Creator of Ethereum name service sues GoDaddy over expired domain

The company behind .eth domain name provider Ethereum Name Service (ENS) filed a lawsuit against GoDaddy, Dynadot, and Manifold Finance in the state of Arizona on Monday.

True Names Ltd., as well as those still imprisoned Virgil Griffithfiled a lawsuit alleging how GoDaddy allegedly violated an “respect, acknowledge, and protect” agreement for the domain name eth.link.

True Names, the non-profit organization that finances and organizes the development of the ENS, is claiming at least $75,000 in damages, according to the complaint.

August 25, GoDaddy announcement that the eth.link domain was expiring on September 5th. Registrar had previously authorized a third party to renew the estate in Griffith’s name, but declined to do so this year. On September 3, he reportedly transferred eth.link to another registry, Dynadot LLC, which then put the name up for auction.

“The sale will disable a valuable cryptocurrency network and recklessly risk making it accessible to dozens of malicious actors,” the filing argued. “And the domain name is now allegedly and wrongfully owned by Manifold Finance, Inc.”

Indeed, the Challenge Manifold Finance confirmed in a tweet that it purchased the eth.link domain name on September 3. The purchase was $851,919, according at domain name thread.

“Eth.link was just hacked by us,” the firm wrote on Twitter. “Services to be restored once ownership transfer is complete.”

“It was us or Chinese owners,” Manifold Finance added in another Tweeter. “Always bid in USD.”

In response to a request for comment, Manifold Finance founder Sam Bacha said Decrypt via email that Manifold “will post on the ENS forums” on Thursday to clarify its position on the matter.

Nick.eth, lead developer at ENS, was perplexed by the sale to Manifold, arguing that the name had not yet expired. But Manifold told Nick he was “looking at the wrong information” about the domain name expiring.

“Although we don’t believe they had the right to take this action, GoDaddy said the eth.link domain would be returned to the public registry where we would have the opportunity to retrieve it,” he said. Decrypt. “We are disappointed to see GoDaddy’s actions and feel misled because we were told the domain would be returned to the registry, only to find that it was allegedly sold to another domain provider before we were lucky enough to claim it.”

“Eth.link is used by many members of the ENS community, so it’s our main priority to let the public know what happened,” he added.

Eth.link is important to ENS customers because it was used to link ENS domain names to the Web2 domain name system (DNS).

For now, when visiting an eth.link name, such as vitalik.eth.linka message appears stating that “Services will soon be restored on eth.link in the coming week”, along with links to the Manifold Finance website and the Telegram group.

Manifold Finance appears to be planning to continue redirecting domain requests as before, suggesting that the initial crisis has been averted for now. But it remains to be seen how GoDaddy will respond to ENS’ claims.

GoDaddy has not yet responded to Decrypt‘s requests for comments.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include comments from Nick.eth.

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