12 September 2022
Blockchain domains, also known as web3 domains, have experienced a massive surge recently. As reported in Forbes, Blockchain domain name services such as the Ethereum Name Service (“ENS”) and Unstoppable Domains have experienced major growth and adoption in recent months. ENS just became the top ethereum project on leading NFT marketplace, OpenSea, in terms of seven-day trading volume, beating out mainstay NFT collections such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), CloneX, and Moonbirds.
Demand is Hot
To date, over 2.2 million total ENS names have been created amongst 546,000 unique users. In the last seven days, ENS notched 2,565 ETH ($4 million) trading volume on OpenSea, which was higher than the BAYC’s 1,934 ETH ($3 million), Otherdeed for Otherside’s 1,767 ETH ($2.8 million), and CLONE X’s 1,353 ETH ($2.1 million).
The dramatic surge in .eth domain name registrations has led ENS to outperform ETH over the past three months by more than 40%.
Unstoppable Domains community has registered over 2.5 million total domains, transacted $80 million in primary sales, and the project supports over 275 tokens and 370 applications.
“I’m most excited about how NFT domains can become your single name for Web3 that allows you to own your digital identity. In the future, your NFT domain will allow you to carry your reputation across all your favourite apps, games, and metaverses, all without giving up control of your data.” – Sandy Carter, SVP and Channel Chief, Unstoppable Domains
Investors and speculators have been purchasing popular domain names as potentially lucrative investments. The hope is that corporations and existing brands would want to acquire their associated domain name if they are seeking to establish a presence within Web3. Recently, an anonymous buyer placed a bid of $1 million for the ENS Domain “Amazon.eth”. This bid came soon after both “Samsung.eth” and “Starbucks.eth” sold for 60 ETH (~$90,0000).
What are the blockchain domain name projects?
Brand Protection for blockchain domains
Defensive Registrations: The first step is to register your brand and products in the major blockchain projects. In some cases, you will find that your brand is reserved and can be claimed for free. If your brand is not reserved and available, we recommend registering it as soon as possible to prevent 3rd parties from squatting on it.
No Dispute Mechanism: The growing popularity of blockchain domains has seen a landrush of people registering their stake(s) in the new internet. Unlike traditional domains, there is no dispute mechanism such as the UDRP. The owner of a blockchain domain name is not likely to publicise its identity. Therefore, it is often impossible to ascertain their identity. This presents challenges in determining the proper party, jurisdiction, and venue with respect to anti-cybersquatting, infringement, or other legal claims.
Buying on OpenSea: We are seeing many branded domain names for sale on NFT marketplaces, especially OpenSea. Brandsec can negotiate on our client’s behalf to acquire domain names for a fee for service, which includes defining a budget, communication strategy and purchase management.
Dispute Notice to Marketplaces: Trademark owners cal also send takedown notices to the marketplaces selling infringing .eth domains. OpenSea, Rarible, and Nifty Gateway all have procedures in place (with varying degrees of effectiveness) to deal with intellectual property violations. Once a takedown notice is sent to OpenSea, for example, OpenSea will notify the owner of the domain that the listing has been removed due to a takedown request (meaning it’s no longer for sale to the public). The notice will allow the owner to contact the brand holder, which might spawn more reasonable negotiations since the domain has been delisted. This approach could result in a more permanent remedy.
brandsec is a corporate domain name management and brand protection company that looks after many of Australia, New Zealand and Asia’s top publicly listed brands. We provide monitoring and enforcement services, DNS, SSL Management, domain name brokerage and dispute management and brand security consultation services.