Ethereum Name Service might pay $300k to resolve dispute

ENS Labs asks DAO about settlement offer and reimbursement for legal expenses.

Ethereum Name Service (ENS) has asked the ENS DAO to vote on a potential settlement over is used as a resolving service for .eth names. People can type a second level .eth name followed by to get the name to resolve in their browser.

The person who registered the domain went to prison for helping North Korea evade sanctions and the domain expired while he was in prison.

The domain was registered at Uniregistry, which had an expired domain auction partnership with Dynadot. Dynadot auctioned the domain for $852,000, with Manifold Finance as the winning bidder.

Ethereum Name Service subsequently sued GoDaddy (which owns Uniregistry), Dynadot, and Manifold Finance. The domain was transferred to ENS due to a temporary injunction, but the case continues.

Manifold was dismissed from the case due to a lack of jurisdiction, but might still have a claim on the domain. The company has now offered to settle the dispute for a $300,000 payment.

ENS Labs is putting the settlement offer out to the ENS DAO. It is also asking the DAO to reimburse its legal expenses to date, which total about $750,000.

Given the legal expenses incurred to date and likely future expenditures, the settlement seems to be a bargain for ENS, assuming that the other parties also agree to the settlement and don’t demand their legal expenses to be reimbursed.

It appears that ENS Labs wants to avoid further legal expenses. It says that if the DAO refuses to reimburse it for its legal expenses, “ENS labs will act to minimise its further expenses by having the case dismissed.”

A settlement would also be helpful because ENS would no longer be entangled in a lawsuit with GoDaddy. Despite the lawsuit, GoDaddy worked with ENS to integrate its new gassless wallet connection into the GoDaddy registrar.

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