Ethereum Name Service (ENS) has regained control of the Eth.link domain after filing a lawsuit against web hosting company GoDaddy. The backers of ENS, True Names Ltd., alleged that GoDaddy improperly sold the Eth.link domain to another party called Manifold Finance.
ENS says its website is now back online and operating as normal.
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True Names filed its suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. According to court documents, Eth.link was supposed to expire on July 26, 2023, but GoDaddy claimed that the domain expired on July 26, 2022 and sold it on September 3, 2022.
True Names Ltd. wanted $75,000 in damagesnot including legal fees, and a temporary restraining order against GoDaddy.
Whois records on GoDaddy indicate that eth.link is registered with Dynadot, LLC and will expire on July 26, 2023 – the exact date that True Names Ltd.
The person responsible for renewing the domain, Virgil Griffith, currently serves a five years imprisonment. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate international sanctions in a case related to a presentation he gave on how to use digital assets to circumvent sanctions at an event in North Korea.
What is ENS anyway?
Domain Name Service (DNS) makes it possible for your web browser to know what you mean when you type a website name like “Google.com” or “Bitcoin.org” into the address bar. It provides a way to match human-readable domain names to servers that use strings of numbers separated by periods (“192.168.1.1”) as an addressing scheme.
ENS works in a similar way and claims to be more useful for distributed web properties that may not have a centralized web server. It uses a system called the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), which can store content on a distributed file system. This system can take a “human-readable” ENS domain and match it to an Ethereum address or the appropriate resources in the distributed file system.
For example, Privacy Pass’ .eth domain appears to use the IPFS system.
ENS domains typically end in .eth instead of the more commonly known as .com, .org or .gov. ENS comes around this with an alternative to DNS called EthDNS, a DNS over HTTPS protocol that can be most easily accessed by setting up a DNS proxy that points to Eth.link’s DNS query page.
Domains ending in .eth are not top-level domains recognized by the DNS protocol, so web browsers that do not use a DNS proxy will need to add the .link domain to the end of the URL to find them.
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Who uses ETC?
Ethereum Name Service users include Vitalik ButerinEthereum Team Leader Péter Szilágyithe “Bored Elon Musk” Twitter accountand professional soccer player Mario Gotze. A search on Twitter turns hundreds of accounts with .eth domain on it. Anyone who might be interested in setting up an Ethereum wallet can set up a .eth domain for it.
Losing the eth.link domain did not necessarily mean that all these people would have lost their .eth domains. At most they had to change the top level domain that DNS would have recognized. ENS mentioned in his tweet that eth.limo also exists.
GoDaddy has not issued a statement regarding the return of eth.link, likely because the lawsuit is still ongoing. True Names Ltd. simply have a temporary command return eth.link pending any further proceedings in this matter. If the court rules in his favor or GoDaddy chooses not to fight the case, the return will become permanent.
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