update occurs to find out if they will be supported or not. 

It doesn’t stop at hyphens

Hyphenated domains aren’t the only ENS names people are collecting. Other unsupported characters include cashtags (“$”) and underscores (“_”), all of which are expected (again, not confirmed) to be normalized. 

As these domains are not supported yet, they currently show up as “invalid” on marketplaces like OpenSea and LooksRare. 

0.3 looksrare
-03.eth on LookRare

How can I get one?

Purchasing a hyphenated domain is not yet possible via the official ENS website. 

So how are people doing it?

Well, registrations (minting) can only be accomplished through the ENS smart contract or via a third-party site like Predomain or ens.vision (which takes care of the process for you).

On ens.vision you can use the bulk search functionality with “Skip Normalization” switched off and “-” added as a prefix to find available domains.

image 1
Bulk search on ens.vision

All the listings of hyphenated domain names can be found on ens.vision which supports the search functionality of the domain names. 

Communities surrounding the domains

Communities have begun to form on Twitter surrounding the negative domains with accounts such as @negative999club and @_99ClubENS for underscore domain names. 

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About the Author
Liam Peak
Liam Peak
Liam is the founder and head editor at Coinmash. Occasionally he'll share a thought or two, and cover some breaking news surrounding Web3.