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Dynadot auctioned the domain after the previous owner landed in prison.Picture of chain links with the word .LINK
[Update: Ethereum Name Service and the domain’s previous owner have sued to stop the transfer of the domain.]
An auction for eth.link ended at a staggering $851,919.30 in a very odd scenario.
The previous registrant of eth.link set the domain up as a resolving system for .eth domains in the Ethereum Name Service (ENS). ENS domains don’t resolve in normal browsers, so eth.link was set up to allow any domain entered at the third level to resolve to the correct website. For example, example.eth would resolve if you typed in example.eth.link.
A lot of people used eth.link, and some services apparently also used it (although my repeated requests on Twitter for an example of a service using it did not result in an example).
Unfortunately for people who used eth.link, the domain’s registrant Virgil Griffith landed in prison for trying to help North Korea evade sanctions. So he wasn’t available when it came time to renew the domain.
That led to an expiring domain auction.
.Link was one of Uni Registry’s domains that GoDaddy does not currently carry. (You might recall it dropped all of Uni Registry’s domains after the company raised its wholesale prices). GoDaddy acquired Uniregistry (the registrar) but not the registry. When it acquired the registrar, it subsequently managed accounts with a bunch of .link domains in them, including eth.link.
GoDaddy has a partnership with Dynadot to auction Uni domains that it doesn’t support. That’s why Dynadot ended up auctioning eth.link. It was Dynadot’s biggest auction sale ever.
Dynadot told Domain Name Wire yesterday that the payment is still in process and is expected to complete soon.
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Categories: Expired Domains
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Richard B Morris says

Thanks Andrew….as you and most everyone that follows domain blogs like Namepros and the DNForum I’m the biggest promoter of the “new” .LINK TLD. .LINK has new owners and is in the process of a major makeover. I became aware of this in May when you wrote, “Domain investor acquires .link top level domain”. Anyone who’s interested in this transaction should go back and read about .LINK. Thanks again for reporting/writing about this Andrew.
GreenWater says

Scenario was odd indeed, but still, the domain price wasn`t so bad.
NetOperator Wibby says

Almost a million dollars to own a domain that an entire ecosystem relied on for years and for…what…exactly? What’s the incentive?
Chance says

My guess: Manifold finance wants to profit of the recognizability and brand around it but don’t yet know how themselves. They just took the chance.
Freddie says

I registered Eth.how in 2016. Maybe a good time for an auction.
Derp says

Wow! You might sell that for $100,000!
edad says

Manifold will settle quickly if smart as the ENS has a war chest bigger then ICANN and just goes against the whole ethos of crypto…
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