Eth.link Restored After Ethereum Name Service Wins Injunction Against GoDaddy

The company behind the Web3 domain service and Virgil Griffith sued GoDaddy earlier this month, alleging the domain registration platform falsely announced eth.link had expired, and then sold it to a third party.

AccessTimeIconSep 19, 2022 at 12:28 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 19, 2022 at 2:52 p.m. UTC

Sandali Handagama is a CoinDesk reporter with a focus on crypto regulation and policy. She does not own any crypto.

The website for the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), which is behind all web addresses that end with .eth used across the Ethereum community, is back online after losing its domain name eth.link to a third party earlier this year.

Eth.link functioned as a critical bridge that allowed users without Web3-enabled internet browsers to access .eth addresses. ENS had around two million domain name registrations as of Aug. 17.

True Names Ltd., the company that created ENS, sued GoDaddy (GDDY) in early September, alleging the domain registration platform had incorrectly told eth.link users that the address registration had expired and that GoDaddy had later sold the rights to the domain to a Web3 start up before it was supposed to be available for repurchase.

"We are pleased with the court's decision and are happy users can now resume using eth.link without disruption," said Nick Johnson, founder of ENS, in an email to CoinDesk.

ENS Domains announced on Twitter late Sunday that eth.link was back online and that users are welcome to resume using the service.

In a complaint filed against GoDaddy in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, True Names said the eth.link registration was set to expire on July 26, 2023. But in August this year, GoDaddy had incorrectly announced it had expired on July 26, 2022, the filing said.

The complaint also said the domain was then sold to Web3 startup Manifold Finance on Sept. 3., two days before it was supposed to go on sale again. Complicating matters further, the person with the power to renew the registration for eth.link, Virgil Griffith, is serving a five-year prison sentence for speaking about sanctions evasions using crypto at a conference in North Korea.

With the filing, plaintiffs True Names and Griffith sought damages worth at least $75,000 excluding legal costs, and a temporary restraining order against GoDaddy.

The website, eth.link, is back online as of Monday, and according to GoDaddy records, the address is now registered with another domain registrar Dynadot LLC, which is set to expire in July 2023.

GoDaddy didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

UPDATE (Sept 19., 14:06 UTC): Adds comment from ENS founder Nick Johnson.

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Sandali Handagama is a CoinDesk reporter with a focus on crypto regulation and policy. She does not own any crypto.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Sandali Handagama is a CoinDesk reporter with a focus on crypto regulation and policy. She does not own any crypto.

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