GoDaddy Inc., a leading domain registration and web hosting company, has partnered with Ethereum Name Service (ENS) to facilitate connecting traditional domain names with blockchain-based .eth names.
The collaboration was announced in a press release on Feb. 5. It aims to allow the seamless connection of the Domain Name System (DNS) with blockchain technology, enabling over 20 million GoDaddy users to access the benefits of ENS infrastructure without incurring additional costs or requiring technical expertise.
Paul Nicks, GoDaddy’s president of domains, said the collaboration is a merger of domain and blockchain technologies that will allow domain users to explore the latter’s benefits without additional costs. He added:
“We’re not just linking domain names to blockchain addresses; we’re creating a bridge between two generations of internet technology. This collaboration ensures that our users can enjoy the best of both worlds with minimal friction.”
The partnership represents an effort to integrate Web2 and Web3 ecosystems, benefiting users across both platforms, according to the press release.
Bridging Web2 and Web3
ENS, the leading naming protocol in the cryptocurrency space, enables users to replace complex Ethereum addresses with human-readable names, similar to how DNS translates numeric IP addresses into memorable domain names.
The collaboration seeks to merge the reliability of DNS with the innovation of blockchain technology, simplifying user interactions with web domains. It also addresses barriers such as high gas fees and technical challenges that previously deterred domain name linkage to the Ethereum blockchain.
ENS has introduced new smart contracts to facilitate a cost-free process for DNS to ENS linking, enhancing user control over decentralized identities and simplifying online asset management. The partnership also signals a growing interest in merging blockchain with traditional technologies, aiming for broader adoption and functionality of blockchain in mainstream applications.
ENS founder Nick Johnson said the partnership has the potential to leverage the strengths of both legacy and blockchain technologies. Johnson added:
“By removing the technical barriers and cost concerns, we’re opening up a world of possibilities for domain owners to explore the benefits of blockchain technology. This is about more than just linking domain names; it’s about paving the way for a decentralized, user-centric internet”
The deal comes amid an ongoing legal dispute between GoDaddy and ENS, which centers around the “eth.link” domain.
True Names Ltd., the nonprofit behind ENS, along with Virgil Griffith, filed a lawsuit against GoDaddy. The lawsuit alleges that GoDaddy violated an agreement to “respect, acknowledge, and protect” the eth.link domain name. True Names is seeking at least $75,000 in damages as per the complaint.
According to the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, the eth.link registration was set to expire on July 26, 2023. However, there was a dispute regarding the domain’s expiration and subsequent sale.
GoDaddy had indicated that the domain name would be available for purchase again on September 5, 2022, but it was sold to a third party — crypto startup Manifold Finance — before this date.
ENS regained control of the eth.link domain after winning an injunction against GoDaddy, showcasing the ongoing legal and operational challenges between the two firms. However, the dispute is still ongoing in court.